The Q&A Archives: Patio Gardening

Question: How do I get started creating a container patio garden?

Answer: Start by assessing the growing area and noting the amount of sunshine or shade. This will be important later when you choose your plants. The best containers will have good drainage and you'll fill them with moistened potting soil. Then, based upon the amount of sunshine or shade, choose your plants. Annuals can be replaced every season; perennials can live three or more years. Supplying adequate water (plants in containers can dry out much faster than the same plants in the garden), and feeding every 3-4 weeks are key to growing healthy container plants. Most any plant will adapt to growing in a container. Smaller plants can be happy in small (one gallon) sized pots, larger plants in larger pots. I like to mix and match my containers but you could choose a theme and use only a certain color or a certain size container throughout your patio garden. When choosing plants, find those adapted to the sun or shade the site receives and note their mature sizes. Choose a container that is about one third as deep as the mature plant size and the roots will have plenty of room to grow. I feed with a half strength dilution of a water soluable fertilizer every 3 weeks to keep my containerized plants healthy. Hope this gets you started on your new patio garden!

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