Spring and Summer Container Gardening

Try Container Gardening this Spring and Summer!

Choose from several varieties of flower bulbs sold in our Spring 2021 Fundraising program for summer container gardening. Additionally, supporters of selected New England based groups can enjoy container gardening with potted annuals. Read on for some tips to get started with container gardening.

Summer container gardening pots

Choosing the right container

Terracotta flowerpots are a classic choice. However, freezing and thawing can damage them. So store them indoors over the winter in colder climates. Concrete planters are more durable and can be kept outside in winter, but they’re heavy. So use a concrete container only if you won’t be moving it around. Sturdy plastic containers are a good lightweight choice. Wooden containers made from rot-resistant varieties like cedar provide durability with a more natural look.

The first rule of container gardening is drainage

Good drainage is essential in container gardening. So make sure any containers you’re using have drainage holes. If you’ve chosen a wooden or plastic container that doesn’t have drainage holes, you can carefully drill some in the bottom of the container. Place a saucer under the container to catch excess water so it can be drawn up by the roots as needed.

You can also place a plain plastic pot with drainage holes inside a larger decorative container without holes. This allows you to move the plant and the outer pot separately if needed, which is a good option when using a heavier decorative pot. The outer pot also holds any excess water that drains out of the inner pot.

Preparing to plant a summer container garden

Gather your container gardening supplies

Use a good potting soil mix and an all-purpose fertilizer. You’ll also want to have some basic gardening tools such as gloves, a trowel, and a watering can.

Plan ahead

For large containers, place the container in its final location before planting. Otherwise, it may be too heavy to move when you have finished! When planting different varieties of bulbs together in a large container, choose varieties that prefer similar amounts of sunlight. Supporters who have purchased potted annuals from a New England based fundraising group may wish to transplant the set of three small pots into a larger container together.

Potted annuals for summer container gardening

Planting your containers

Once you have your containers, soil, bulbs or plants, and other supplies ready, it’s time to plant! Start with a clean container. Fill the container part-way with potting soil and mix in some fertilizer. You should fill the container to just below where the bottom of your larger bulbs or the root ball of your plants will be. Arrange your bulbs or plants in the container. Add a little more potting soil to raise the level for smaller bulbs if needed. Add more potting soil to cover the bulbs, keeping the soil about an inch from the top of the container. Keep the top of the soil level with the existing soil of any potted annuals you have transplanted.

Caring for your container garden

Water your container plants regularly, before the soil becomes completely dry. Fertilize your plants every couple of weeks, since potting soil doesn’t contain enough nutrients. Once the plant is flowering, remove any blooms that have faded. This encourages new growth and reblooming.

Sign up today!

Are you ready to get started? To sign up for spring fundraising, please fill out a registration form. We’ll be setting up landing pages from mid-February through early April and will email you all the details you need to manage your fundraiser as soon as it’s been set up.

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