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How to Plant a Container Garden | Backes Landscaping

Hey Fort Collins, Spring is Around the Corner, it’s time to Garden!

A visit to the local Fort Collins garden center often sends customers home with a case of plant envy.  The luscious, beautiful container gardens spaced throughout the nursery sport a hefty price tag.  Why not create your own container garden for half the cost?  These portable gardens offer an affordable option to homeowners to beautify the landscape during the summer growing season.

Gardening Supplies 

Select an appropriate container for the designated location in the landscape.  Make sure to punch holes in the bottom for drainage.  Purchase a bag of good quality potting soil.  Avoid using garden soil since this type of dirt doesn’t contain amendments to encourage water retention.  Include a hand shovel, gloves, and a watering can in the work area.

Select annual plants that complement your landscape and outdoor living space design.  Ensure that the plants growing requirements for light and water match the planned location.  Full sun plants require six or more hours of light each day while partial shade plants require considerably less.  Don’t mix plants requiring different amounts of sun in the same container.

gardening supplies in fort collins

Plant Placement

Lay out the container garden with the plants still in the plastic transplant pots.  Place taller plants towards the center or back of the pot.  Position medium height plants to fill the space surrounding taller plants.  Flowing, low-growing plants complement medium and tall plants when placed in front or around in the container edges.  Try to avoid spacing plants too close in the container since all plants will mature through the growing season.  A few inches between each plant allows plenty of growing room.

Planting the Container 

Fill the pot with soil about one to two inches from the pot rim to allow space for moving soil around when adding plants.  Select the tallest plant first and squeeze around the outside of the transplant pot to loosen the roots.  Grasp the plant at the center stem right above the soil level and gently lift the plant out of the transplant pot.  If the plant doesn’t pop out easily, use pruning shears or sharp scissors to cut away the plastic pot.

Gently loosen the soil around the roots of the plant with a light squeezing motion of the fingers to encourage the roots to grow outward.  Dig a hole in the container garden soil to accommodate the roots of the annual plant.  Position the plant to allow about one inch of space above the top of the root ball.  Move on to the next plant until all plants are placed into the soil in the container.

Place a final layer of soil to cover the entire top of the container garden.  The optimum final soil level is about one inch below the pot rim.  Make sure to cover all plant roots with at least an inch of loose potting soil.  Potting soil will compress over time as regular watering compacts the soil.

potted plants

Garden Maintenance

Place the container garden in its new location and water thoroughly.  Avoid watering the plant leaves and flowers.  Instead, direct water at the soil level to ensure adequate moisture retention.  Container gardens require frequent watering so check for soil dryness daily.  Water the container garden every day during the hottest days of the summer.  Add all-purpose fertilizer every few weeks to ensure continual healthy blooms and foliage.

Enjoy the added decorative touch to the landscape with the addition of a personally designed container garden.  Choose pots and flowering annual plants to compliment the outdoor living space.  Making your own annual container garden saves money and allows you to create a unique landscape accent every year at the beginning of each growing season.

girl gardening in fort collins

Backes Landscaping is a full-service landscaper in Fort Collins offering landscape design services. Please give us a call for your landscaping needs at (970) 222-1730. Our professional landscapers install water features, retaining walls, xeriscaping, hardscaping, firepits, sprinklers, and offer Commercial Landscaping Services.

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