domingo, 10 de junio de 2012

Cost Cutting, Low Maintenance Containers

Cost Cutting, Low Maintenance Containers:
I love planting containers.

Shopping is half the fun. 
Wandering through Frey's Greenhouse,
browsing... choosing...
So many possibilities....

I'd love to buy up all that I see... 
...but I'm typically short on money, not to mention time for maintenance.

So, I've developed some container strategies to help save on both.

Focus containers where they'll provide the most effect. 

Since our deck feels somewhat disconnected from the yard,
a mass container planting helps bring the garden to the deck.
These containers make a huge impact on a well used area
and are well worth the effort.

Basic plastic pots (purchased on sale, of course) cut cost
and conserve water.

Since I can't spring for fancy planters, I make sure they're not the focus.
"Spiller" plants, creep down the planters,
making most of them nearly invisible by mid-summer.
The mass planting creates a corner of color.




Generous sized pots with drip pans help keep watering to a minimum
as they hold more water and allow for larger root systems.
Drip pans provide for overflow to ensure saturation of the soil without waste.
Watering thoroughlly, but less often
encourages healthy root systems.


I utilize mostly bargain 4 or 6 pack basic annuals to fill my pots.
Adding a few "splurge" plants provides interest without breaking the bank.
Over the years, I've learned which plants perform well in my area
with a minimum of care.



  


I'm fortunate to have free compost available at our
municipal recycling center, which I use
rather than purchasing potting soil.

I've begun mixing water absorbing granules into 
my potting soil
to help reduce watering.

My 8 oz. packet of Soil Moist Granules
will last me several years -
and help keep my containers going
in spite of my spotty watering schedule. 


Adding slow release granular fertilizer to pots
keeps flowers blooming and growing effortlessly for months.

Enjoy the beauty of containers
with minimum cost and effort using these tips:

Cut Cost:
  • Locate strategicallly
  • Basic containers
  • Use recycled compost
  • Add amendments to soil rather than purchasing pre-mixed
  • Utilize inexpensive 4 or 6 pack annuals, adding a few splurges for interest
Lower Maintenance:
  • Choose self-cleaning flowers (no dead-heading)
  • Generous planters (minimize watering)
  • Plastic containers with drip pans (minimize watering)
  • Add water absorbing crystals, such as Soil Moist (minimize watering)
  • Add slow release fertilizer (fertilize once and done)


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