Get the Right Mix for Container Success!

Container gardening is all about having the right mix…

The right mix of plants, the right mix of water & sunlight, the right mix of container variation and, not to be overlooked, the right planting mix!

Success in the bag!

Unfortunately there isn’t a bag of goods that can provide instant container success, but buying a good bag of potting mix is the first step on the road to healthy, happy container gardens. Make sure to check the back of the bag to review the mix ingredients. Premium potting mixes, such as Espoma Organic Premium Potting Mix, often contain the following ingredients:

  • Canadian sphagnum peat moss that has high water-holding and aeration properties.
  • Composted bark and/or forest products to ensure low-water retention and improve stability.
  • Perlite to help improve drainage and increase aeration.
  • Limestone to balance the soil’s pH and help plant roots take up nutrients.
  • A wetting agent to help the soil absorb water and evenly distribute it to plant roots.
  • And controlled-release fertilizers which are polymer-coated and gradually feed plants for continuous blooms and growth

Spillers, Thrillers & Fillers…

Mixing and matching plants within a container is half the fun of container gardening. When buying plants, keep in mind to match plants that prefer similar amounts of moisture and sunlight and buy spillers, thrillers & fillers for maximum aesthetic appeal.

  • Spillers — plants that drape over the sides of containers to provide flow and movement. Some good spillers are Wave Petunias, potato vine, ivy and creeping Jenny.
  • Thrillers — these beauties add not only height but pizzazz to a container. They are the focal point. Some good thrillers are agave, purple fountain grass and New Guinea Impatiens.
  • Fillers — these do as their name implies, they fill the space with their blooms and foliage. Great fillers include pansies, dusty miller, begonias and impatiens.

Looking for some neat ideas? Reuse old household items!

Help containers to beat the heat!

Temperatures and dry weather conditions can get pretty bad throughout Southern summers. Help your plants to beat the heat.

Using a planting mix specifically made for containers such as Espoma Organic Premium Potting Mix is better than using a garden soil or general use soil. Potting mixes are formulated with specific ingredients that help plants thrive in their contained environment. This includes providing proper drainage and aeration as well as ingredients that help the soil retain and distribute moisture evenly.

Some potting mixes even include water absorbing polymers that store up moisture and evenly distribute it as the soil begins to dry. If not, you can make your own mix with Espoma Organic Premium Potting Mix with Soil Moist crystals. This will reduce the amount of water needed and help prevent over-and-under watering.

Adding mulch to your containers can also help. Mulch insulates roots and provides protection from direct sunlight, helping to hold in moisture and keep out UV rays.

These helpful container gardening tips are courtesy of Jolly Gardener.