How to Plant an Easy Container Garden (Video, 6:29)

How to Plant an Easy Container Garden (Video, 6:29)

By Pamela Crawford

How to Plant an Easy Container Garden

This is Pamela Crawford’s (container gardening guru) most popular video. She shares her professional tricks while teaching you how to plant an easy container garden.

Put some potting mix in the bottom of a pot with holes in it to ensure drainage. Without drainage, most plants die. If the holes are really large, cover with a layer of rock, coffee filter, or plastic screen to keep potting mix from escaping.

To see how much potting mix you’ll need, hold the largest plant in the center so the top of the mix is about an inch below the top of the new pot. Remove the plant, and adjust the soil to reach that level.

Be sure to use top-quality potting mix with a brand name you trust. Do not use garden soil or top soil because these soils are too heavy and can kill the plants.

To take the plant out of its pot, hold it upside down, and pull the pot off the root ball. If it resists, squeeze the sides of the pot and try again, or cut the pot off with garden shears.

If the roots are tightly wound in a circle, the plant is root-bound. It will grow better if you separate the roots. Untangle the roots slightly by breaking the tight circle apart. Repeat this action all around the root ball.

Place the centerpiece plants in the middle of the container. These three dianthus make a full grouping. They are placed very close together, with root balls touching.

Check the level of the potting mix, and adjust it accordingly. Remember, you want the top of the root balls about an inch below the top of the new pot.

Place the edge plants (in this case, coleus and torenia) around the centerpiece. Lean them out slightly, so you won’t see soil from the top edge when the pot is done. Add more potting mix under these plants, if necessary, to keep all the root balls even on top.

Be sure to tilt the plants out a little, and keep the tops of their root balls even with the centerpiece. If they are not perfectly filled in, they will grow quickly!

Once all the plants are placed, fill in any open spots between the root balls with potting mix. Don’t pile the potting mix up around the stems or the plants could die It is all right for the root ball to be planted high, meaning slightly above the potting mix (see diagram on page 7).

Sprinkle the fertilizer I describe on page 46 top of the potting mix. Apply the amount specified on the fertilizer box. If the mix already has fertilizer in it, you can skip the extra fertilizer now if you like. However, I have not found a potting mix with fertilizer that lasts the life of the plants, so I add some of my fertilizer anyway.

Move the container to its final resting place before watering because it is lighter without the extra water. Water the container thoroughly and evenly (in a gentle stream with a watering can or hose nozzle) until you see water coming out of the drainage holes. After the pot has drained, add potting mix wherever it has settled. Enjoy!

This video is appropriate for all climates. It was filmed in Palm Beach County, Florida. 

Pamela Crawford designs gardens in Palm Beach County, Florida. This video is appropriate  throughout Pamela’s service area, including Boca Raton landscapes, town of Palm Beach landscapes, Palm Beach Gardens landscapes, Jupiter landscapes, and Wellington landscapes.

This article is taken from Easy Container Gardens, Copyright ©2008, Color Garden, Inc.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or ­transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage and retrieval system (including anywhere on the web) without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

Published by Color Garden, Inc.