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Successful Container Gardening: 75 Easy-to-Grow Flower and Vegetable…

de Joseph Provey Mr.

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1211,304,813 (4)No n'hi ha cap
Provides expert tips for starting, grow, and maintaining disease-free, robust plants from season to season.
No n'hi ha cap
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Very useful guide for container gardening. The author assumes readers have a level of interest/effort/resources that I didn't always reach (I'm not going to build a frame for seedlings indoors, or anything outdoors), but there was good information about which combinations of plants to put together, soil and fertilizer needs of different plants, and hardiness/temperature/light requirements, as well as plenty of design ideas.

Notes

-Carrots grow well in containers at least a foot deep. Two square feet will yield about 25 carrots.

-Place a container below a trellis so vines and climbers can climb.

-Stack concrete blocks to raise a small pot up.

-Group planters of different sizes/heights.

-Types of containers: terra-cotta keeps roots cool but requires extra watering; ceramic/stoneware are less porous but more expensive; wood is a good insulator and slow to dry out, but susceptible to rot; plastic is cheap but plant roots can overheat; pressed paper and coir are biodegradable; self-watering pots save time; fiberglass pots are durable and lightweight; concrete is a good insulator, good for big/heavy plants; metal pots are expensive but long-lasting.

-Planter types: boxes and troughs, pots and urns, baskets, wall-hung, window boxes, rail planters

-Double-pot plastic pots inside other pots to protect plant roots from heat.

-Potting mix ingredients: soil, ground bark, calcined clay, fibers, limestone, perlite, polystyrene foam, vermiculite, sand, compost, biosolids

-Plant forms/shapes: uniform, arching, spiky, trailing, mounding

-Mix perennials and annuals so there's always something blooming; or, group single-plant containers together if the plants have different preferences

-To loosen root-bound plants, cut away the bottom inch of root mass, then make several vertical cuts, and pull the roots apart

-Spring bulbs in the north prefer full sun; plant bulbs at various depths to stagger their blooming period (the deeper you plant, the later the bloom)

-To make a moss-lined basket, press the moss in root-side-up and add potting mix

-Flowers I like: phlox, lantana, verbena, calibrachoa, nasturtium

-Combine herbs and vegetables, nasturtiums with veg or herbs. Companion plantings: basil with peppers or tomatoes, chives with carrots or tomatoes, parsley with tomatoes, lavender with dusty miller. Mint-rosemary-lavender-oregano, lobelia and thyme,

-Start plants from seed in a peat tray. Seedlings need 12-16 hours of light (supplement sunlight with lamps). Make a diagram of the tray so you remember what you planted where! Keep trays warm and moist but not soggy; use a spray bottle to water. Fertilize plants when they develop a second set of leaves. Transplant the healthiest seedlings to 4" pots. "Harden off" by bringing them outside for a few hours each day.

-Pot size: most vegetables will be happy in a 2-gallon container at least 12" in diameter and 12" deep.

-When planting tomatoes outside, bury several inches of stem as well as the roots.

-Trees/shrubs:
--dwarf holly in 12"-diameter, 10"-depth pot; mix slow-release fertilizer into potting mix; cover with mulch/bark chips.

-Fertilizer: synthetic vs. organic: organic requires the presence of microbes in the soil.
--fish emulsion fertilizer
--primary nutrients: nitrogen (N) promotes growth of leaves and stems, phosphorus (P) stimulates root growth and supports flowering, potassium (K) helps plants resist disease and increases hardiness. Most fertilizers list percentages in N-P-K order.
--fertilizers are available in granular or liquid form. Mix granular in with potting soil before planting. Apply liquid throughout growing season.

Tips about pests and diseases:
-Don't reuse potting mixes from contaminated containers
-Clean your containers at the beginning of each season (with liquid detergent and water)
-Buy healthy plants and hose them off before planting
-Keep plants healthy bu ensuring the right amount of sun/shade/water and removing dead parts
-Isolate or destroy infected plants
-Lacewings and ladybugs are good. Aphids, thrips, whiteflies, and mealybugs are bad.
-For whiteflies, mealybugs, and aphids, blast plant with hose, and spray with soapy water (1/2 tsp dish soap, 1/4 tsp cooking oil, 1 qt warm water). Spray every 10 days. Rinse plants 2-3 hours after spraying.

Common plant diseases:
-powdery mildew - spray with milk and water solution
-blossom end rot - not enough calcium
-bacterial blight - excessive nitrogen

Prepping for winter: remove annuals and vegetables and save potting mix; replant hardy plants outside; move less hardy plants inside; insulate outdoor containers with bubble wrap, newspaper and plastic, hay, mulch, etc.; prune plants, shelter in a corner or against a wall, wrap stems and branches in burlap; remove bulbs and store in egg cartons

MA is heat zone 4, hardiness zone 6a/6b ( )
  JennyArch | Apr 15, 2015 |
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No n'hi ha cap

Provides expert tips for starting, grow, and maintaining disease-free, robust plants from season to season.

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