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drought tolerant potted annuals

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It's time to start filling in your garden containers with flowering annuals.  If you are one of those people who love to look at potted flowers but don't have the time to devote to daily watering, then these are the flowering annuals for you!
As long as you give them sufficient water soon after potting, these flowers can withstand poor moisture conditions.
1.  Angelonia
2.  Zinnia
3.  Ornamental Pepper
4.  Geranium
5.  Marigold
6.  Cosmo
7.  Dusty Miller
8.  Ornamental Kale
9.  Ageratum
10.  Snapdragon
Don't forget to check the height of each flower variety before potting.  Tall ones go in the middle and short ones around the sides.  Cosmos and zinnias are favorites because they bloom all season long and make the best long lasting cut flowers.
Happy Planting!
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Post Last Updated: 2/17/2015 2:59:22 PM 
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how to drill drain holes in planters.

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You see that beautiful flower pot that you want to purchase and take home to fill with all your favorite Spring flowers and then you look inside and guess what?  NO DRAIN HOLE!  What do you do?
Well there are many different ways of drilling a hole in the bottom of a ceramic flower pot but we saw this one from Stephanie Lynn and thought we would share it here.  The key to properly drill drainage holes is using the correct drill bit.  Many of the ceramic containers intended for plants are make from soft terracotta clay.  These containers can be found either glazed or left in their natural state.  Both can be drilled - though clay pottery is the easier.
Basically for unglazed terracotta and ceramics - masonry drill bit is used.
Harder, glazed surfaces - glass and tile bits are used.
Masonry drill bits come in various diameters. The tip is slightly larger than the actual drill bit itself. These can be found in most hardware stores. Glass and tile bits can also be found at a hardware store and are shaped with a spear pointed head.  Both drill bits are not designed to be used on other materials so be sure to use them for their intended purpose.  A piece of masking tape placed on the bottom of the container will help keep the drill from slipping.  
Drill at a slow steady pace since you don't want to crack the pot.  Apply a very light touch, with slight pressure.  Let the drill do the work.  The ease of drilling will depend on the material of the container you are drilling.  Just remember - Slow, Steady with just a bit of Pressure!
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Post Last Updated: 2/17/2015 2:49:34 PM 
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another take on bulbs in containers.

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We have talked extensively on how to plant garden bulbs in containers but we saw this idea and thought we would pass it along.  Instead of being selective and methodical when planting try this approach.
The key they say is to be generous with your bulbs.  For a large mixed pot, plant your bulbs shoulder to shoulder in a smaller plastic nursery pot, and then sink it into a larger container.  The plant the fillers and spillers around it.  Remember how tall your bulbs will get.  If you have a deep pot, fill some of the space with pinecones or packing peanuts before adding soil.  This not only saves on the amount of potting soil you will need, but it also significantly reduces the weight of your container.
Fill the pots with good quality potting soil to within a few inches of the rim.  Never use garden soil, top soil, peat humus, or cow manure. These products are too heavy and drain too slowly.
For the best show, plant lots of bulbs.  Place the bulbs close leaving no space between them.  Then top off with more potting soil so the bulbs are just slightly below the surface.  Water each container thoroughly, and finish with a layer of mulch such as mini pine bark nuggets.  Leave pots outdoors for winter chilling.  The more exposure to cold the bulbs get, the better they will bloom. 
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Post Last Updated: 2/17/2015 2:49:43 PM 
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aging Terra-Cotta Pottery

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You really like that weather, antique look of worn terracotta pottery.  It reminds you of European gardens where they have been using clay for centuries for stunning displays and distinguished design features.  You know that over time the new clay pot you just purchased from Arizona Pottery will weather and age naturally, but you don't want to wait. What do you do?

What causes your terracotta planters to age over time?  Well, mostly its the chemicals in the fertilizer you use and the minerals leaching from the water.  Terracotta is porous and meant to breathe and break down over time.  So all those minerals & chemicals will create those white lines that appear after use.  Over time they become part of the pot and add so much character and charm that we are going to tell you how to speed up the process so you no longer have to wait.
According to Martha Stewart Living, simple gather these few items listed below.  Coat the pot with this mix, allow to dry and TA DA....aged pots.
Lime Powder, Bristle Brush, Terracotta pot, Med. grit sandpaper (150 grit)
Stir one cup of lime powder, a mineral available at garden centers, into 2 cups of water till it takes on a thick, gravy like consistency.  With a bristle brush, paint the solution onto the pots, sparingly in some places and generously in others.  When the pot is completely coated and still wet, spray some spots with water from a spray bottle on the "stream" setting to let some of the lime solution run off.  All the pot to dry, then sand in a random pattern with sandpaper till you are satisfied with the gently mottled surface.
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Post Last Updated: 2/17/2015 2:49:51 PM 
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pot Toppers!

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Have you ever heard of "pottery toppers"?  Well, we may have just made it up but we think it's a easy and creative way to top your garden planters and containers.  No only does it add a decorative touch but it also serves a great purpose.
Let's start from the beginning.  When you plant directly in a garden container you finish with a good amount of top soil exposed.  This is not a bad thing. We want you to give your potted plants as much soil as possible so that they can grow and not be crowed.  However, in harsh weather conditions that exposed soil can cause some major damaged to plants and plant root systems.  Sometimes making them even fatal.
What you want to do is provide that exposed soil & plant roots to protection.  Something to keep the water off in case of freezing temperatures, or a layer to provide warmth.  Mulch has been used for generations to keep plants protected during the winter months. We suggest using something a bit more decorative.  Maybe add color with pool balls, Christmas ornaments, filbert nuts, acorns, pine cones, or like the photos show, colorful and fragrant fruit.  Get creative!  Your pots will look fantastic and your plants will be happy for the added protection.
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Post Last Updated: 2/17/2015 2:50:00 PM 
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Latest Posts
drought tolerant potted annuals..
how to drill drain holes in planters...
another take on bulbs in containers...
aging Terra-Cotta Pottery..
pot Toppers!..

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