You thought you had weeks to go before the weather started to cool off this fall and wanted to avoid the first freeze. However it hit and you were not prepared. What can you do with freeze damaged potted plants? Here are a few tips.
Most people can prepare for the cooler winter months ahead. They have time to wrap their garden planters in burlap, or time to move them into a garage or potting shed. You clean out the pots you can't move and prep them for next season with a good bath.
But what if the first freeze hit and you now need help. Different plants will be affected and will have to be dealt with in a different way. If your garden planters were filled with perennials then this is where you should start. If it's the type of perennial plant that dies in winter then you are ok. Just prune it back and remove any dead wood. Take take off more or the plant will go into shock.
How about potted vegetable or citrus plants? If these freeze, there is a good chance they will come back. Tomato plants just need to be deadheaded. Then add additional potting soil round the stem to bury it. The tomato plant will grow new roots and in a couple of week you can tell if it's going to continue to grow. All citrus tress should be pruned.
If you have a plant that is brown and looks dead don't toss it yet. Check online to see if they will come back by the type they are. Many times these will re-grow with great success. They just need some TLC and time to recover. All healing plants need a little help with fertilizer. So do a bit of research online before you give up hope.
Ever think about potting some Sage? You may have tried basil, chives, rosemary, thyme but Sage is a wonderful choice for those who like to cook.
Although sage is available both fresh and dried, we recommend using fresh. Dried sage has a stronger more concentrated flavor that can sometimes be bitter. If you are flavoring a soup, stew or pot of beans then dried is acceptable. But, if you really want the sage flavor to shine you have to use fresh leaves.
When looking for foods to pair with sage, think rich, starchy and sweet. Great with pork, potatoes, beans, grains, bread (think stuffing) and is fantastic on turkey, & pumpkin. Try it with roasted apples & pears. Yummy!
When potting sage think of lots of sunshine and well draining soil. Use a garden pot with a drain hole because you don't want standing water on the roots. Place your pots in a kitchen window so they are close at hand while cooking or next to a kitchen back door so you can step out in all weather and clip off a few sprigs.
Harvest individual leaves or springs several inches long. Rinse them to remove dust and gently blot with a kitchen towel. Keep it dry because moisture will deteriorate it quickly. It keeps in the refrigerator wrapped in paper towel for 2 to 3 days.
Lastly, if you haven't had fresh sage in the kitchen you are missing out on some great smells. A small terracotta pot filled with sage is perfect on a center isle or in the window. You don't need much but it's well worth the effort.
Sorry to say that it is usual to crack or chip a clay flowerpots at one point
in your garden adventures. Well, if your
damage isnít all that bad, you can repair the pot and return it to a fairly
normal condition. All you need to do is
try a few of the tips listed below.
Think about it, what have you got to lose?
Choose a epoxy glue. You mix the two
compounds Ė one part glue, one part hardener, before you cement the pieces. Read the package instructions for mixing,
then apply the mending goo to both parts before joining them.
Fit the pieces together and tie the pot so that itís securely held in
place. Use a cord or rope for large
pots, try plumbers tape for smaller ones.
Wipe off any glue that spills out of the cracks when you fit the pieces
together. Sand off any extra reside that
you want to remove.
Once the pot is sealed you can stain or paint the pot to try
to hide the cracks. Make sure you use a
paint that is for terracotta flower pots.
There are many colors available.
Many times you wonít even bother painting them since once the flowerpots
are planted in the plants will grow over the sides and hide many of the issues
The point is, donít give up.
That garden planter you purchased was expensive and you donít have
to toss it out. Give this a try. What have you got to lose!
Here are a few tips on making container gardening easier for people of all ages and abilities. Age, injury, limited mobility, and other factors can pose challenges to working in your yard or garden. But, don't let this stop you from having fun and creating enjoyment. In fact, people who can't get out and dig in the garden are among those who benefit the most from potted planters.
Choose containers that bring plants up to a height that eliminates bending and minimizes reaching. Place the pottery in areas that are easy to access - like along a paved pathway, on a patio or outside a kitchen door
Don't forget you can always pot indoors. Set heavy or large pots on casters or pot caddies to make them easier to move. Window box planters are often a good choice, because they can be tended to and enjoyed from the inside and outside.
Set up benches and other places to rest, preferably with shelter from sun or wind. Elevate the containers so you can reach them if you are sitting down. Use the right tools. Many times you don't need full-sized tools and can do the job just as well with small hand tools. Wear a tool pouch or apron so you can keep them close at hand and don't need to bend over when you need them.
Grow plants on trellises or make a vertical garden. Start small with easy to care plants and small garden pottery. Choose plants who mature size fits the spot to minimize pruning chores. Include fragrant potted plants like herbs, soft fuzzy lamb's ears, ornamental grasses that rustle in the breeze, or plants that attract birds or butterflies.
Place houseplants where they are easy to see and care for. Create tabletop gardens accessible on all sides. Use pulleys on hanging baskets so you can raise or lower them when tending their need.
Well it happens to all of us. Moving a garden planter to a new home in the garden, or backing up in the car and hitting the pots flanking the garage door. Planters get damaged, mistakes happen, don't worry we offer a few tips to help.
If all of the pieces of the planter that was damaged fit tightly and you use the right adhesive, these tips should help. If none of the above are applicable, then plan on purchasing a new pot!
Choose an epoxy glue. You mix the two compounds before you cement the pieces. Always read the directions for mixing. Fit the pieces together and tie the pot so that it is securely held together. Use a cord or rope for large pots or painters tape for smaller ones. Just make sure that you don't use a dirty rope so that it doesn't damaged the surface of a clay planter. Wipe off excess glue that seeps out the crack. Use sandpaper after the glue is dry to remove any residue.
When you replant in the damaged container, try potting up a climbing vine that will drape over the sides of the pot and possibly cover the crack. If you can turn the planter around so the crack doesn't show, more the better. If you must hide the crack because it's visible on all sides try painting the pot or staining it with exterior grade paint or stain. This will not work with glazed planters but works on other surfaces. You will always have to seal the painted pot, inside and outside with a waterproof sealant.
Having one of your favorite garden planters get damaged is always disappointing but there are options for trying to save it. Give it a go and let us know of your success!
Keeping potted herbs happy and healthy is very easy to do. They like a minimum of 5 hours of direct sunlight every day. Keep pots soil moist and well drained. Remember, herbs grown in garden pots dry out quickly, so consider using containers at least 12" across. Plant with a timed release, granular fertilizer in mid summer, or use a water soluble liquid. Trim herbs frequently to prevent them from flowering. When they do bloom, their flavor diminishes and growth of tasty new foliage slow.
Basically that is it. Below, we will get more specific with the 5 most popular potted herbs. Read more.....
Chives: With clumps of grass like leaves, chives are valued for their mild flavor and rosy purple flowers in spring. They are especially easy to grow in potted planters because they tend to spread their roots and take over your garden when not contained. Scatter seeds in a well draining pot with good potting soil.
Make sure the pot is placed in a sunny kitchen window or on a sunny patio area. Garlic chives also called Chinese chives, have a mild garlic taste which is very popular. They have flat leaves and white flowers. They self seed so profusely that the only maintenance they require is cutting back to make sure they don't overtake the whole pot.
Rosemary: One of the easiest and most fragrant herb to grow, they require only plenty of sun and well draining potting soil. This plant grows bushy so select a good sized garden planter.
It has greenish gray needle like foliage and blooms in winter. They vary in height from 1 to 6 feet so make sure you get the correct seeds to fit your pot. You can also clip them into topiares. We love Rosemary in cooking. Stuff branches inside a chicken to roast, fill a vase with them and place on a kitchen counter for fragrance or use them in flower arrangements to add green foliage and smell. Yummy!
Thyme, is one of the most beloved perennial herbs in any garden. The aroma is warm and exotic and the foliage is finely textured. While some selections of potted thyme are essential in the kitchen, others are among the most appealing herbs for landscaping and patio decorating.
No matter what the season, thyme puts on a show. It's evergreen foliage provides interest in the garden and is wonderful in any vase arrangement. In early spring the flowers open, sprinkling the plant with spots of white, pink, lavender, or rose.
Sage: is a small, mounding shrub 8 to 36" wide so make sure your gardenplanter is large enough. Its velvety, gray green leaves are essential to flavoring many poultry and holiday recipes. Try it in cooking and you will love it as much as we do.
Many colorful varieties exist. Golden sage compliments terracotta pots and purple sage is great in bright glazed pottery. The darker foliage blends well with rosemary, lavender and purple basil varieties.
The most popular herb that is grown in garden planters is basil. From seeds it really easy and hardy and will save you money over store purchased. Especially if you are a pesto fanatic. Wait till mid May when the soil warms up in your pots to scatter the seeds. Press them into the soil with your fingers and then gently water. This plant is hardy and easy to transplant into other pots.
If you have never used sage in cooking than you are missing out. A lot of people love to grow it in their gardens because of the lovely herbal aroma and soft fuzzy leaves. But, if you only add a few fresh sprigs to a favorite recipe, you can transform it into a favorite.
I personally love using sage in all my thanksgiving recipes. It adds depth and flavor to the turkey, stuffing, potatoes and veggies. It just wouldn't be the same without a bunch of fresh sage sitting in my kitchen, while I prepare our holiday feast.
Cooking sage mellows it's aroma and flavor to a very appealing level. Although sage is available both fresh and dried, we really like using fresh. Dried sage has a stronger, more concentrated flavor that sometimes can be over powering.
A potted sage plant sitting on a patio, or next to a back door, can yield tons of leaves. Sage plants are tough and can withstand light frosts, making them available throughout the year. They need lots of sunlight and do best in a well draining potting soil. The more you harvest the leaves the more the plant will grow. Be sure and rinse them before use and dry with a kitchen towel. Keep it as dry as possible because moisture can make it deteriorate quickly.
When it comes to selecting a pot to plant sage into, terracotta is a favorite. The clay is meant to breathe and therefore is good for the herbs root system. However, any garden pot from ceramic, glazed, concrete, poly resin and fiberglass will all work fine. The larger the pot the larger the plant will grow. Eventually, it will fill the pot completely and become very hardy, so don't start out with a small tiny pot. Anticipate growth.
Finally, there are many different varieties of sageplants. The most popular is the standard culinary sage (officinalis) which has gray green leaves and fuzzy texture. But, there are lots of varieties that you can find a nurseries and garden centers. Berggarten, Holt's mammoth, woodcote farm and variegated.....just try them out. Each will look and taste a bit different. Make this a fun and relaxing project.
It's that time of year when the "jewels" of color are starting to show up.
You don't need a lot of space to get big color. By planting one of the trees listed below you are well on your way to achieving stunning color. Amber, scarlet and plums will all show up and be hard to overlook. Many of these types of trees fit perfectly into small gardens and are wonderful planted into large garden planters.
If you plant them now, these trees will develop a strong root system in the cool months and thrive when the weather warms.
When it comes to selecting the type of planters to use we have a few tips to share. Even though "Terracotta Clay" is lovely and makes a wonderful compliment to the bright colors of the trees, these are not our first recommendation. Terracotta is meant to breathe and there for will break down over time. This means if you plant a tree into a terracotta clay pot you will eventually have to re-pot it. Since it can only get bigger this could become a problem.
Ceramic pots or planters that are high fired would be a much better choice. These planters will never break down unless they are cracked or chipped. Then the water you use on the plants or trees will find that crack and get inside the clay and eventually erode it. You will also have a larger selection of colors, finishes and styles to choose from.
So, check out these tree suggestions below and let us know how they work for you.
Ginko: Unusual fan shaped leaves become glowing yellow in fall and linger a long time. When leaves finally drop, they do so almost all at once, creating a golden carpet atop lawns or paving.
These trees can reach quite tall but if planted in a garden pot it will stunt the growth of the tree and keep it on the smaller side. Place the tree in full sun and enjoy these lovely leaves.
Japanese Maple: Prized for their graceful shape, delicate leaves, and diminutive stature, these slow growing maples can reach 20 feet, but most of the popular varieties are less that half that size - perfect for containers in entryways and patios. They also are great for backdrops for ferns and azaleas, or under stores for oaks. All provide vibrant fall color, red leaved varieties that intensify, turning from red to scarlet.
Favorites for pots include lacy dissectum and burgundy red dragon.
When planting either of these trees above here are a few tips:
Plant in a pot with drain holes. Use a planter that is atleast 2 inches larger than the root ball of the tree. Use a well draining potting mix and water deeply after planting. Repot the tree every other year if necessary and feed with fertilizer according to package instructions.
Stack wooden crates for a storage base. Use small shipping crates because they are the ideal size for holding stacks of pots. Keep inexpensive pots on hand for when you have a project that requires one or you are in the mood to plant something. Just stack the crates on top of each other - 2 high - and then top with a piece of wood from the local lumber yard.
This is easy, portable, and no tools required.
Maximize space with an overhead pot rack. Whether you have a green thumb or are completely green at gardening, having all your must haves in one place let's you confidently accomplish any task. A wall rack that keeps supplies in an easily accessible spot. You can use it to dry flowers on and the pot hooks always come in handy.
Clip up a gallery of inspiration: To sidestep pottery block keep your ideas just a glance away with a photo gallery or flower arranging idea. Surround your space with images that speak to you, motivate you or just makes you happy. Picture of plants you like to pot someday or flowers you hope to buy all go on the clip boards. Plant combinations for planters are hard to create but easy to copy.
Hang essentials on a cup hook: A little whisk broom and gardening gloves are always on hand when you optimize the space underneath your work surface with cup hooks. This often over looked area offers a bonus: If your potting area is outdoors, the overhand keeps soft items from getting damaged by rain. The hooks are easy to install with no tools necessary. They just screw in.
Transport pots with a push: Say goodbye to lugging around planters thanks to your own clever assistant - a wooden glider. This rolling base can hold up to 88 lbs, letting you move the heaviest pots with your fingertips. Don't want to make one then try the "Pot lifter" we sell that can lift up to 200 lbs.