The Pottery Post Blog

Contain your Garden


Containing your garden is easy and fun to do.  All you have to do is plant your live materials in pots.  Whether your containers are on a porch or patio, a balcony or rooftop, follow these guideline to get you growing!

Start with selecting a fantastic planter.  One that compliments your landscape design and takes into account the look and feel you want to project.  If you are planting on a rooftop or balcony - pay attention to the weight of the planter.  There are so many kinds of garden containers to consider that sometimes it can feel overwhelming.  Poly Resin, Concrete, Metal, Ceramic, Terracotta, Stone & Sandstone, to name a few. 

Purchase a good oil mix and add water saving gels.  Do not use soil from the ground in your yard.  Many times that soil is depleted and may contain infectious materials.  Try plants you think you can't grow.  Pay attention to special needs such as light exposure, soil conditions, and water requirements.  Use saucers to keep decks and patios clean.

Fill containers to about 2" from the rim with moistened soil mix, then scoop out individual planting holes.  Start with the tallest plant, then place mid level plants around it.  Tuck low growing and cascading plants around the edge of the pot.  After planting tamp down the soil, then water.  Mix annuals & perennials, even bulbs into the planting scheme.  Crowd the plants more closely in the container than you would in the garden for greater impact.

Group containers of various sizes and shapes.  Make sure one or two pots are larger than the others, or raise some up higher than the others.  Water at the rim of the pots so flowers and foliage don't get wet.  Feed plants  and then protect them with cold weather comes. 

There are more tips but these are the most important.  Just use some common sense and you will create stunning displays of color all season long!

Post Last Updated: 9/28/2023 2:07:30 PM 

Need A Reason To Eat Your Own Strawberries?

Ok, - over the last year we have explained how to grow berries of all types along with information about how to plant them and why using a "Strawberry Jar" is a great way to go.

Today lets talk about why you should take the time and effort to plant and grow your own berries.  The benefits are enormous and the effort is minimal.  Read more.....

Boost Mood!  Scent studies have found just the smell of potted strawberries raises energy and alertness by more than 20%

Live Longer!  Just like aspirin and ibuprofen, planted strawberries block an enzyme called COX from causing strokes and heart attacks - but without the side effects!

Look Great!  The fruit's filled with alpha hydroxy acid, the same ingredient in many skin products.  Eating a handful each day can help keep your skin soft and smooth, or benefit from the outside in by cutting a strawberry in half and rubbing it directly on your face; let sit for 3 minutes and then rinse.  It is so easy and handy when the pot sits right outside your kitchen door.

How about some Raspberries? 

Boost Mood!  Beat the blues and pep up with these juicy gems: They're packed with folic acid and other B vitamins, proven in studies to reduce depression and increase energy.

Live Longer!  Potted Raspberries contain almost 50% more immunity boosting antioxidants than strawberries, three times more than kiwis, and ten times more than tomatoes, according to new research from the Netherlands.

Look Great!  The anthocyanidins that give the planted raspberries their deep red color also strengthen collagen fibers and protect skin tissue, leading to a smoother, younger complexion.

So come on - try just one pot of berries and see what you discover!

Post Last Updated: 9/28/2023 2:07:58 PM 

Pet-Friendly Potted Plants


Many people simply love gardening and working with exotic plant materials.  We also love having pets like cats & dogs.  But, unfortunately they don't always mix and can cause animals to be sick if they snack on un-friendly plants.  Here are some good tips on mixing pets with plants.

Begin with research.  It's best to know well in advance if a plant is toxic to your pet.  An example can be "Azalea" bushes, which are so colorful and popular this time of year.  They can cause stomach pain and abdominal pain for pets.  Or, "water hemlock" which causes convulsions, seizures and even death.  But don't despair.  There are hundreds of plants like blue eyed daisies and Jasmine that are not only non-toxic but colorful and bright.  Yard and garden centers have experienced staff that can answer questions about your concerns, so don't hesitate to ask.

When you pot a plant, try to make sure that the fertilizer is below surface level so it doesn't come in contact with your pets paws.   Don't use chemicals in your water supply either since pets might drink from the standing saucer water.  We carry a faux stone that you can cover the top of the soil with that keeps pets from digging.  check it out here.....

Don't let your pets out if you don't have fence to keep them safe.  You don't want your pets digging in a neighbors yard and making themselves sick.  They shouldn't be "gardening" in a neighbors flower beds either.  Many pesticides a neighbor may use can be harmful to your animal so plan ahead and keep them safe, for their own protection.

Post Last Updated: 9/28/2023 2:08:21 PM 

Branching Out With Bonsai


Bonsai planting requires a commitment to careful watering, pruning, training and feeding.  It is basically the art of growing miniature trees in small containers.  As you can see from the photo above, we sell bonsai container that come with drain hole for great drainage and a saucer attached so that you won't have to worry about water run-off.

The whole idea with bonsai to create a mini form of nature in a pot.  Like small pine trees that twist and turn, rocks that look like boulders and a forest carpet made up of garden moss.

This process is truly an art form and can be a casual hobby or an extreme planting and nurturing adventure.

Finding a planter to start with is very easy to do at Arizona Pottery.  Many of the small bonsai planters we sell are found in our ceramic section.  Of course any small terracotta bowl or platter will work just as well.  Once you decide on the container you will use, you need to venture out to your local garden nursery center.  They have bonsai plants that have been trained, and trimmed to help get you started.  Always ask them for specific directions on planting, watering, etc of that particular plant before taking it home.

If you want to get an easy start to your bonsai experience we recommend that you start with succulent plants.  They come in bizarre shapes and are small and compact in size.  They are very easy to grow and have wonderful styles and colors.  The bonsai oval bowl shown here is stuffed full with succulents.

Small pines, junipers, and cypress that have twisted branches are really
fun to use.  They truly give the overall design a head start in creating an interesting and unique look.  The best advice we can give is to keep the planter in partial shade, water often and enjoy the experience.

Bonsai look difficult to grow but once you get your feet wet, we think it will become one of your most favorite things to do.

Post Last Updated: 9/28/2023 2:08:50 PM 

Growing Herbs? Here are some suggestions!

A fun and creative way to add flavor to your home cooked meals is to experiment with home grown potted herbs and spices.  For the freshest and fullest flavor, chop fresh planted herbs finely or grind fresh herbs with a mortar & pestle.  Use small amounts of dried herbs because they produce a more pungent flavor.  But why use store purchased dry herbs when fresh is so easy to grow!

BASIL:  Fish, lean lamb, lean ground meats, stews, salads, soups, sauces, fish cocktails and home made pizza.

Basil is easy to grow and fun to harvest.  Once it takes root it tends to take over your yard so placing it in a garden pot will help to contain the growth underground.

CHIVES & GARLIC:  Salads, sauces, soups, lean meats, chicken, turkey, vegetables like baked potatoes (yummy) pork, mushrooms, fish, tomatoes and all kinds of veggies.  Just eating garlic is healthy.  Use in pasta sauces for great flavor or as a base for any stir fry meal.

DILL:  Fish sauces, soups, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, cucumbers, potatoes, beets, macaroni, chicken and fish.  Using fresh dill in potato salad is fantastic.  It really adds a ton of flavor.

OREGANO:  Chicken, lean meatloaf, mushrooms, stuffing, potatoes, peas, lima beans, beef, lamb and pork.

SAGE & ROSEMARY:  Turkey, lean meats, chicken, stews, biscuits, tomatoes, green beans, fish, lima beans, onions.  Mild tasting with a strong smell but delicious.
Stuff a chicken with rosemary sprigs and baked in a hot oven.  The rosemary really adds a lot of flavor.  Remember to remove it from the birds cavity before serving.  Both sage and rosemary are hardy growing herbs and planting them in a decorative garden pot is easy to do.

THYME:  Lean meats, chicken, turkey, mushrooms, soups, onions, peas, tomatoes, salads.  Thyme is strong so a little goes a long way.  Potted thyme is not only tasty but beautiful, especially when potted in a lovely ceramic pot.

Post Last Updated: 9/28/2023 2:09:05 PM 

Grow Your Own Potted Salad

It's that time of year again when growing fruits and vegetables in garden pots is fun and easy to do.  Instead of buying the over priced bagged lettuce at the grocery store - try to grow your own.  You can purchase the seed packets at any local nursery or garden center.  Plant them, water them and in a couple of weeks harvest them.  It's a snap!

Growing lettuce in a garden planter is not only practical but lovely!  Many exotic lettuce seed packets are available now.  Don't settle for a plain simple variety, try some butterheads like "Dolly" or "Thom Thumb".  Loose leaf like "Lollo Rosso" and "Royal Oak Leaf" are easy to grow and stunning to look at.

You don't have to find a nice plot of soil to plant in - just take a colorful planter that compliments your landscape design and plant the lettuce and other garden items there.  Fill the container with potting mix no yard soil, sprinkle on the seeds, cover with more soil, water and let-er-rip!  In just a few days your salad bowl with sprout.

If you do plant in the grown and desire more that just a few meals worth of lettuce, sow them in rows.  Then every 3 weeks add a new row and you should have new growth to harvest until late Spring.  Be sure and protect the lettuce if the weather gets to warm.

When it's time to trim the leaves, make sure to leave an inch above the grown so that new leaves will sprout.  Snip outer leaves of head type as they grown and harvest whole heads when full size.

The main thing as always is to have fun and enjoy the process.

Post Last Updated: 9/28/2023 2:09:26 PM 

Garden Container Tips

Some advice on plant selection, soil, fertilizing and maintenance.

You may find that some container-grown shrubs come thru winter just fine, especially if they are in large planters with plenty of soil around their roots.  You don't want roots to sit against a cold frozen pot.  Some areas of the country are just to cold, so no matter how large the pot is nothing is going to help protect the root systems.  If you move your pots to a protected area away from winter wind exposure that really helps.

Of course the best thing to do is sink the plants into the ground in the fall.  The other thing is to move them into a sheltered location out of the wind and cold.  Be sure the roots are well watered before soil freezes and lay a layer of garden mulch around the planter to help protect it from the cold.

When it comes to fertilizer choices it is always best to read the manufacturers directions on the package.  Water soluble fertilizers last the least amount of time and need to be applied every two weeks or so.  Time released fertilizers feed up to a couple of months and some will even last the entire season.  When it comes to houseplants they should be fed during their growing season.  All plants should be fed while blooming.

If a plant has a short root system they really don't require large pots.  However you want to remember that the smaller the container the faster the soil will dry out and the more attention the plant will require.  If you can afford the space and price the best thing to do is go for the larger size of planter.  By starting with a larger planter than needed you will not have to re-plant the plant, bush or shrub as much.  Every time you re-pot a plant it is risky business.

Post Last Updated: 9/28/2023 2:09:45 PM 

Pots in Impossible Places


By using containers to garden in, you can plant almost anywhere!
Narrow walkways, ledges, and decks - houseboats, rooftop apartments and mobile homes all have their own unique considerations.

There are many places where growing plants, flowers or herbs just isn't reasonable or possible.  This is the perfect time to get creative when selecting a crop to grow and the container to grow them in

n all shapes and sizes it is easy to find the planter that will work good for you.  Because of the natural water source placement can pretty much be anywhere and if decks are narrow just use a rectangular planter that fits.

Perhaps you live in a downtown urban condo where soil and lawn does not exist.  If you use large enough containers you can plant trees or large bushes.  They can easily create the feeling of a garden setting by placing the contained trees in a spot to block the surrounding buildings.  Plants overflowing with colorful flowers are really beautiful in this type of harsh setting.  Just make sure your water souce is handy.

Narrow walkways are a common problem with today's developments.  Since space is a premium, the builders don't give you much room to work with when it comes to front door space.  Some homes have side entrances where it is almost impossible to grow plants or flowers.  If you use a rectangular planter box it helps to utilize most of these small space areas.

Mobile homes, beach houses and homes built among trees are all unusual situations that need special care.  Just take into consider the amount of weight the planter can hold - especially if you are on a deck.  Then figure out what you will use for water source so that you can locate the container as close to it as possible. 

Post Last Updated: 9/28/2023 2:10:07 PM 

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