The Pottery Post Blog
 

Beautiful Container Tips



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When you think of a summer patio, porch or garden area what do you imagine?  Furniture, water feature and of course large garden containers filled with flowers & sweet smelling plants.  In this post we would like to share a few tips we hope that you haven't thought of and find helpful.

Every year you notice that by mid summer your garden containers are looking a bit worn, tired and faded.  When the temps keep climbing your planters keep shriveling and you wonder what can you do.  Here are a few tips we think are good.

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1.  Pick a perfect pot for your plants and flowers.  Make sure you start with a container that is not too small.  If the pot is to small it will crowd the potted plants roots and the plant will suffer.  The roots of a healthy plant need room to grow, availability to water and nutrients from the potting mix.  Containers to large will hold moisture leading to rotting roots, lack of oxygen and basically drowning.  Fungus loves moist areas and this is not good for your flowers or plants.

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2.  Have a plan in advance.  A garden center can be like a toy store for adults.  You want to get everything you see from colorful flowers to garden containers.  Impulse buying isn't always the best way to go.  Choose plants that are good for your area.  Make sure you place the planters in the best conditions for that type of plants needs for light and climate, direct sun or shade.  Mix up the container with plants of different heights and blooming schedules so the planter stays fresh longer and has a interesting look.

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3.  Start with good potting mix. We can't stress this enough.  Never use ground dirt. It doesn't have the nutrient rich properties your flowers will need.  Get a moisture retaining plant mix during summer to help with the heat and drying out of soil.  Add fertilizer to the mix and keep it loose and crumbly.  You don't want compact, hard dirt that the plants roots will struggle to get thru.  Fill your pottery with loose, healthy soil.

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4.  Keep your garden containers groomed.  It's not just because the pottery will look better but it's healthier for your plants and flowers to keep them dead headed and cleaned up.  Who wants a dead stem or branch hanging on sucking up nutrients, and moisture.  Keep them free of infestation of bugs that are attracted to damaged leaves, stems and petals.

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Honestly it doesn't take much to keep your garden planters looking lovely all summer long.

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container tips, garden container, tips for garden containers, pottery



By
Post Last Updated: 6/26/2018 2:31:17 PM 

3 Reasons Your Containers Might Fail



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3 main reasons why your container plants fail.  Sounds pretty basic so lets dig right in.  There are not a lot of reasons why a potted planter may being to show signs of stress.  Often it has to do with the plants and what is going on under the soil.  Here are a few reasons to help eliminate guessing.

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1.  Vine Weevils - Grubs can come on sudden and destroy a potted plant arrangement in no time if you don't catch them early.  Even though they don't fly they can grip to most plant surfaces and can easily crawl across walls and ceilings. Then they lay eggs in the soil.  They can come in a nursery planter so check carefully before potting up the plants you bring home.  Once the eggs hatch they burrow into the soil and feed on the roots.  Obviously the plant can't take much of that and will stress out leading to death.

The best thing to do is egg shells to the soil mix. Their sharp edges discourage them greatly.  Adults can be picked off the plants.  You can then add parasite nematodes to the soil to control the larvae.

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2.  Poor Drainage - This is a obvious one.  If your garden container doesn't have proper drain holes or if those holes get blocked with soil the planter becomes waterlogged and the wet soil will suffocate plant root system.  Once the roots dye, top growth will collapse and your plant can die overnight.  You want damp not wet soil that drains well.

Here it's best to start with broken pot shards covering the drain hole. This let's the water drain but keeps the soil from plugging up the planters drain hole.  If using a saucer keep the saucer empty once the pot has fully drained.  Don't let the planter sit in standing water.

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3.  Starvation - Nobody thinks about your plant starving especially if you use new potting mix.  When you water your plants, the water will leech out the soil nutrients eventually leaving your healthy plants sitting in nutrient depleted soil.  Because your plants are contained and can't search for nutrients they will eventually collapse and die.

Here is where fertilizer comes into play.  No matter how good your potting soil is, your garden containers will need regular fertilizer treatments.  Try to use a good organic fertilizer and follow instructions well.  Over fertilizing can burn your plants roots and also cause stress.

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contained planters, garden pottery, garden planters, container tips, garden containers, planters, pottery, pots



By
Post Last Updated: 1/17/2018 12:28:26 PM 

Thriller, Spiller & Filler Garden Planters



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You just hit the local nursery and you now find yourself at home staring at some plants, soil and a garden planter. Now what to do to assure you have the best display in your container?

Start with the basics.  Make sure you garden planter has a drain hole. If it doesn't you will need to have the pot drilled.  Don't skip this set but it's really important that water drain off and not sit in the bottom of the pottery.  Next make sure you have some good potting soil. This really is important. You don't want to use soil from the ground. This simply will not be a healthy start to your new plants and it will inhibit the growth

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Now design.  Well here is the big tip - Make sure you have a thriller, spiller and filler.  Sounds simple enough right!  The thriller is the main, eye catching plant.  It usually has some height to it like a grass or spiky plant.  You want it shooting out of the garden planter and looking dramatic.

Now what is a spiller? Well this is the plant that will drape down the side of the garden planter or yard container. Like a vinica, or ivy.  It will spill out over the top of the planter and add interest and depth. You don't not want all your flowering plants and grasses to be just on the top layer.  Add some length and another level.

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Lastly is the filler.  These are the colorful flowers you want to plant that will fill out the pot and give it a dome shape.  Geraniums are a great choice along with marigolds and verbenas.  They last, have lots of color and will fill out your garden planter beautifully.

Once you make sure you have all 3 pieces of the container puzzle it's really easy to do.  Plant the thriller in the center of the pot.  The fillers around the middle pot and the spillers around the outer edge of the container.  As they grow they will blend beautifully and give you the more stunning flower pot display.  

Place on a patio, porch or in a garden area where it can be admired for many months.  Good luck!
 
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filler, spiller, thriller, garden planters, pottery, pots, containers, gardens



By
Post Last Updated: 6/27/2017 11:52:32 AM 

Summer Veggies in Pots!



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If you have a sunny space on your patio or deck, you have enough room to grow summer veggies.
 
 31356-Summer-Veg-In-Pots-EggplantContainers:  Large sizes ranging from 18" to 24" provide plenty of room for roots and don't dry out as quickly as small containers.  That translates into healthier plants that yield more produce.  Terracotta, poly resin, glaze or high fired pottery all work well.  You must have good drainage so think about a saucer with your container for indoor use or pot feet for your container outside.

The saucer should be large enough to hold any run off that may occur while watering.  The rule of thumb is the saucer should sit on the top opening of the pot and look like a lid.

Because many pots are tapered in style, you can go with a smaller saucer if you prefer that look.  However, don't go so small that the saucer defeats it's purpose.  Our pot feet can be used to support a container or saucer off the decks surface to make cleaning easier and keeps water from pooling under the pot, causing deck stains.
 
 31358-Herbs-In-PotPremium potting mix is preferred.  Press soil firmly around each veggie plant and when finished should be 1" below the containers rim.  Water as often as needed to keep soil moist.  You can plant 10 to 20 beans, 3 egg plants or peppers or two cucumbers in a single large container.  Fill the edges with edible companions like basil.
 


By
Post Last Updated: 12/8/2016 10:42:16 AM 

Evaporate Stress with Potted Tropicals



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Just looking at colorful, potted greenery is proven to tame tension, boost mood and ward off colds!  Here are 3 easy-care varieties.
 
 31126-BromeliadBromeliad:  With lush evergreen foliage and huge colorful blossoms that will last two to three months, exotic bromeliads make an instant statement.

The potted plants thrive in bright, indirect light and can withstand temperature fluctuations, making them ideal near a north or east facing window or french doors.

A yellowish tinge means your bromeliad is getting too much sunlight.  Another plus is they need very little water and take in moisture through their leaves.  Just mist them with a spray bottle once or twice a week rather than watering their roots. 

Since the plants are color colorful when in bloom you don't need to plant them in a bright container.  Use earthy terracotta clay or Vietnamese imported black clay pots and create a truly beautiful arrangement with lots of contrasts.
 
 31127-AnthuriumAnthuriums can tolerate lower light they still need a lot of bright, indirect sunlight to grow more flowers.  To ensure plentiful year-round blooms, place the decorative potted plants in a northern or eastern window, or curtained southern window in a slightly warmer room like the kitchen.

Aim to keep them moist because you never want them to completely dry out.  Water the potted plants once or twice a week or more often if the leaf tips brown or dry out.

Use a colorful container to add depth to the mostly green plants.
 
 31128-Peace-LilyPeace lilies thrive in lower light even florescent light is enough.  Try placing one in a bathroom where the humidity is ideal for the moisture loving potted plants.

The soil should dry out only slightly between watering, and they will remove chemical vapors like acetone and alcohol from the air in the room.

If your bathroom has no natural light, rotate the potted lily out once a month and place it across from a curtained north or east facing window for about a week to get the fullest year round blooms.

Use a indoor
ceramic container with this plant.  Make sure if there is a drain hole in the bottom that you have a saucer to catch water run-off.
 
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By
Post Last Updated: 12/8/2016 11:41:03 AM 

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.
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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.

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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.

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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.


By
Post Last Updated: 1/5/2017 9:48:12 AM 



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