The Pottery Post Blog

February 2014 Checklist

February is in full bloom now and here are a few suggestions on what to do around the yard and garden area, with your potted and un-potted plants.

Tomato's in pots are easy and fun to do but if frost is predicted, cover the potted plants with frost cloth, burlap or sheets to help protect them.  Tomato plants need an early spring start to grow, so develop the roots, flower and set fruit before summer's intense heat.  Varieties that produce medium size fruits are more likely to develop mature fruit without cracking than those with big beefsteak fruit.  Make sure you have large enough plant containers and that each pot has a drain hole for good drainage.  You don't want standing water to sit in the bottom of the pot or the roots of the plants with rot.

Monitor weather and if frost is predicted, cover flowers, vegetable and potted citrus.  Fertilize the planters if you didn't do it last month, and feed with one third of the nitrogen required.  Continue to monitor and fertilize citrus, & roses.  Control Aphids to prevent populations of these tiny pests from getting out of control.  Fruit sweetens the longer it stays on the tree, so let it hang as long as possible.  Many varieties can be harvested thru May.

Pull weeks to prevent them from taking over your garden planters.  When the wind picks them up and they land on top of fresh pot soil, they will grow hardy and can become quite the pest.  If you stay on top of this the weeds will eventually migrate elsewhere and not come back as often.  If you haven't planted Aloe, then now is the time.

It is easy to propagate.  Dig up overgrown clumps and gently separate entwined root systems into fresh potting soil.  Make sure the pot you select is large enough for it to root and grow in for at least one season before you divide it again
Read more.....Now that I planted it, what do I do?
Read more.....Pot's and winter cold.

Post Last Updated: 12/21/2016 1:04:01 PM 

Keep Your Potted Garden Healthy

Learn how to eliminate plant disease in your garden pottery and how to manage the conditions that can cause them. 5 great tips.
 16166-Clean-Pots-Arizona-Pottery1.  You need to start with the plants you purchase from your local nursery or landscape center.  Read in garden books the many ways to spot troubles before you take them home.  Always check the top of plants and inspect for root quality.  The soil should not be pulling away from the outside of the planter or look dried out.  This can mean the roots are bound up and not healthy.  Dark or musty roots sticking out the bottom are not a good sign either.  Make sure the garden planter you are going to use at home has been cleaned and dried out completely.
2.  Keep an eye out for bugs.  Viruses and bacteria can only enter a plant thru some sort of opening and bug damage provides that.  Aphids are on of the most common carriers.  Use good compost yard waster or purchase a good potting soil.  Thorough composting generates high temps for extended lengths of time, which actually kill any pathogens in the soils.  If you are not sure of the conditions of the compost pile avoid using it.
 16167-Trim-Pots-Arizona-Pottery3.  It is best to clean out your garden pots every fall, even if you live in a mild climate.  This is not only an effective deterrent to disease but also a good way to control it.  Disease can last on dead leaves and debris and attack the new leaves as they emerge in spring.  If you are leaving stems and foliage to create winter interest be sure and remove them before new growth starts
4.  Make sure you use the correct fertilizer.  You need to take care since too much of any fertilizer can burn roots, reducing their ability to absorb water.  Pruning damaged limbs at the right time is very important.  Trimming potted trees and shrubs in late winter is better than waiting until spring.  Wounded limbs can become infected over winter allowing disease to become established.  Always use sharp clean tools to make clean cuts that heal rapidly.

 16168-Root-Bound-Arizona-Pottery5.  Plant disease resistent varieties - they can fight off the disease instead of succumbing to it.  Nursery employees can help you identify the best varieties.  Don't crowd the pots.  Take care when spacing the plants and keep an eye on them. Crowded pots create their own humidity which allows disease like mildew to thrive.  Improving airflow around your plants reduces this problem and is healthier for the roots sytems.
Read more.....Planting a potted rock garden.

Post Last Updated: 12/21/2016 2:44:22 PM 

How To Clean Garden Pottery!

 13125 Title

Terracotta pots offer a beautiful and natural home for all kinds of plants both indoors and out.  The face that they breath offers many advantage for growing strong and healthy plants.  Since the can absorb water, they also absorb the minerals and salts from the soil and any chemicals in the fertilizers used.  If they are not cleaned at the end of each season those chemicals will rot the pot and eat away at the clay.  Overtime the pots will fall apart.  The pots can also develop a fungus that can rot the plant materials that are placed in them.


These simple steps will prolong the life of your clay pots and help to keep your plantings lush and healthy.

Remove all old plant materials and as much soil as possible.  If there is any wet soil clinging to the sides, let it dry and then remove that also.  Use a scrubber brush of some kind to help brush away all the build up on the inside and outside of the clay pots.  The photo shows a super brush that is shaped for pot cleaning and is available at most home and garden center.  If still showing some residue you can fill a large pot or bucket with warm soapy water and soak the pots for a period of time, checking every hour or so.  Rinse the pots with clear water and let dry completely.


Sometimes salts can stick to the sides.  We heard you can make a paste out of baking soda and water.  Spread it over the buildup and use a soft brush to scrub it away.  Then rinse in clear water and let dry.  If you want to go one more step, we suggest sanitizing the pots.  Fill a garden bucket with 10 parts water and 1 part bleach.  Let the container soak for 30 mins.  Drain it again and allow to dry.  This final step will help with growing fungus.


These are simple steps that make a huge difference.  Once the garden pots are clean and dried completely, you can stack and store them for winter.  If you leave them outside they could crack or break from the freezing temperatures.

Read more.....5 Tips for success with tabletop containers.
Read more.....A garden of reading.

Post Last Updated: 12/29/2016 3:34:13 PM 

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