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 

Smashing Succulents Potted



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With more and more frequent & severe droughts becoming the norm, more and more folks are looking for ways to save water and still keep a potted garden.  Buried jars called "ollas' help to seep water onto the plants roots, along with times drip systems.  Why not start with a plant that is drought tolerant and save half the battle.

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Succulents are hardy and know for being durable when it comes to watering needs and schedules.  They come in all shapes and interesting sizes, from soft fuzz to spiky spears.  They are easy to grow, easy to divide and easy to maintain.  Who doesn't like all of these things.

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Have you ever seen a bed of hens & chicks.  So colorful, and interesting.  In Arizona we love the prickly pear cactus with their big mickey mouse ear pads.  Many potted succulents come in reds, blue and purples.  Who doesn't love that touch of color in your garden containers?

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Potted succulents love poor soil, low water conditions and dry shade.  If you are in a humid climate you can still grow succulents but you must make sure that the garden container you use has excellent drainage. Otherwise the succulents roots will rot and the leaves and stems will attract fungus.  Make sure that there is good air circulation around the container as with any time of potted plant.

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Most garden centers have potting mix for succulents & cactus and we recommend starting with these first.  Try potting a focal point plant in the center of the container.  Yucca are great because they shoot up and out and are outstanding looking. Then place smaller succulents around the focal point and  fill in.  Try to keep frost tender assortments together and low growing ones with slow growing ones.

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If you are looking for an outstanding display place a tall dracena tower in the center of a large planter with trailing succulents around the edge.  This really makes a huge statement.  Mix variegated ones with herbs, flowering companions, and ornamental grasses.  Mix it up!

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potted succulents, succulents, succulent containers, pottery, pots



By
Post Last Updated: 6/20/2018 11:32:11 AM 

Potatoes in Flowerpots



 
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It may sound crazy but there is always space for potting up potatoes.  Whether you are in an apartment or condo, little house or big house.  Here are a few tips that may convenience you to give this a go.

A potted potato needs a soil depth of 2 feet to grow in so when selecting your garden planter keep this in mind.  Also, potatoes will rot if left to sit in wet soil so you must have good drainage.  If you don't  have enough drainage try to drill more no matter what type of planter you use.  You can drill around the sides also about 1" from the bottom to ensure the water is draining completely.

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Place the container you chose in a sunny spot before starting to plant.  Fill the planter with potting mix up to 5" from the top.  Not any deeper or it won't get enough sunlight and not higher or there won't be enough soil to cover it.

Press your potato about 6" into the potting mix with the potato eyes facing up.  Start with only one or two potato per pot or the soil will be sapped of nutrients too quickly.  Cover the potato with soil.

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Keep soil moist but avoid over watering, which will cause them to rot in the pot and produce watery potatoes. Water once a week except in extreme heat.  Then water more often.  After the plant grows a few inches tall, apply a fertilizer but don't over fertilize for you will produce fewer tubers. 

Harvest the baby potatoes from the container when you want. Once the flowers are gone the plants energy is invested in growing the tubers.  As the plant yellows dig up a few tubers and see what you think.  If you wait till the plant dies back you will get the  mature tubers.

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Once you harvest all the potatoes dispose of the potting mix and expired plants.  All soil nutrients are gone and may container disease.  Wash the potted potatoes and allow to dry.  Store properly.
Bon Appetite!

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potatoe in pots, potted potato, container potato, potato in planters



By
Post Last Updated: 6/20/2018 10:34:33 AM 

Maintaining A Potted Garden



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Here are a few easy tips on how to maintain your potted garden.

Even though choosing to pot up your plants, trees & flowers is physically easy taking care of them properly take certain actions.  You must be vigilance when it comes to grooming, watering & fertilizing

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Grooming tips - Keep floral dead flowers removed.  It not only makes the plant look better but it encourages them to flower again.  If the foliage looks like it is growing out of shape or off on one side, cut back the branches so they look better and not knarly.  Use small scissors to keep any topiary looking trimmed and leaves & stems from poking out.

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Watering Schedule -  When it comes to when and how long to water your potted garden it really depends on the weather conditions you find yourself experiencing.  If it's really hot outside you need to water every day.  Soak the potting soil till completely moist and water comes out the drain hole of the planter.  If it's cooler weather you should water every other day or so depending on the weather.  Light colored containers hold water longer.  Terracotta is porous so it seeps out faster and needs to be watered more often.  A poly resin planter holds water longer.

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Fertilizing -  It's always easiest to water your garden containers at the same time you water.  When it's warmer and your plants are blooming, fertilize when you water the plants every two weeks or so.  As the weather cools use less fertilizer.  Remember that the potting mix starts out with fertilizer already in it but that will run out eventually, depending on how much you water, how large the pot etc....

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Knowing when and how to take care of your potted garden makes the job so much easier and enjoyable.  As the garden season ends you may have to move some planters to a shed or garage for protection.  Cut down the plants that require it and understand that when the season is over for some annuals it's over and all you can do is take them out of the pots and compost them.  Store you garden containers indoors till next Spring when you can bring them out, wash them and plant again.

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Good Luck,

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potted gardens, garden containers, garden pottery, planters, pots



By
Post Last Updated: 6/20/2018 9:28:25 AM 

Garden Chores for March



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What to do in the garden in the month of March

Spring is coming March 20th and it is long overdue.  It has been months of cold and dark and people are tired of this weather.  Here are some tips to start to consider to give you something to look for.

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Potted Snapdragons, marigolds, petunias, violas, and dianthus can handle cool days.  This means you will find them at your local garden center.  You can pot them up now with success.  Veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, potatoes, kale and onions will also do fine.  Wait for warm days for impatiens, basil and tomatoes to pot up.

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Potted vines offer vertical solutions for color, fragrance and shade on patio walls, and garden fences.  They look lovely when draped over the side of most planters to add a new dimension. Good choices are jasmine, honeysuckle and cross vines.  They are colorful and very fragrant.

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Now is the time to shop for roses to plant in our garden containers.  When placed on a patio or porch they offer stunning beauty and wonderful scents.  You can find bare root selections now.  By planting them early you encourage good root development.  Be sure and add organic matter in the soil to help with drainage and improve fertility.

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Lastly, if you have potted up some cool season grasses in your garden planters to get you thru the winter months, now is the time to fertilize those planters to help promote grow thru the warmer months ahead.  Bluegrass, ryegrass and others all love the types of fertilizers that are made for their particular types.

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potted planters, garden containers, pots, planters, pottery, home and garden, planter pots, gardening



By
Post Last Updated: 2/28/2018 2:38:45 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 

How to care for poinsettias after Christmas



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During the festive holiday season many will purchase potted poinsettias from there local garden center or nursery as a holiday decoration.  If you host a festivity at your house you may receive the potted poinsettia as a hostess gift. Either way we want to provide some tips that may help you to make that plant rebloom next Christmas.

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Basically, Poinsettias are easy to grow and maintain.  However if you want them to bloom into a second season it will take some effort but is not impossible.  Start by thinking them of a basic houseplant instead of a Christmas only plant.

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Start by placing the garden planter in a area with bright light, water slightly and feed with fertilizer according to the label directions.  Unfortunately the leave or flower petals will fade and fall off.  At this point cut the stems to just below the flowers and let them continue to grow.

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Come next Spring, when the temps are consistently about 50 degrees. place the potted poinsettias outside where they can get bright sunlight.  They will grow but will remain green all summer long.  Prune back the plants to one third in midsummer and repot them in a slightly larger pot.  Use new potting soil and feed with fertilizer during this growing time.

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At the end of summer, bring the pots indoors when temps start dropping below that 50 degree mark.  From Sept thru Oct the plants need 15 hrs a day of uninterrupted darkness and 65 degree temps.  This is the secret to triggering new flowers and for the leaves to change color.

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Every day at 5 pm you need to cover the plants.  Uncover them at 8 in the morning.  Absolutely no light can penetrate the darkness.  Place a box over them if you must.  In a spare room no light can come in thru a door or window crack.

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If you successfully carry out this darkness routine by early November the plant will develop the red color and you can end the daily darkness and move the plant into indirect light to grow.  

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potted poinsettia  rebloom poinsettia poinsettia tips garden tips potting tips planters pots terracotta



By
Post Last Updated: 12/12/2017 3:11:46 PM 

Potted Bay Leaf Plants



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There are all kinds of plant materials that can be potted and placed on your porch or patio areas.  In this post we would like to focus on Bay Leaf or Bay Laurel plants.

If you have ever followed a receipt for a hearty stew or soup you will see them tell you to add a large bay leaf.  It adds a robust flavor and unique seasoning.  So lets' talk about the basics of potting the plant up and growing these beautiful leaves.

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Start by selecting a large garden container. Even thought it's a slow growing plant it can reach heights of 59 feet if all conditions are right.  Of course a container potted plant will not get this high but keep it pruned to around 6 feet tall.  Not only will it be more appealing but you can move the pot into the garage or shed when the weather gets colder.

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Make sure the planter has a drain hole.  Bay leaf plants are tolerant to most soil types but they will not tolerate soil that doesn't drain well.  The plant grows best in full sun to partial shade so place the selected pot where you want it before you pot the plant.

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Bay leaf plants have small yellow flowers in spring which turn into berries in the fall.  They are lush with leaves a green green with a yellow vein. Flat broad leaves help to fill in the planter so you will have a great addition to your landscape or patio area.

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There are many uses for bay leaves, hole, or crushed like poultices and aromatherapy.  You can look them up online.  They can even be used in wreaths and head crowns for athletes and rules of the past.

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potted bay leaf, bay leaf potted plants,  plants potted, planters, pottery, home and garden planters, pots



By
Post Last Updated: 11/29/2017 3:16:08 PM 

Indoor Garden Tips



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Decorating the inside of your home with potted plants is just as important as decorating your patio, porch or patio areas.  There are so many fun pottery pieces to try to put together and many of the benefit are not only appearance but function issues.

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The best place to start is to decide on the type of houseplant you want to grow and pot.  Then researching on line or talking with the customer service reps at your local nursery.  You need to know a number of things.  What kind of light, water, etc your potted plant is going to need.  How large of a decorative garden container you will need to transplant it into and many other factors.  Once you get this information on the type of potted plant that you think will meet your need you can then move on to selecting a planter.

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Choosing a garden planter for a potted houseplant you just purchased from the local nursery is probably the most fun part of this process.  Because the container will be indoors you can go with all kinds of materials, color and sizes.

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Terra-cotta pots are always a good choice because the clay breathes and is considered healthy for a plants root systems.  However you will need to put a waterproof saucer underneath to catch any water overflow while watering.  A glazed colorful decorative planter is always fun since there are so many colors and styles to choose from. This is the time to match your planter to your interior decorating with complimentary colors and textures.

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Make sure that any container you select has a drain hole so the plants roots are not sitting in standing water. This will cause them to rot which results in one dead potted houseplant. If you can find a glazed pot without a drain hole you can drop the nursery pot into the decorative container and that planter will act like a saucer and catch the water instead. Then you won't need a saucer.

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Lastly, make sure you know where to place the indoor garden planter.  That depends on how much sunlight it needs, can it handle being close to a heat register, should you place it by a window that may have a breeze coming thru it.  All of these details will help with the health your potted houseplants will have.  So, have fun using houseplants to decorate your home with.  With a bit of planning you can much success for many years. 

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houseplants, potted plants, potted houseplants, indoor houseplants, pots, planters, garden containers



By
Post Last Updated: 11/14/2017 1:51:06 PM 

Grow Okra In Pots



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Every time we see something unusual and fun to plant and grow in a garden planters we have to share it with you.  Today it's how to grow Okra in a flowerpot.  It doesn't require a lot of space and is considered easy to grow and if you have ever eaten fried okra you will know why this is a great idea.

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Okra in general is a warm season vegetable.  It has delicate leaves and showy bloom that look beautiful. If you are growing for a decorative purpose or to eat they are easy to pot and place on a patio or porch area.  

When choosing a pot make sure of a couple of things.  Don't go any smaller than a 12" deep pot.  You want to make sure that there is room for the roots but not so over sized the plant is dwarfed.  You can pretty much choose any material as long as the pot has a drain hole.  These plants love heat so a dark poly resin or concrete planter is great but glazed or terracotta will both work.

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If you can't find a starter plant at the local nursery you will have to go with seeds.  Ask for the dwarf variety so it doesn't grow over 5 feet tall.  Plant on potting the seeds when the temperature stays above 60 degrees.  Spring is the best time of year and the frost season has passed.  Follow the seed packet instructions.

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Place the pot where it can get as much full sun as possible.  Use a potting mix that is crumbly and rich in organic matter.  Water regularly cause potted okra likes moist soil.  Fertilize on a reg basis with a low nitrogen fertilizer.  Watch for pests and remove them if they show up.  When it comes to harvesting, do it on a frequent basis.  It blooms in approx 2 monts and fruit appears 5 days after flowering.  Pods are harvested when still tender, otherwise they become to hard to eat.  Look for them to be 3 to 5 inches in length.

That's it.  Have fun experimenting with unusual plants like Okra!
  
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potted okra, how to pot okra, grow okra in a pot, okra potted, 



By
Post Last Updated: 10/25/2017 11:25:22 AM 



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