Annual planting is always something to look forward to, but sometimes it can be challenging to figure out where to start. Container gardens are one popular choice for many with a green thumb, and they offer a more customizable and personal way of planting. So, here are some tips on annual planting (with container gardens in mind specifically).
Plant in Layers
Try adding a tall, bushy-looking plant, something medium-sized, and then trailers to give that garden a full and well-layered look. This is also great for annual plantings that require specific amounts of sunlight, as you can work the container planting setup to your advantage by ensuring each type of plant gets the right amount of sun and shade needed. Of course, your layouts and layers will vary greatly between which seasons you are planting.
Annual crops such as fruits and vegetables require extra care, as do a few select more sensitive species of flower. To keep them in excellent health, be sure to fertilize your container garden regularly. There are slow-release varieties available for use at a great value but try adding some liquid fertilizer (just a few drops will do) each time you water. This will give your container garden that extra boost, helping your plants thrive for longer than without.
Try Removing Faded Blooms
Annual blooms and perennials tend to be outshone by ones that are faded, old, and withered. Removing these blooms, known as deadheading, helps to encourage new blooms to grow in their place. Larger species can simply have the flower heads clipped away, while tinier plants need to be shorn back by about 1/3. This helps to ensure that your garden is lively and well not just this season, but the next! Alternatively, you can also try replacing old plants with one or two new specimens to extend the life of your container garden.
Save What You Can Before Winter
While we don’t want to think about it just yet, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for next year’s plantings. Upon the first hard frost, throw your dead annual plants into a compost pile and empty the containers, and be sure to take delicate containers such as ceramics and terra-cotta ones indoors out of the cold. What you can do instead of saying goodbye to your entire garden is to save any perennials or roses you still have growing in containers and plant them directly in your garden. They’re hardier and will happily return in the warm weather.
Annual planting doesn’t have to feel like a chore, especially when it comes to container gardens! With these tips in mind, you too can take advantage of a great long-term growing solution that will always provide you with happy, healthy, and beautiful plants.