with Seasonal Color
Patio and Porch Containers
“You know you are a gardener when everything you see becomes a planter”
Tricks of the Trade By Donna Dorsey
- Always use good potting soil when planting pots. We like traditional MiracleGro, Bumper Crop Gold Coast & Miracle Gro Organic. The better potting soils don’t come in a bag by the pound. They would be measured in cubic feet. So if you are at a store and it has a 20 pound bag of potting soil don’t buy it unless you are going to amend it.
- Save money on potting soil and 1/3 of the pot with good, clean mulch from a bag. It costs less than potting soil & it is great for drainage.
- Annuals need constant fertilization. Which fertilizer do we recommend? For containers that you are planting use an organic based granular fertilizer when planting (Plant-tone). These are slow release so they last 6 to 8 weeks. In between you want to use a water soluble fertilizer (Miracle Gro) for a quick bump.
- I know you have probably heard this before but… You need a 5.00 hole for a 50 cent plant.
- Compost, compost, compost… We would love if you make your own but if you don’t we have a wonderful product called, Bumper Crop. It is a blend of compost, worm castings, lobster shells and loads of other good amendments. Bumper Crop is only sold at stores that are Master Garden Centers.
- Perennials do not need a lot of food if they are put in a spot that they would normally grow; for instance native perennials. If you are planting a plant that gets a little less sun than it should or a little more that is when a little granular fertilizer would help.
- You almost can’t over feed roses.
- The newer designer plants such as Calibrochoa, Verbena, Lobilia, Wave petunias (to name a few) need constant feeding especially in planters. Once a week.
- Begonias and Geraniums don’t like a lot of fertilizer.
- Wave petunias DO need to be dead headed if you want to keep them looking nice. When they get too out of control just take sheers and cut them back.
- Plant Pies, Shuttle Planters, Drop and Grow (to name a few) are awesome. All the plants have been picked out for you that work well together. All you have to do is plant them in a good potting soil and feed the heck out of them.
- I think of granular fertilizer as shampoo and water soluble as conditioner. You need granular fertilizer (shampoo) Plant-tone all the time but it’s nice to add water soluble fertilizer (conditioner) to give your plants a boost. My favorite for flowering plants is Miracle Gro Bloom Booster!
- If you are only going to use one fertilizer always stick with a granular. Granular fertilizers, especially organic, are working in the soil for up to six weeks. The problem with water soluble fertilizers is that they are only good if you use them.
- Are brand name plants worth the extra money? Yes they are. For instance Proven Winners and Monrovia spend an obscene amount of money testing new plants and improving older varieties.
- Did you know that many New Jersey greenhouses are using beneficial insects instead of pesticides? So when you purchase a plant and it has a little pouch in the middle you will now know that it was there to attract beneficial insects in the greenhouse. The beneficial insects eat the bad insects.
Goffle Brook Farms has a large and diverse selection of seasonal color containers for both the porch and patio available at our garden center.