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Tip of the Week: Choosing and Using Pots

As you plan your containers for 2009, remember these tips about choosing pots and container gardening.

As you plan your containers for 2009, remember these tips about choosing pots and container gardening:

  • A pot with a flared top allows the plant to be repotted more easily.
  • A larger pot helps protect the plant’s roots from high and low temperatures.
  • A clay pot “breathes,” allowing more air to the plant’s roots.
  • Soil-based potting mix is best for long-term planting.
  • Plenty of pot shards or gravel in the base maintains good drainage.
  • A mulch on top of the soil helps it retain water.
  • Raising the pot off the ground, such as with pot feet, aids drainage and prevents waterlogging.
  • Pots in groups look best if they are all similar in design and construction.
  • Traditional settings demand classic, quality pots, while contemporary minimalist gardens can accommodate sculptural containers with simple lines and those made of innovative materials. Rustic gardens require natural-looking containers sympathetic to their environment.
  • A plant can stay in the same pot for many years but will need annual feeding with a slow- or controlled-release fertilizer. Scraping off and replacing the top few inches of potting mix also helps to keep older plants growing happily.

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