Tips for Spring Planting: Container Plants

By Mike McGroarty

More spring planting tips . . .

Container grown plants are much easier. Follow the rules for depth of planting as described in the previous article. Before gently removing the plant from the container check the drain holes in the bottom of the container for roots that might be growing out the holes. If so cut them off so they will not make it difficult to get the plant out of the container.

The easiest way to remove the plant from the container is to place your hand over the top of the container and turn it completely upside down and give it a gentle shake. The plant should slide right into your hand.

Examine the root mass as you hold it in your hand. Sometimes when plants have been growing in a container for a long time the roots start to grow in a circular pattern around the root mass. This is not good, and you should disturb these roots before planting so you can break this circular pattern. You can take a knife and actually make about three vertical slices from the top of the root mass to the bottom. This will stimulate new roots that will grow outward into the soil of your garden. Or you can just take your fingers and loosen the roots that are circling the root mass and force them outward before you plant them.

What about fertilizer, bone meal, peat moss, and all those other additives they are going to try and sell you at the garden center?

Raise your planting beds with good rich topsoil and forget about the additives. Be very careful with fertilizers, they can do more harm than good. I landscaped my house 14 years ago and I haven’t got around to fertilizing the plants yet, and have no intention of doing so. They look great.

As far as bone meal and all those other soil additives are concerned, don’t get too caught up in all that stuff. The only thing that I know for sure is that they will make your wallet thinner, but I don’t think you’ll see a difference in your plants. Over the years I’ve landscaped several hundred homes with fantastic results, and I never added any of these additives to my planting beds.

Did I mention planting in good rich topsoil?  That’s the secret!

Michael J. McGroarty is the author of this article. Visit his most interesting website, http://www.freeplants.com and sign up for his excellent gardening newsletter.  Article provided by http://gardening-articles.com.

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