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Bartlett's Garden Guru Says...

Ready to plant your Spring containers and windowboxes? How about a refresher course in container gardening. When choosing containers, make sure they have drainage. Remember that terra cotta dries out quicker than glazed clay, plastic, or fibercast. The larger the pot, usually the healthier the plant - larger pots have more soil and retain water better, offer more room for roots, and better air circulation around plants.

Next, replace the soil in your windowboxes and containers. We use and recommend Fafard Organic Potting Mix. It is a light mix, suitable for windowboxes, containers, as well as herb containers, and strawberry jars.

Plant selection is a combination of plant needs, style and budget. Plant combinations should have similar water and sun requirements. Style is in the eye of the beholder. A single crop planter can have as much impact as an exotic mixed planter. Proven Winners web site has a helpful section on plant combination ideas. We are all watching our pennies these days, but we can still have beautiful plants. When selecting plants for containers, consider plants that spread vigorously, like Supertunias.

Container maintenance is the difference between nice planters and beautiful planters. Windowboxes and containers need to be watered and fed on a regular basis. In Spring temperatures are usually cooler and therefore containers require less watering. As we move into Summer, the plants in the containers have grown, temperatures are climbing, and containers require more watering. In the high heat of August containers may require twice a day watering, especially small containers. Be prepared to water.

Now for fertilizing, when planting include a granular fertilizer such as Espoma Plant Tone, then in early summer start change to a water soluble fertilizer such as Neptune's Fish and Seaweed every 10 days.

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What's new?

New from the Greenhouse, and perfect for containers, Geum cocccinea - an adorable, well behaved, bright orange perennial, 6" - 12",

Geum Coccinea

Aquilegia, delicate but hardy perennial - perfectly sized for containers 12"-16",

Aquilegia

And everyone's favorite, Ranunculus

ranunculus

FYI

Perennials are an economical addition to windowboxes and containers, you enjoy them for their first season in a container, then enjoy them in the garden thereafter.

Question & Answer......................

Q. When planting containers, how much room do I leave from the top to prevent the water from spilling everywhere?

A. For large pots you should leave at least 1 1/2" inches from the top, for windowboxes and smaller pots 1" is plenty to keep the water and the soil in the pot.

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Nantucket, Massachusetts 02554
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