Helpful Gardening Tips

Compliments of K Drive Greenhouse Co.

Container Gardening

Consider the following before creating a container garden. For the novice planter, perhaps a good first step is knowing where you are going to place the container. Is it going to be in the sun, in the shade or a combination of sun and shade? NOTE: Vegetables require sun.
Once you have that established, ask yourself:
1) What type of plants are best suited for the spot you have chosen?
2) If this is a flower garden, what are your preferences?
3) Are you a gardener that will enjoy daily deadheading, or do you want something that requires a little less maintenance.
Acquaint yourself with the mature size of your selection(s) – that will ensure you have chosen the right size pots or planter. (If your plants are not spaced correctly they will not thrive.)

Following are some steps that will help you obtain season-long enjoyment:

1. You’ve selected your plants and planter and are ready to plant, now, be sure the planter has proper drainage. If excess water cannot escape, plants will drown. For a pot that has no drainage you can layer 2 to 2 ½ inches of pea gravel or small stones in the bottom to afford some drainage, but a better choice is to drill holes in the bottom of the pot.
2. If using pots from a prior season, make sure you use fresh soil and clean the pots before planting.
3. When using very large pots, place each pot where you intend to keep it prior to filling it with soil as moving heavy pots can be quite difficult.
4. If working with small, lightweight pots or tall plants, place some rocks or other weight in the bottom of the pot to help anchor it on windy days.

Once those conditions have been met, you are ready to plant:

1. If you are using seeds, please read and follow the directions on the back of your packet prior to planting.
2. If using life plants, prior to placing them in your pot or planter, remove each plant gently from the pot it was grown in and gently loosen the bottom of the root ball, and then place it in an appropriately size hole, back-filling and gently packing down with the soil in your planter. Continue this process until your planter is full
3. Water the plants thoroughly and mulch if required.

Now that you’ve successfully planted, remember you must also:

1. Make sure you are watering correctly for the plants you have selected. Some plants like dry soil and some like moist. Overwatering is just as harmful to plants as no water at all!
2. Protect your plants on cold days or nights. Container plants are mostly annuals and do not like temperatures below 40 degrees or frost.
3. Plants need food. There are many different products available. K Drive Greenhouse stocks fertilizers, and our staff is always ready to help determine what’s best for your plants.

Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets are container gardens in their own right – but they come with special properties and special needs!
Hanging baskets dry out quickly … because,
• There is a lot of plant material in a relatively small amount of soil.
• The baskets are exposed to the elements…hot sun, wind, rain, etc.

K Drive Greenhouse has made caring for your hanging plants extremely easy. Each plant comes with a color-coded tag. The tag color indicates the conditions under which your plant with thrive: sun, shade or partial (morning) sun. Each tag has specific watering and feeding directions for the plant you purchase. Following those directions will help ensure you get the most bang for your buck!

1. Water your plants as directed.
2. Water twice a day (morning and evening) on extremely hot/sunny or windy days.
3. Water until the bottom of the basket begins to drip. At that point, the soil and roots will have been adequately soaked.
4. Make sure you hang your plant in the correct lighting – sun, shade, etc.
5. Protect your plants on cold days or nights. Hanging baskets are generally annuals – and they do not like temperatures below 40 degrees or frost.
6. Follow the feeding directions on the tag that came with the plant when you purchased it.

NOTE: If your plant is exposed to the elements and it has been raining heavily, you need to check the plants soil for moisture content before watering to make sure over-watering does not occur.

Most hanging baskets benefit from a mid-summer trim. Plants can become a bit leggy or open looking over time, even when you are doing everything right. Trimming may deprive you of some flowers for the short term, but it will increase branching, tighten the habit, and help keep the basket looking good for the entire summer season. Before you cut, remember this is JUST a trim!