I have sort of a weird relationship with container planting. We're not really dating - more like "we're seeing each other". Nothing too serious and we have agreed to see other plants. But ... I may be ready to take our relationship to the next level. It is a big step but I am at a point in my life where I am ready to make the necessary commitment.
While I am well educated on how containers can be incorporated into design and the benefit of this type of planting, I still have a few hang-ups:
- I feel like I am stifling the plant growth when they are placed in containers. I love knowing the roots of plants in the ground can, in theory, go in search of nutrition as far out as they like.
- Speaking of nutrition, I am not a big fertilizer guy. I get the whole N-P-K thing, I just can't seem to stay on top of what is required for plants in containers. While my soil may be clay-filled, it is full of everything the plants need (and yes I've tested the soil - yeah me!).
- Matching the actual container to the plant color/texture is always tricky for me. I just don't like terra cotta and most of the plastic containers available, so I find myself purchasing more expensive options. And it kills me to spend hard earned cash on those things.
One huge benefit I see with containers is that I can use plants that would never be possible due to my soil conditions and the threat of deer.
I also like the ability to move plants around with ease so I can try out different designs with minimal effort.
I have also embraced purchasing annual seeds this season (just got the Zinnia - Green Envy - I may be in lust) and what better way to use these then to direct sow in containers.
So ... count me in as a container gardener and while there will be bumps along the way, I think I am ready to commit to this.
One last container note - I purchase a lot of plants at the end of the fall and overwinter them in containers. The problem is I then have trouble finding a place for them in the spring. More often than not, I end up keeping them in their container (not forgetting the rule that a plant can typically survive in a container for me - zone 6 - if it can survive down to zone 4 or colder) and finding a place for them. As an example, see the two photos below:
The three containers below fall into the same category:
That is all for today folks. I am off to find me some thrillers, fillers and spillers for my containers.