4. Planting and Maintenance
If you are growing shallow-rooted specimens in tall pots, you might want to fill in the bottom half with lightweight materials such as broken terra-cotta pot shards or Styrofoam packing peanuts. This promotes drainage and prevents waterlogged soil. Start planting in the center or with the largest specimen and work outward, scooping and filling as needed so that the plants wind up with soil at the same level that they had in the original containers—1 to 2 inches below the lip of the pot. Give plants a thorough drink, using a watering can or a soft-spray nozzle on a hose. Check the level of the soil again and add more if necessary. Keep watering often—whenever the soil is dry 2 to 3 inches below the surface—and fertilize regularly (if you haven't used slow-release beads), following package directions. Clip off spent blossoms or branches that grow too long. With just this minimal maintenance, your container gardens will flourish all summer long, and—depending on what you've planted—even beyond.

Where to Find It

Horticultural services:
Gabrielle Whiton, Bainbridge Gardens
Bainbridgegardens

Ellen Zachos, Acme Plant Stuff
Acmeplant.com

Containers and plants:
Bainbridge Gardens; Bainbridge Island, WA
206-842-5888

Gardening gloves:
Atlas #370 Nitrile Soft Flex Gloves
Atlas Glove Consumer Products
Bellingham, WA
360-734-3336
Lfsinc.com

Clippers:
Forged flower shears
Lee Valley Tools
800-871-8158
Leevalley.com.

For further reading:
Down & Dirty: 43 Fun & Funky First Time Projects & Activities to Get You Gardening by Ellen Zachos
Storey Publishing
North Adams, MA
413-346-2100
Storey.com
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