patio planters in cobalt blue with begonias and other flowers in pink and magenta
Photo: Mark Lohman
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Sometimes Store-Bought is Better

Q: What kind of soil should I use in containers?

A: Don't just dig up some soil; it probably has too much clay. Use store-bought potting mix. To cut down on how much soil you need, some people suggest filling the bottom of big containers with rocks. There's a better solution: Fill the bottom third of the pot with crumpled leaves, the stuff you clean out of gutters, or other garden debris. Add potting soil on top. Over the summer, the stuff at the bottom decomposes and enriches the soil.

Shown: The house and patio are brick, so he chose patio planters in cobalt blue and filled them with begonias and other flowers in pink and magenta.
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