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DID YOU KNOW?
Vegetable breeders are working on developing many new varieties that are suitable for container gardening. Look for smaller and more compact varieties of your favorite veggies this season at Tonkadale!
Container Gardening Guidelines
When embarking on a container gardening project, it is important to consider the following elements:
What are the Advantages/Disadvantages
Of Each Container Material?
||Heavy, rust can damage surfaces, will heat up in the sun|
||Not always tolerant of freezing and thawing, heavy|
||Can be an expensive option, fading can be a problem|
||Heavy, weathers with time|
||May not be as durable, fading can be a problem, temporary|
||Heats up in the sun, can rust or dent, weathers with time|
||Not durable in winter conditions, dries out quickly through evaporation|
||Heavy to move|
||Can break with impact, may not stand up to the elements|
||Weathers with time, rooting may be a problem|
Choose a potting soil with:
Tonkadale recommends our special Tonka Terra mix.
We want you to be successful with your containers. Tonkadale recommends that you use fresh potting soil each growing season. With time important soil properties for proper plant health deteriorate. Nutrition, porosity, water retention and drainage all decrease with time and use.
Do I have to fill my entire container with potting soil?
Tonkadale recommends that you provide 12”-18” of fresh soil for annual plants in a container garden. You can fill the bottom of your container with a filler of your choice
Remember, if your container is top-heavy, provide weight towards the bottom for balance.
Drainage is a must for all container gardens!
If your container doesn’t have a hole, you can:
Another option is to “drop-in” a light weight plastic container with drainage.
See “Drop-in” discussion for more details.
We do not recommend a layer of gravel at the bottom of your container to provide adequate drainage. Gravel should be used to provide ballast and weight if your container is light-weight or top-heavy.
Fertilizing and Watering Containers
Water, water, water! Watering is non-negotiable for container gardens.
Watering requirements will vary based on:
The easiest way to tell if your container needs water, stick your pointer finger into the soil up to your second knuckle. If the soil feels moist, no need to water; if the soil feels dry, get out the hose!
For Best Results: Keep Your Containers Evenly Moist!
Annuals are hungry plants. It is best to fertilize on a regular basis during the growing season. We recommend that you use a well balanced fertilizer on a regular schedule. Tonkadale carries many traditional and organic fertilizer options in both liquid and slow release formulations. We are happy to help you choose the best fertilizer for your needs.
Exposure and Light Requirements
Know your site. Pick the right plants for your light exposure.
Full Sun — 6 or more hours of full sun
Part-Sun — Less than 6 hours of full sun, morning sun
Shade — Dappled light, filtered light, indirect light, less than 4 hours of sunlight
There are many gradations when it comes to light requirements. The intensity of the sun can increase with reflection, wind and temperature. Ask us and we can help you choose the right plant for your pots!
Drop-Ins • Liners
“Drops-in” or Liners are a great solution for many container gardening issues. A drop-in is simply a plastic pot (or a pot made of another inexpensive material) that fits the depth and diameter of your container. The benefits of using drop-ins are many:
Our goal at Tonkadale is to teach you how to transition your containers through the seasons with fresh, seasonal and colorful plant material and products so that you are satisfied and successful!
Thriller = the tall guy, the star of the show!
Filler = the middle layer!
Spiller = the trailing dudes!
Veggies and Herbs in Containers
Use foliage as the architecture of your container. If the flowers weren’t there, would your container still look good?
There are many tropical and exotic foliage plants that work great in containers.
Don’t forget about house plants too!
Always check light requirements.
Use a container as a focal point in your perennial bed, or as a way to draw guests down a garden path!
Care requirements vary greatly from plant to plant. Inquire about special plant requirements at Tonkadale when you are planning your containers. In general many plants benefit from a bit of trimming and pinching. You can control the height of coleus and make their growth habit fuller by pinching the tips. Petunias benefit from a mid-season hair-cut. Dead-heading spent flowers encourages more blooms, and cleaning out dead a diseased plant material promotes good plant health.
Containers are what we do best! We are happy to help you plan a container for every season. Visit Tonkadale for seasonal inspiration and ideas. We have many talented designers on staff to create your containers for you. Visit our Custom Design page to learn more!
Recipes For Sun Containers
Recipes For Shade Containers