Many container plants are heavy feeders. Give these plants a healthy soil mix full of organic matter and nutrients. Add a bit of compost to keep trace elements in the soil. Be sure to use a balanced fertilizer that is right for the plant. One limiting factor with flower and vegetable container gardening is that you do not have the large volumes of soil and humus to protect your plants from over-fertilizing.
For outside container gardening, fill the pots with a soil-based mixture using rich topsoil. A good soil mixture consists of one part topsoil, one part peat moss or compost, and one part vermiculite or perlite. For every 6 inches of mixture, add about a teaspoon of fertilizer and a tablespoon of limestone.
Keep a check on proper moisture, and
water when the soil feels dry to the touch. In extremely hot weather, outside
container gardens may require watering twice a day.
Add A Little Primping and Pruning
Snip away dead flowers and dying foliage about once a week. This improves the overall appearance, but more importantly it keeps the plants healthy and productive.
To remove old blooms, remove the flower stems back to a leaf node or main stem. Remove any brown or tattered leaves and foliage back to the main stem as well.
About 2 to 3 times a season, container plants typically need to be pruned for a good shaping up. Some flowers for container gardens grow faster than others, so keep the more vigorous plants pruned for a good balance with pots that support a mixed arrangement.
Pruning the tips of a few stems will also encourage under-achieving plants to grow fuller.
Need Ideas For Your Garden?
Discover what's best to plant in your space-saving garden, and what pots and vessels to use. We've got some great container gardening ideas here.