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CBJ's Lure 3.2018

Tips for Container

Tips for Container Gardening n Start with a clean planter that has holes in the bottom for drainage. n Newspaper, gravel or coffee filters can be placed in the bottom to keep soil from draining out of the holes. For particularly large containers, mulch or foam packing peanuts can be used as filler to keep the container light and easier to move. n The preferred potting "soil" is actually commercial potting mix purchased at garden centers, which is lightweight and free of disease organisms and weed seeds. Many have nutrients already added. n If you prefer to make your own, use equal amounts of garden soil, sphagnum peat moss and perlite. n Choose your plants. A longstanding "rule" for container planting uses a "thriller" – an attention-grabbing taller, spiky plant – "spillers" – a few trailing plants that spill over the sides of the planter – and "fillers" – two or more medium-sized mounding plants that fill in the space between the vertical and trailing plants. n Start planting in the center and work your way out. Give the container a thorough watering once planted and check the soil daily to ensure the plants have enough water. Containers generally dry out faster than gardens. n Most plants, especially vegetables, require full sun, while others are shade-tolerant. n Using various-sized containers that are grouped together can add interest, color and flowers to help bees and butterflies. CALIBRACHOA CALIPETITE LAST 2 LEFT Only 2 Luxury Condos Remain! Two 2300 sq. foot luxury condominiums with heated private garage remain in the beautiful and secure Metropolitan building. The Metropolitan is conveniently located across the street from the McGrath Amphitheater/downtown and is the home of luxury owner-occupied condominiums. www.hobarthistoricrestoration.com 18 LURE SPRING 2018

Suggested Plants for Containers n Calibrachoa, often called million bells, look like miniature petunias that bloom from spring until frost. n Coleus is known for its foliage in a wide range of colors. n Caladium is another colorful foliage plant, this one growing from tubers that can be over-wintered indoors. n Pansies and violas are bloomers that are excellent for early spring or fall. n Coral bells, or heuchera, are perennials with both beautiful foliage and bell-like flowers. n Trailing verbena sports tiny blossoms and can serve as an excellent "spiller" plant. n Persian Shield has an almost iridescent purple/pink foliage that can serve as a "thriller" or "filler" plant. n Angelonia has delicate spikes of blossoms that can be a great "filler" plant. n Ornamental pepper plants are easy to grow and provide quirky shapes and colors in the peppers that contrast with dark green foliage. n Marjoram, rosemary, sage and thyme are among the herbs that provide flavor for your favorite dishes, while their flowers are favorites of bees. n Leaf lettuce and Swiss chard are among the vegetables that can easily be grown in containers. Several of the plants can be grown in a 1-gallon container. n A single pepper or eggplant can be grown in a 2-gallon container, while a 4-gallon container is needed for a single tomato plant. n Suggested tomato cultivars for containers include ‘Bush Early Girl,’ ‘Better Bush,’ ‘Celebrity,’ ‘Patio Hybrid,’ ‘Patio Princess,’ Sweet ‘n Neat Scarlet’ (cherry) and ‘Sweet Zen’ (grape). n Most cucumbers, melons and squashes are not well-suited for containers, but bush-type cucumbers and summer squash can be grown in planters. Cucumber cultivars suitable for containers include ‘Spacemaster,’ ‘Salad Bush,’ ‘Pickle Bush,’ and ‘Patio Snacker.’ Summer squash, such as ‘Zucchini Elite,’ ‘Gold Rush,’ ‘Sunburst’ and ‘Patio Star’ can also be grown in containers. ORNAMENTAL PEPPER ONYX RED VERBENA OBSESSION TWISTER RED Sources: EarlMay.com; HomegrownIowan.com; Richard Jauron and Greg Wallace of Iowa State University Extension & Outreach and Linn County Master Gardener Becki Lynch TOMATO PATIO CHOICE YELLOW