Container Gardening

Windowsill Salad Greens for Indoor Growing

Cut-and-come-again lettuce is the perfect cool-season crop for fall and winter gardens.Cut-and-come-again lettuce is the perfect cool-season crop for fall and winter gardens.
Windowsill greens, such as small lettuces and micro-greens, are fast-growing and gratifying.  Growing them indoors is a piece of cake, as long as you have good sunlight, quality soil, the right watering regime, and some gardening know-how. Start with the right greens, master some […]

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When in Drought, Choose Succulents

cross-slope-1024x768Barrel cacti, agave, and echevarias are all bold succulents for droughty landscapes.
With statewide water cutbacks in California, everyone will have to rethink some of the plants in their home landscapes.    Rather than viewing this as a tragedy, make it an opportunity to dive into some of trendiest plants filling gardens of the rich and famous.  If you’ve always wanted that great, clean succulent garden […]

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Succeed with Container Vegetable Gardening

IMG_0679This season we experimented with planting ‘Little Baby Flower’ watermelon in big tubs, and they are doing great!
Lots of container vegetable gardens fail. Why? It often comes down to size, quality, and water. The size of the container and vegetables, quality of the soil and fertilizer, and watering regime must be right for productive veggies. Get these factors wrong and your growing efforts will be compromised.
Container growing is […]

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Succulents: Beware Over Packed Pots!

color-gilmer2This composition of mixed succulents may look pretty, but the gang-potted group will not survive unless transplanted into their own Terracotta pots.
 
Those big, popular succulent collections sold in pots and troughs (otherwise known as “gang pots”) are dying out all over. Each container may be packed with a dozen or more species of succulent plants that often originate from vastly different locations and have different cultural needs.  Many are […]

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DIY: Make This Trickle-Down Succulent Tower

donkey tailsDonkey Tails (Senecio morganianum) in a vertical can cascade.
This idea came from deep within Mexico where plastic nursery containers are rare and coveted.  Tin cans are used, whenever possible, instead of pots to save money.  When I found the tower at Xochemilco, I realized this is trickle-down-watering at its finest.  It’s also the most innovative idea I’d seen for recycling and saving money.  It also […]

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Blue Ribbon Dinner Plate Dahlias

Seed Savers1552-dester-tomato-organicDahlia showing is serious business. Cultivating them to full glory takes a little extra care and patience.
Summer is Dahlia time, and my favorites are the super giants with blooms the size of dinner plates. The grand flowers of dinner plate dahlias are so large that just one is enough to fill a large vase or decorative bowl. They are produced on tall, four and five foot […]

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Preparing the Garden for a Hot Summer

Lantana, colorsAn excellent summer bloomer for heat is Lantana camera.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have had record high temperatures already this spring. When the temperature is 100° F in spring, it is HOT!  Not that our weather pattern is ever predictable, but this year it seems to be even less consistent. With our mild winter temperatures, record rain, and a summer forecast as being hot and dry, our plants may suffer without […]

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Big, Bold, Tropical Foliage Plants

500Lantana camera and cascading Scaevola aemula ‘Blue Fan’ compliment colorful crotons in this summer container planting.
Big, bold, tropical plants look amazing in summer gardens and large containers and drink up the summer heat and humidity. Often ornamental bananas, exotic elephant ears, upright sanserverias, strappy cordyline, and colorful croton are grown only indoors or way down South, but they thrive any place that’s steamy. Placing them in the right spot with the right companion plants is […]

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Garden Flowers for Hummingbirds

hummingbird with salviaA hummingbird with Salvia ‘Amistad’.
 
If there was one pollinator I would like to attract to my garden, it would be the hummingbird. It is such a fascinating bird to watch as it zooms from flower to flower and reveals its characteristic of being quite territorial. For many years, I have planted containers of Salvia ‘Black & Blue’ on our deck because this plant is a hummingbird magnet. Several years ago I tried Salvia […]

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Everything about Growing Dahlias

Dahlia 'Park Princess' - CopyDahlia ‘Park Princess’
Dahlias come in all forms, from monolithic 12” dinnerplate monsters to tiny 2” pixie pincushion blooms, and colors—pretty much any shade except for true blue. So, you can never love just one. They thrive in the cooler seasons of early summer and fall and offer a botanical extravaganza of floral beauty with over 50,000 named cultivars and 20 wildly diverse forms. (Visit the American Dahlia Society (ADS) website […]

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