I live in a town house so space is limited, I love to garden and tried a little last year with very little luck. I need help figuring out the best plants, and vegetables to plant in pots, and a small dirt patch (about 1' x 4'). Also, if there are any pointers on how to treat the dirt and watering would be great. Please help.
Hardiness Zone: 7a
By Laura from Neptune, NJ
When I lived in an apartment, I had good luck with lantana. It actually flowers more if you don't feed it! This is the kind I had in planters: http://www.thegardenfairies3.com/apps/photos/photo?photoid=20741531
Now that I have a house, I have one of these in the back yard: http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week067.shtml
It gets really big - at least four feet tall. I'm not sure how wide; we have to keep it trimmed because of a nearby fountain. It's been coming back for years and years.
For your container garden, I'd recommend the kind of lantana in the first picture. It's shorter and more sprawling. It looks really nice in a hanging basket, and it doesn't mind getting a little dry (but not bone dry). There are other color lantanas (purple and white, off the top of my head) with similar habit, but *I* don't care for them (but my mom loves these other colors). They don't seem as bug resistant and hardy as the good old yellow ones to me. Nothing will eat the yellow lantanas, but I ended up with caterpillars when I tried the purple ones.
Some other happy, easy flowers are zinnias, marigolds, and cosmos. And they can be started by seed, which is way cheaper than buying plants! There are shorter varieties of zinnias and marigolds (read the seed packet), but all the cosmos I've ever grown have gotten pretty tall, might not be good for such a small area.
Containers tend to dry out quickly (esp. here in hot Oklahoma). So I get some water holding crystals and add that to my potting mix and raised beds. You can purchase potting mix that already has the crystals in it, also.
These are the first things that come to mind. I'm sure there is more to share. I hope you find inspiration and have a successful garden this year. Good luck!
I started a container garden on a picnic table that was never used just last year. It looked good with plants of all sizes and pot styles on the table and matching ones on the benches. I had the best luck with peppers (Red Grenn & jalepenos) jalepenos can take a pot around 8", but the peppers needed around 10-12" Herbs were especially easy to grow in my smaller pots and I found they really made a difference in the level of taste and seasoning in my cooking. I grew rosemary, lemon oregano, parsley and sage in smaller pots along with some cherry tomatoes and strawberries, too. The leaf lettuce was not a good idea!
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I am wondering if anyone knows of a flowering evergreen that I can grow in a container? The area of the planter will get about 6 to 7 hours of afternoon to evening sun.
Hardiness Zone: 7b
By jwmn from Hendersonville, NC
I would like to try container gardening. Does anyone have any hints, tips, ideas? Do's and Don'ts?