Early Season Container Gardens
When spring is in the air, nothing brightens your spirit like a colorful flower display. If you love the color and eye-appeal of flowering plants, a container garden with cool-weather annuals or perennials may be a great way to 'kick off' your spring season.
There are two ways that you can get this jump on spring color - purchasing a pre-made color combo container or making your own. Your Menards® Garden Center has a good selection of cool-weather combos consisting of Violas, Pansies and other cool-weather plants. You can simply purchase these color combos and place them on your porch, patio, deck or wherever you want some great spring color. These color combos are available in 10" bowls and planters that can also be used as a drop-in for your existing container, making it simple and easy to create a look that is unique to your taste.
If you are going to create your own unique container garden, the steps are simple and the results are very rewarding. A great-looking container garden starts with a great-looking container! Your Menards® Garden Center has a wide variety of sizes, colors and types of containers that work great in creating container gardens. Or, use something that you may already have around your house - things like old galvanized pails, watering cans, even old bathtubs make wonderful container gardens and can reflect your tastes and personality in their appearance.
Once you have your container selected, it's time to get it ready to plant. If the container was used for planting previously, you will need to thoroughly clean it and ensure that no insects or possible diseases remain from the previous use. Remove all of the existing soil, wipe or scrape the interior and wash the container. If the container is new or has never been used for planting, you can skip this step and move on to placing your soil in the container.
Make sure that your container has drainage holes. Place pieces of broken clay pots in the bottom of the container so that soil does not plug the openings and prevent the water from draining.
If you don't have any broken pots around, place a piece of screen or landscape fabric over the hole and then lay a thin layer of stone in the bottom of the container. Cover this layer with landscape fabric to keep the soil from washing into the stone and then you are ready to fill your container with soil.
You should fill your container with a good quality planting or potting mix. A good quality mix will usually include peat moss, pine bark, and perlite or vermiculite, and should be light and fluffy. Your Menards® Garden Center has several great choices such as Schultz®, and professional planting mixes from Pro-Mix® and Fafard®. Most of these planting mixes contain slow-release fertilizers to help your plants thrive once they are planted.
Fill the container with the planting mix to within 1-3" of the top. Place your plants on top of the planting mix in whatever pattern you desire, moving and adjusting until you get the desired look. Then, place the plants into the soil to the depth that they were in their original pack or container. Water thoroughly to eliminate any air pockets. Water containers when the soil is dry to the touch.
Once you have everything in place and planted, you can step back and enjoy some beautiful early-season spring color. As the season warms up, you can change out these cool-season plants with some of the warmer season items and keep your containers looking fresh and colorful all season long.