Gardening Workshop: Creating Beautiful Container Gardens

On Saturday, November 3rd, SAMLARC hosted an Adult Gardening Workshop that brought the beauty of autumn to Members’ homes. Kathie Wickham, a California Certified Nursery Professional and SAMLARC Member, led participants in creating beautiful Fall Color Bowl container gardens. Container gardens are an easy way to add color and texture to your outdoor space, without major renovation. Container gardens offer gardeners the chance to experiment with new plants and colors, and can be rearranged after a season. To create a beautiful container garden, keep the following tips in mind!

If you intend for your container garden to be a staple fixture in your outdoor space, choose a pot that complements the colors of your home. It may be helpful to consider the container’s weight and materials, in case your garden needs to be moved for sun or shade exposure. Most importantly, pick a pot with a drainage hole. This is important to avoid root rot, which occurs when a plant’s roots are too flooded to maintain their structural integrity.

Evaluate the longevity of a plant before adding it to your garden. Annual plants have a life cycle that lasts only one year, and will need to be replanted after their bloom season. Perennial plants live for multiple blooming seasons. To create a seasonal container garden, select annual plants that showcase the primary colors of a season or holiday. Our Fall Color Bowls incorporated orange, purple, and yellow hues, and the plants can be changed out for other plants at the end of the season.

Choose the correct kinds of planting material when creating a container garden. The nutrients and organic materials in potting soil are specially designed for use in container gardens. Potting soil is designed to let water drain easily, preventing root rot. Topsoil (the other most common kind of planting material) is used when planting in the ground: it is designed to amend the qualities of soil already in place and retain moisture for long-term plant growth. Container gardens last much longer if filled with potting soil to ensure healthy, vibrant plants.

Nurture your container garden by using a supplemental fertilizer. The organic materials found in “real dirt,” such as leaves or dead insects, decompose over time and release nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Plants which have established themselves in the ground thrive on these elements. However, container gardens do not experience the same benefits, since potting soil is usually “sterile.” Using a slow-release fertilizer in either pellet or liquid form is an easy way to foster long-lasting, beautiful blooms!

Finally, embrace your creative side when planting your garden! Each participant in Saturday’s Gardening Workshop created a unique and beautiful garden. Check out the Gardeners of SAMLARC photo album HERE to see their creativity at work!

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