Pot Groupings & Fertilizing

oakleyokApril 13, 2011

I have two questions so I thought I'd do it in one topic.

I won't be around until tomorrow night, so I hope to see a LOT of pictures when I get home! lol.

1. If any of you have a grouping of pots with flowers, would you show me a picture? I realize they'd be older pictures since blooming has barely begun, but I want to learn how to group my plants in a pretty way on the front porch.

2. I planted my new Torenia today in some pots, the others will go in the ground on Friday. When is the best time to start fertilizing "new" and transplanted plants? I don't want to shock them, so should I wait a week or so to start fertilizing them? These need fertilizer according to the instructions.


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trailrunner(AL 8)

Hey Oakley, I always use the Potting Soil that has fertilizer in it. Then I add a couple TBs of Osmocote at the same time . It is slow release and you can't burn with that. When I am planting in the regular ground I use the top soil in a bag and add 1/2 sphagnum moss to it and plant in that mixing it with the native soil. I do this even when my native soil is good as it gives everything a boost. I add a couple TBs again of Osmocote to the hole when I plant. I then go back as needed and add more. Annuals need way way more than you think they do . If they are in pots it gets washed out . if they are in the ground then trees etc nearby suck it up. I have also been adding a 1/2 c all natural bone meal to each hole and my plants have never ever looked better or bloomed more. At this point I am convinced that 90% of my garden woes for years and years has been not near enough food for the plants. I look forward to hearing other's ideas. Post pics of your pots :) c

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 10:27PM
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Hi Trail! The pots are those cheap white plastic one's that I got from a nursery, but they'll be hidden once the plants really get going. Then I'll take pictures. lol.

I only started feeding my plants last year using Miracle Grow, which I mix in a gallon jug of water instead of using the spray.

I'll remember to fertilize the pots more often though.

But when should I fertilize these new plants?

Oh, I won't be able to put them in the ground on Friday because they're calling for winds up to 40 and 50 mph all day! Yikes!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 10:53PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I'll take a photo of my porch pot ghetto for you tomorrow, and post it. I have worked on getting plant stands in varying heights, and painting them all so they fade into the distance. I love the look (and the drainage they afford)of the staggered heights.
Today I spent part of the day fiddling with the cement pot ghetto and deciding it should stay where it is every year, and not to make a new one. Enough pots!!! I haven't planted those up yet, just arranged them so that they vary in height for interest.
I use osmocote in my pots that are not filled with edibles. I have some tender herbs and things in pots too, I will fertilize them three times this year with a light addition of fish emulsion. Water at night, the smell is gone by morning!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 11:10PM
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If you fertilize, my opinion is to begin when the plants show some new growth. If you are using a liquid like Miracle Grow, I've heard it recommended many times to fertilize 1/2 strenghth instead of full and probably every 2-3 wks during the growing season. Stop when fall arrives, unless it is a plant that grows or blooms in fall/winter like Christmas cactus.
If you use slow release fert like osmocote, I would fertilize when growth starts in spring and I would use it again in 3-4 mos (the label tells you how long it lasts, so usually April and July or something like that.
If you fertilize with compost, really you can mix that in the potting soil or topdress the plant in spring and maybe once again in growing season. I usually do spring and summer with a slow release or sometimes not, but I find the prices are very high, so I'm making lots of compost. I might try the bone meal though, becoz it can be gotten cheap.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 12:07AM
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Girlgroup, I can't wait to see your pot "ghetto." What a funny name!

I have two copper looking metal planters on the front porch but in different areas. But when I add pots to set on the porch, they look messy, even though they're various sizes. Maybe I need a good color combo instead of all different sorts of plants.

Louisianagal, thanks for the info. I'll wait until I see new growth before I fertilize.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 5:54AM
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trailrunner(AL 8)

oakley I use the spray paint from Lowes for plastic and spray all my pots. It does beautifully and you can have any color you want !! It lasts a couple years and you can redo them whenever you want.

I put the Osmocote on immediately as I plant. I never use Miracle Gro liquid anymore. No matter how I diluted it burned my plants. I don't have time to mess with repeat fertilizer every week which is what you have to do with MG. I do find that Osmocote doesn't last 3-4 months especially annuals in the ground. Good LUck ! c

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 8:55AM
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I am an Osmocote person - I have recycled one of those large spice containers with the larger shaker holes and fill it with the Osmocote and anytime I transplant or pot up anything I shake some into the bottom of the hole. I will top dress a couple of times in the summer with handfuls of compost - no set schedule .....


screened porch grouping - caladiums and house plants - all kinds of containers

back deck stairs - I try and use the same type of decorative pot on different sizes - these came from BigLots

another year on the back steps

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 11:02AM
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Okay, I'm sold. I'll get some Osmocote! :)

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 10:29AM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Good decision, but you're a hard sell!

Remember last year? ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: fertilizers

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 12:11PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-Lynne, love your pictures!!! That last one showing the line up of pretty pots (and kitty ;-) is my fav!

Since space is running out in the actual garden I plan to do a lot more container gardening this year. I tend to space my pots around the backyard where color is needed, since there isn't a porch and the patio is small.

I totally agree with trailrunner that with potted annuals you have to fertilize, fertilize, fertilize! I do it once a week once it starts to warm up. My favorite thing to use is either compost tea or Alaskan Fish fertilizer, which is just fish emulsion that you can dilute with water. Great stuff!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 12:44PM
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I don't think I'm a hard sell at all. Just because someone suggest something to me doesn't mean I'll do it.

The reason I've stayed with Miracle Grow is because my garden does great with it, and it's what most of my friends use in their beautiful gardens too.

If I can find Osmocote at Walmart I'll buy somel

The reason I asked about fertilizer again is because I'm growing a new plant and I don't want to hurt it. They're my babies! lol

But I'll definitely use the Osmocote if I can find it withot having to go to the City.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 7:54PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

CMK, I used a weak solution of fish emulsion on my tomatoes and peppers while they were still in the cold frame. Later that day I caught a neighborhood cat walking by with his nose in the air, so I'm hesitant to use it in the garden. I love the fact that Osmocote means much less fertilizing.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 8:53PM
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Oooh, pretty pots lynnencfan! I hadn't done potted plants for years but did some last summer and put some in the beds where extra color was needed and a few spread around. I think I'll have to group them this year for bigger impact.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 11:07AM
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