Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
September 25, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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September 25, 1997

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!Container plants can be the perfect accessory to desert larcaping. They are a stand out solution to adding color, c interest in drab areas or to camouflage an unattractive f Creative container planting can add charm or pizzazz to any mecture. n you need a change, containers make it easy. You can ca new mood, a new style or an entire new look just by your containers or replanting them. You can make a st by planting varying shades of one color or be bold with a ion of bright colors.  i, atything that will hold soil and drain water can be used as a ner. I've seen marvelous displays in old teapots and ke in discarded children's wagons and even in a section of co pipe. Some of the most impressive have been in large, crafted containers. Collections of small pots can also maan effective statement. Container gardening is an area where you can play. Some- time, it's fun to paint inexpensive terra cotta pots creating your own art treasures. People with carpentry skills might prefer to huildtheir containers. Half barrets are large enough for a variety of planting choices. Surplus ammunition boxes lend themselves to a new life as window boxes. A discarded howl or a former popcorn popper can be fun to convert to plant containers. Terra cotta, concrete, plastic and fiberglass pots, in a profu- sion of sizes and shapes, are available at garden, home improve- ment, specialty and department stores. Mail order catalogs are another place to find interesting containers. Your choices will be determined by how and where you want to use your container plantings. Select the ones that complement your personal style and will accent your home and landscape. Ideally, the plants will be selected after choosing the con- tainer. Plant size, shape and color should complement the planter. A simple pot will be appealing filled with hold flowers while a dominante pot, decorated or with a unique shape, may need to be paired with a simple planting, like one rose. A large container or a window box can be a self-contained garden filled with flowers, edible plants or a mixture. Choices for the container garden will be influenced by climate, sunlight, wind protection, local adaptation and, most importantly, your personal purpose and taste. One way to arrange a pleasing garden is to take the container liner or a cardboard replica to the nursery with you. Place the potted plants in the liner and change and rearrange until you are pleased with the awangement. This isn't practical where pots and plants may be large, but can work well for a mixed flower display. Okay, you' ve opted to try some container plantings but have some reservations diie to the heat and drying winds. Actually, the containers have an edge here because you can move them to protected areas exposing them to more or less sun and providing wind protection as required. Window boxes won't have this advantage and will require careful selectiontof climate hardy plants. All container plants will require frequent watering, with smaller containers needing more care. They will also require fertilizing. A slow release fertilizer added during planting supple- mented by a liquid fertilizer that contains secondary trace min- erals should be used every two weeks. You may want to dilute this during high temperatures to prevent burning. Planting mix is crucial to your success. Avoid mixes that are too light. You'll need stability for the plant roots and in some cases for staking and trellises. The mix should drain fast while holding enough moisture to sustain the roots. Ask at your nursery for a good commercial mix for containers. Your containers aren't confined to land or adorning windows, they can hang oreven be buried in the ground. Think about wind when selecting a location for hanging planters. Also decide how you will handle the frequent watering chore as well as drainage. Be kind to unsuspecting heads and keep them away from traffic areas. Yes, you can bury them. Place pots or plastic buckets with holes punched in the bot- tom right in the ground. This works in areas where you have decorative rock, or bark beds or unfriendly soil. You've probably seen this in many commercial landscapes. Just remember to place some rocks for drainage in the hottom of the hole prior to burying the pot. Your container plantings will provide beauty, color and joy all year if you are vigilant about maintenance and plant for the season. You need to be ruthless when it comes to removing plants that are fading or jnst don't work. Take them out of the planter. Some may be suitable to place in garden beds while others will do better enricliing the compost pile. I can't visualize any home that wouldn't be enriched and enlivened by at least one container plant and most by many. All this visualizing brings me to a large, bare area on the side of my little bungalow. It's just gravel which is good for the foundatio ! and for drainage and very poor for the psyche. I visualize aft attractive area where artistic containers filled with colorful plants provide so much appeal I'll need to add a bench so my friends and I can enjoy them. Guess I need to stop writing and start gathering containers and plants. See you at the nursery. Oct 1-005 10-30% OFF All Stock Kellogg Grow Mulch 727-5489 Highway 372, Pahrump