With downsizing, zero-lot homes, apartments and condos, there is not always enough room to place the traditional rectangle vegetable garden that our parents or grandparents grew up with. Everything can be grown in a pot; some plants are more suitable than others. Container gardening takes advantage of smaller spaces, provides flexibility in display arrangements, gives the ability to manage and manipulate the environment, as well as takes into consideration not only horizontal but vertical displays. It’s all about maximizing space.
We carry a versatile selection of pots and containers that will meet your container gardening needs. Whether it is the basic grow pot for starting seeds or the elegant container announcing your doorway, we carry it. All of our pots come in various sizes, colours and styles.
Many of the grow pots are eco-friendly using recycled plastic or materials that are decomposable. We also carry bamboo pots that are biodegradable and a sustainable, renewable resource.
We have a selection of heavy pots, such as Malaysian ceramic clay (great in the Calgary winds), as well as light pots for you to consider, such as decorative zinc, plastic containers and colourful balcony planters.
To protect your surfaces we have an assortment of plastic and ceramic saucers. We also carry a natural cork mat in assorted sizes. Not only are these mats great for “protecting things that matter “ but they also have many uses around the home and office. If you would like to give your containers a slight lift we carry pot toes to do the job.
Choosing the right pot
The most important thing when choosing a pot is drainage. Yes, this means having a pot with holes unless the plant is an aquatic plant that thrives in water. If you want to add drainage material such as rocks or broken clay shards make sure there is a path for excess water to escape.
The size of the pot is also important. When it comes to transplanting the rule of thumb is no more than the next pot size up. If you are transplanting a few or many plants into one container then make sure it will be able to support the root system, not too small or too large.
- Why? The plant will eventually grow into that large pot anyways.
- Why does it matter if the plant is in too large of a pot?
The moisture that remains in the soil of that large pot will eventually rot the roots of the plant. Plants do need moisture but they also need air in the soil and around their roots to meet their needs.
Vegetables, bulbs, and perennials can all be grown in a pot. The disadvantage of overwintering plant material in containers in Calgary is our inconsistent freeze thaw cycles. These freeze thaw cycles are detrimental to the roots and crown in containers causing severe damage and sometimes death.
How to keep your containers looking great
Container gardens require water more frequently as plants grow quickly and containers dry out fast especially during hot and windy weather. In hot weather check your containers twice per day and water and thoroughly frequently. You do not want dry pockets developing.
Fertilize your bedding plants once a week to keep them blooming until the killing frosts in the fall. Vegetables will also need to be fertilized on a regular basis. Use a fertilizer intended for their immediate needs, such as a 10-52-10 as a starter fertilizer, 20-20-20 as an all-purpose, 15-30-15 for blooming, or a 15-15-30 for vegetables. Water soluble fertilizers are great because they are available for immediate use by the plant. An easy way to remember the numbers on the fertilizer are:
N: up, P: down, K: all around
Deadhead your bedding plants as needed. If plants begin to look scraggly pinch them back to promote new growth and blooms.
Do routine checks for any pests as it easier to deal with a situation while the population is small then when the plant is stressed out from an abundance of small creepy crawlies sucking the life (literally) out of it.
The best way to store your pots for the winter is to bring them inside your garage or empty them, flip them upside down and cover them with a tarp to protect them from moisture that can cause cracking or breakage due to the freeze thaw cycles.