“Success has been defined as the ability to go from failure to failure with equal enthusiasm.” – Unknown with some attributions to Lincoln or Churchill
The first year I did container gardening on my Boston roofdeck, I carried four 30 gallon leaf bags full of dirt down five flights of stairs in the fall. I didn’t know I could reuse “dirt” year after year by adding a little cow manure and compost to freshen the pots. And potting/container mix is not the same as garden soil, which is much heavier and has a different composition. My preference is for Coast of Maine products but definitely beware of Kellogg organic plus found at Lowes and Home Depot which almost killed all my plants.
I would find a pretty flower and put short phlox, or delphinium, or bleeding hearts or bachelor buttons in a container in the spring not realizing the flowers would soon go away and then add nothing to the small space requiring plants with maximum impact. Read the labels for flowering season, zone and if for sun or shade.
After buying some new containers, plants I knew would do well, and new soil, I planted them and almost killed them because I didn’t moisten the soil and it takes an awful lot of water to wet dry soil. Spend a few minutes with the hose and then stick your finger in the soil to see how moist it is. Now I water the soil as I put it in the pots to ensure it is moist all the way through.
My second year, I wanted more and more so I realized I needed to buy containers at least 14″ wide and deep. What I hadn’t learned yet was that when you have large containers, you need larger plants and that low growing sedum would just look silly in a 20″ round pot. My favorites for height in containers is mandevilla, salvia, dahlias, geraniums, zinnias, elephant ears or caladiums, heliopsis lorraine, lavender, daylilies, and shrub roses.
I also realized that any space needs a variation in height so I experimented with vines and found little trellises that go in the back of a container to help morning glories grow up to the top of the deck rail or mandevilla vines or thunbergia.
Note: My goals is to start doing a series on gardening. This is a draft of my first attempt. Be kind. Be patient and this will get better 🙂