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May 2, 2017
Container gardening
Tim Duffin  Brand Manager

I love to garden with Burpee flowers and vegetables because they have plants that are perfect for the way I garden – in containers. And I have a lot of containers. There's two containers at my front entry, one on either side of my garage, one in my side yard, three on my patio and five on my deck.

All my containers are different sizes so I really think through how many plants I’m going to put in each one. I think about the colors and types of flowers, vegetables and herbs I want to plant, and I use the tags that come with the plant to help me understand spacing needs.

Of course, every year I start by washing out my containers to minimize disease transfer from the season before. As they dry I can visualize what I’m putting in each one. Something colorful. Something tasty. Something with texture. After I put them in place I fill them with fresh potting soil. Potting soil is the best choice as it offers good drainage for the plant roots.

I find gardening in containers is easy and fun. Plus it gives me pops of color all around my house – including the containers where I plant vegetables and herbs.

Most of my containers are in the sun, although I have one that is in the shade most of the day. It’s important to know where to place your container garden so you can choose plants that are best for sun or shade. A sun-loving plant in the shade won't flower like it's supposed to, and a shade plant could wither with too much exposure.

For flower containers, you will have a more visually appealing container if you follow the thriller, filler, spiller blueprint. "Thrillers" are plants that grow tall while "fillers" are plants that fill up the majority of the container. Of course "spillers" do what the name implies – they spill out and over your container. For example, in my entryway containers this year I have chosen Redhead Coleus as my thriller. My filler is Sunbeam Bidens and of course I just love Silver Falls Dichondra for my spiller.

For vegetables I always grow Take 2 combos from Burpee. The combination cherry and slicer tomatoes growing in the same 17-inch pots just amazes me – and keeps me fed throughout late summer.

Remember, containers don’t have to be just flowers or just vegetables. You can mix them up to get an appealing container that looks (and tastes) beautiful. On my back deck I grow Baby Boomer Cherry Tomatoes with Durango French Marigolds, and I grow my Pesto Party Basil with Midnight Blue Paparazzi Petunias.

After I’m all done, I walk around my house and reflect on the beautiful container gardenscape I’ve created, and how easy it was to add color to my world.

Want to try a few container designs yourself? Check out our "My Designer" online tool to mix and match flowers for appealing pots.

Reader Comments (2)
How do I keep squirrels away from my tomato plant?
Friday, May 5, 2017 | Frustraded
Squirrels will be drawn to fallen fruit (easy pickin's) so make sure your garden space is free of debris that invites them in for the quick steal. Natural repellents sometimes include capsicum, the ingredient that makes peppers hot/spicy. Peppermint and garlic oils or sprays may also make a squirrel turn up its nose and stay clear of your garden, as will the urine of predators. Your local university extension office may have additional tips on how to keep squirrels at bay, and may also know if trapping is allowed in your area. Here is one of our Burpee Podcasts on pro-active pest control: (copy and paste the link into your browswer).
Monday, May 8, 2017 | Burpee
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