May is the month for container gardening

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

With spring in full swing, homeowners and apartment dwellers are throwing open their doors and readying their spaces for outdoor enjoyment. Chief among their activities this May is planting containers, pottery and window boxes with luscious flowers and foliage to adorn their patios, porches and home. Giving these beauties a solid foundation with the best possible growing mix is vital for maintaining showstopping splendor all season long.

gI_132231_potting mix 2The Premier Tech Horticulture PRO-MIX® line of growing mixes offers a superior environment for any plant one chooses to pot up this month. Whether it is colorful annuals, grasses, perennials, succulents or even indoor plants and orchids, PRO-MIX® has a formulation that works. Or so the claim of the makers.

“Everyday dirt should never, ever be used to fill containers,” says Chantal Duchesneau, marketing and communications director for Premier Tech Horticulture, makers of the PRO-MIX® line of growing mixes. “Its dense structure holds too much moisture and doesn’t allow water to drain properly.”

Roots become waterlogged, Duchesneau adds, and potted plants can end up dying. A growing medium specially created for containers of all kinds allows plant roots to breathe with ease while taking up the nutrients they need to flourish.

But then they would say that considering that they are producers for potting soil and such like. The fact is, and I have proven it more than once, that it can very successfully be done. It is, however, true that plants do better in a lighter compost mix, especially with some added sand, to start them off in. When established a plant will no longer require this and moisture retention in containers is actually something that is desired, as they tend to dry out much quicker than do plants that are growing in the earth, so to speak.

While Premier Tech Horticulture in their PRO-MIX® Ultimate Potting Mix uses peat, which is a bad move for starters as the production and use of peat-based potting soils impacts badly on the ecosystems from whence the peat is taken, it also includes a scientifically designed gel to hold water. This gel, more than likely, is a relation to the so-called swell-gel, a compound also found in disposable diapers and something that is not recommendable, in my book at least.

Furthermore, aside from the compost and soil for the containers, container gardening is not just for floral displays and foliage but is equally suited for growing vegetables and fruit.

Even in the smallest spaces, including balconies and small patios, vegetables and fruit can be grown in containers and many seed- and plant breeders now have developed special varieties for container growing.

© 2013