Feeding and Watering Container Garden

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Once the plants are planted, the main thing is to be considered is the feeding plants at appropriate times, so they may grow easily. Once plants are established and well rooted, a proper feeding program can be started off. Care should be taken that the feed should be applied in the growing seasons – summers, spring and early autumn. Plants in containers should be fed every 2 weeks, but pot bound containers should be fed weekly.

One can make use of compound-general or a flower garden fertilizer, main thing to be remembered is that the feed should contain major plant foods, which includes nitrogen, phosphorus and potash. Timings should be considered as well as other techniques available. Potash rich fertilizer (for instance, 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorus and 27 percent potash) is good for fruiting and flowering plants.

These days, liquid fertilizers are also available in the market these are considered to be the most convenient means of feeding plants these days. There are other granular general-purpose and flower garden fertilizer that are considered best for raised borders, beds and large planters. These are used annually in the spring season in the form of topdressing with slight forking into the soil.


Watering is an important element for the growth of the plants. So it is important to take care of the soil and moisture in it as far as possible. Never let the compost become bone dry before watering, as it will cause a severe damage to flower buds and foliage. Plants like fuchsias, conifers, camellias and rhododendrons quickly react to dry compost and eventually result in dropping leaves and flower buds. It is therefore, essential to examine the containers regularly and check the moisture in the compost with the help of your fingers. You can also use moisture level in the compost with a soil moisture meter.

Make sure that you have applied enough water to the container, check if the water drains out of the bottom of the container. Once the water begins to drain out of the bottom of the container, this means that the compost is properly moistened now. Avoid excessive watering, as it is harmful for plants.

In warm conditions, the compost dries out quickly, so it is important to examine the containers at least twice in a day for water requirements. In warm season it may be possible to water the plant twice a day, i.e. once in a morning time and once in the evening. Small containers or baskets need special attention.

Watering lance is a useful tool if you one to many containers, especially if you have hanging baskets. If you are the one who stays away from home most of the time, automatic watering system is very handy for spring and summer season. Drip system is also there for containers having thin tubes emerging out from a main hose. This system can be fed with main water supply via a header tank with ball-cock valve or an elevated water reservoir.

Avoid using limy water or hard water, if you are dealing with lime hating plants. Although you can use it every now and then, but frequent use can be harmful for your plants. Chlorosis is a common disease caused in that case.

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This article was published on 2010/09/18