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Spring Fever? 

It's too early to set out any plants, but it's the perfect time to make a plan! Whether you are considering rearranging or adding to your container gardens or if you'd like to tackle a larger landscape project, contact me  to get the plans started now.

Get Out!

These nice, warm days have us all wandering around in our yards! Here's a check-list of yard work to do now:

  • Water! Your woody trees and shrubs would especially appreciate a drink.
  • Remove debris from last year - leaves, branches and any trash the wind blew into your yard. Along with the debris, you are also removing insect eggs, weed seeds, fungus spores and dormant bacteria - a little work now could save you a lot of trouble later! 
  • Prune shrubs and trees - it is much easier on both you and the tree to prune before the buds open. For a refresher on good pruning techniques, The Gardens on Spring Creek, Fort Collins Horticulture Center, is offering a pruning workshop on March 31. Check their website for more information and registration.  
  • Now is a great time to start your tomato, pepper and herb seeds inside.

"Our deck has been transformed from a rarely used access to the back yard to a rejuvenated space we really enjoy!"

--Kathy, Fort Collins

Choosing the Right Container

Choosing garden containers can be a very daunting process - there are so many choices and you want to get the ones which are right for your patio or deck. One way to help narrow down your choices is to decide on a material to use. Here I’ll describe a few of the most common materials used for container gardens and the pros and cons of each.

Glazed Ceramic are my favorite because they are available in so many styles and colors. They come in a large variety of sizes with textures and patterns and there are so many glaze options. Each pots has some variance from the next as each one is glazed individually. The inside of the pot can absorb water from the potting soil, but the glass glaze keeps it from evaporating. The water is then released back into the soil which creates an extra buffering for the plants in the container. The downside to glazed ceramic pots is that they are heavy and breakable and need to be protected in freezing temperatures.

Terra Cotta or Clay are the most widely used and recognized flower pots. True terra-cotta pots are made of a clay rich in iron which gives it the orange-red hue. Clay pots are often tinted that color or can be tinted any other color. Clay pots are porous which helps keeps the potting soil cool and wicks excess moisture away from plant roots (a great benefit if you tend to over-water your plants). The main problems with using clay are that it is relatively fragile, hard frosts can crack the containers and it can dry out quite rapidly, especially in sunny locations.

Plastic (a.k.a. Resin or Polyethylene) is often the least expensive type of garden container. However, plastics can also be quite expensive, depending on the chemical make-up and the processing used. A good, high quality plastic pot will last for decades; whereas, an inexpensive discount store item will typically fail after two or three seasons – plastic containers have a tendency to become dry and brittle in our climate. Plastic containers are not painted; the color is infused in the plastic itself. Thus the entire pot is the same color with no variance. The colors also fade, quickly and significantly in sunlight, unless the pot is “UV coated.” Plastic is non-porous and retains water easily (a good feature if you water irregularly). The best feature for plastic pots is that they are light weight.

Fiberglass containers are lightweight and strong. They are created using a molding process which often includes a three dimensional motif or texture. Most fiberglass pots are largely one color, possibly with one accent color added. The color can fade, just as plastic pots do and if the pots are painted, the paint can flake off. Fiberglass is a great choice if you will need to move your containers around or if you are concerned about young children or big dogs knocking your plants over.

I delight in helping people find the right containers for their outdoor living space! Please give me a call when you need help sifting through the choices.

Stephanie Selig
tel: (970) 988-3808