Not Too Late!
people feel like they missed the proper planting time and decide it's
worth bothering because they're late. When plants are well cared for,
they will easily last through the end of September. Why pass up on having a
beautiful patio for the rest of the summer just because you are running
a little bit late?
you still need plants, I'm still planting! (In fact, I'm still working
on the planters at my own house.) Contact me
guests admire your lovely container gardens, please refer them to Patio
Plants Unlimited. You can earn $25 off your planting
service for each referral.
check-list of yard work to do now:
flowers as they fade to promote continuous bloom.
to control weeds either by manually pulling them or by using an
back chrysan- themums to get
nice, tight plants covered in blooms next fall. Pinch off all
the growing ends now, again in June and again in July.
Pinch 1"-2" off the tops of each stem. A sharp pair of
scissors works well or you can just use your fingers.
the lawn to no less than 2" (higher is better) and don't bother bagging
the clippings. Allowing the clippings to fall back on the
lawn recycles some of the nitrogen blue grass demands.
- Plant seeds for zucchini and
in the garden by mid-June.
"The color combination Stephanie put together is so
eye-catching, I've had several neighbors stop on their walks to
compliment my porch. The house is so much more welcoming with flowers."
Last month I gave you a brief overview of Soil
Science. I also mentioned that I always use high quality
potting soil in all my container
gardens. In fact, the potting soil I use is not soil at all -- it
is a "soil-less growing medium." If that term confused you, please
allow me to explain.
You may remember from last month's newsletter that soil is described as sand, silt or
clay and further defined by the relative concentration of
each. (If you missed that newsletter, you can read it on-line.)
However, plants don't really require sand, silt or clay to grow.
Plant roots need a damp, dark location and require nutrients for
growth. Soil isn't required as demonstrated by hydroponics. Plants can
be grown in any substance as long as it provides the
So what is in a bag of "potting soil" if its not soil? The main
ingredient is predominantly
sphagnum peat moss. Sphagnum peat is lightweight, relatively
inexpensive and a
renewable resource. It is well draining yet water
retentive. Other ingredients include bark (to improve air space),
(which looks like pebbly styrofoam and improves water retention), and
vermiculite (which improves water holding capacity). A good
high-quality potting soil includes a complete fertilizer and is tested
and adjusted for proper pH. Often, limestone or gypsum is added to the
mix to adjust the pH level.
Actually, there is a lot of science that goes into each bag of potting
soil. Before I plant new flowers each
spring, I remove at least 2/3 of last year's soil.
Inside a flower pot there's not much room for error - why chance it
with soil which may no longer have enough vital nutrients or may have a
The soil is the foundation for the plants so don't scrimp and
get lousy potting soil. My
favorite potting mix is Fertilome Ultimate. It has a nice, fluffy
texture and a good earthy scent. I can also attest that
flowers and plants of all types
am often asked if it wouldn't be better to just get hanging
baskets from the local nursery or discount store. My response
that the full-grown baskets will not last as long as the baskets I
plant. To prove my point, this year follow along with the pictures of
my unscientific experiment:
As you can see in the picture below, the baskets are hanging
side-by-side so there will be no difference in sun or wind exposure.
The baskets are exactly the same - 12" diameter plastic pots. Both are
plugged into my drip irrigation system and I will do my best to treat
them equally. My basket is filled with similar plants in the some color
scheme: red, white and purple. The "big-box store" plant is on the left
and the Patio Plants Unlimited basket is on the right.
OK, I concede this
month- the plants in both baskets are green and
healthy, but the big-box store basket is fuller and has more
not giving up that easily, though! Watch for my newsletter
and see how my experiment progresses!
If you have
any questions about your plants or irrigation system, please contact me.
I sincerely hope your patio is your own special haven.
tel: (970) 988-3808