the urban gardeness

a novice gardener's adventures in chicago gardening

Container gardening tips from a pro

canna lily

At the Chicago Flower & Garden Show this weekend, I attended a wonderful seminar by William Moss, a Chicago gardener and greening expert for the CBS’s The Early Show.

Moss spoke about container gardening in small spaces, discussing gardening basics and offering useful tips especially for Chicago gardeners—as well as suggestions for new gardening products. Here are some of my favorite tips.

Container gardening tips:

  • Choose plants that are hardy and/or native (less maintenance)
  • For flowers/herbs, suggested pot size is: 12″
  • For vegetables, suggested pot size is: 18″
  • Use container inserts to reduce weight and promote root growth (Moss suggested Better than Rocks)
  • Start with a sterile potting soil (Moss suggested Organic Mechanics, sold locally at Whole Foods)
  • Add mulch to containers to retain soil moisture, moderate soil temperature and inhibit weeds (Super Mulch was recommended)– rocks/stones can also be used
  • Choose vegetables with early ripening qualities
  • Use OMRI-listed (Organic Materials Review Institute) slow release organic fertilizers and fungicides
  • Combine vegetables with herbs in containers (herbs can help repel pests)
  • Don’t over-fertilize your plants
  • When shopping for perennials, choose those that are hardy in Zone 3/4

Though it may still look like winter outside, it was nice to be reminded of gardening and warmer days.

Urban gardeners: share your container gardening tips in the comments!

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