Let’s cut to the chase as gardening season is upon us!
Part 3 of my series Your Garden from the Ground Up
Fertilizing Container Gardens
We gardeners need to get out there & make the world more beautiful.
The easiest way is planting container gardens.
You can & should start planning & planting now.
I am imagining planters spilling down my steps front & back. Like this image from Country Living magazine!
Best Fertilizer for Container Plants
To get your container gardens off to the best start you’ll need to feed them.
Plants in containers are in special need of fertilizing as they cannot get needed nutrients replenished from the surrounding soil.
Container plants are in a “contained” area of soil. Once the food is used up it is gone. But you can fix that.
Not with bags of expensive plant food, but with my secret combo.
Three things you probably have in your kitchen now.
What is my secret combo?
Banana Peel – Egg Shells – Coffee Grinds
- The Banana Peel: adds phosphorus & potassium to the soil. Both are essential to a healthy plant. Potassium is responsible for the formation of new flower buds.
- The Egg Shells: add valuable nutrients such as calcium. Tomatoes in particular love calcium. FYI ~ Crushed egg shells sprinkled on top of the soil also deters slugs & snails. They don’t like crawling over the shells. Imagine dragging yourself belly down over shards of glass to get to a salad…yes that would be a deterrent!
- The Coffee Grinds: provide nitrogen & tannic acids to the soil. Acid loving plants such as azaleas, blueberries, butterfly weed, camellias, ferns, gardenias, lupines & rhododendrons especially love coffee grinds. Sprinkling the grinds on top of the soil may also deter slugs & snails as they are known to be tea drinkers 😉 No ~ really they also don’t like the feeling of sliding over the grinds. So picky ~ a wonder they eat as much as they do!
Now that you know why these 3 kitchen items work in your Container gardens, here is how to get them in there:
Cut up the peel, wash then crunch up the shells & mix in the grinds.
The ‘recipe’ is forgiving. Use about an equal amount of each. That breaks down to approximately 1 peel, 3 eggs & a cup of grinds.
I drop it all into a large ziplock & mush it around.
If I have extra leftover I double bag it & put it in the bottom drawer of the fridge until I plant another container ~ or until my kids find it. They really should make opaque ziplocks so these “leftovers” don’t freak out my kids. They are not gardeners, YET!
Toss about a cup of the mixture right into the container after you fill partially with soil.
Add more soil – then tuck in your plants and top with a little more soil & mulch or moss.
My combo is inexpensive, organic, slow release, a repurpose and it really works.
All that adds up to happy container plants & less maintenance for you.
A lovely low maintenance garden is not a fantasy!
So tomorrow morning brew up some coffee, make some eggs & eat a banana.
Then you’ll be all set to plant your container gardens.
My secret combo will set you on your way to making your corner of the world more beautiful!
Are you planning container gardens for this season? For inspiration follow my Container Garden board on Pinterest.
** Kelly **
Read Parts One & Two of my Series Your Garden from the Ground Up so you are all caught up.
Part One ~ Drawing a Garden Plan
Part Two ~ Improving your Soil