Follow the rules to make the best of container gardening

Published 11:59 pm Friday, April 29, 2011

Today’s busy gardeners want flexibility, and there’s no better avenue than container gardening.

Containers make it fast, easy and fun to grow plants on porches, decks, patios and balconies. Gardeners can showcase an entrance, enhance an outdoor seating area or highlight a shady spot.

A container will provide more production per square foot, and gardeners generally will take better care of a container than a small garden, says Dr. Wayne Porter, a Mississippi State University Extension Service area horticulture specialist in Lauderdale County.

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At his Creative Container Gardening talk at the 2011 Master Gardeners March Mondays series, he cautioned gardeners to not use dirt from their yards for container planting. It is too heavy and contains insects and disease organisms. A high-quality mix containing composted pine bark or hardwood and perlite is a much better choice.