What’s better than walking outside in the morning to fresh air and sunshine? Walking outside to find fresh air, sunshine and a beautiful container filled with spring blooms.
Refresh your porch or patio by adding a spring container. Get started by finding the perfect planter. There are tons of fun colors and patterns to choose from. Or get creative and use an unexpected object.
Check to make sure the container has drainage holes at the bottom and you’re good to go. We recommend using Espoma’s organic potting mix to fill the container and then mixing in Espoma’s Bio-tone Starter Plus with the soil to give it that extra oomph.
Once nighttime temperatures remain above freezing, not dipping below, 30°F, you’re reading to plant.
Read on for our top plant choices to fill your containers with this spring.
Pick Lovely Perennials
English daisies, hellebores, pansies, primroses and bergenia make for good choices for early perennials. Find out if a plant can’t tolerate the cool temperatures of early spring by referencing the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
Go for Classic Spring Blooms
It’s OK if you didn’t plant spring-blooming bulbs such as tulips and daffodils in the fall. Just stop by your local garden center to pick up already-blooming bulbs and pop them into your container for an instant pick me up.
Stock up on Hydrangeas
Certain dwarf varieties of hydrangeas can really pack a punch when paired with a decorative container. Scroll through our Hydrangea Variety Guide to find the right dwarf hydrangea for you. Then, find a spot that matches the amount of light they need.
If you want to grow blue hydrangeas, mix in Espoma Organic Soil Acidifier. For pink hydrangeas, add Espoma’s Organic Garden Lime. Then fill planter with potting soil, and plant the hydrangea at the same height it was previously growing.
Looking for a different spring project? Learn how to make these easy paint can succulent containers.
This DIY veggie pallet planter, made by Laura from Garden Answer, is a great upcycled vertical planter idea. Laura shows how you can grow lettuce and flower in a small space using Espoma organic potting soil and organic fertilizer.
“What’s for Dinner?” is always easiest to answer at the height of summer. All you need to do is walk through your garden and use what’s freshly picked.
And now, you can win money in the process!
Espoma is shining its light on your harvest with our new “Garden to Table” contest. We want to see what you’re growing and cookin’ up in your kitchen this summer.
Enter Espoma Organic’s “Garden to Table” Contest to Win $100!
- Like Espoma Organic on Facebook.
- Click the Contest Tab.
- Before August 12, post a picture of your homegrown fruits or veggies and tell us what you’ll be making with them. Or share a picture of the finished dish!
- Share your photo with friends and family. A panel of judges will choose the top three winners from the photos with the most “Likes.”
- “Like” your favorite entries!
Three winners will be announced on August 12. First prize is a $100 gift card, second prize is a $50 gift card and third prize is an Espoma Container mix that includes organic Potting Soil, Tomato-tone and Garden-tone.
Curious about what others are using from their gardens for dinner? Check out our gallery and “Like” to vote for your favorite!
Now that you’re up to speed on our “Garden to Table” contest, let’s take a look at the top five reasons why growing your own organic produce is so important!
- Know What You Grow. When you grow your own organic fruit and veggies, you know exactly what went into them. No worrying about harmful pesticides or how your food was treated.
- Fresh as It Gets. If you’ve ever chomped into a sun-kissed, bright-red tomato plucked right from the vine, you know the enthusiasm that follows. The flavors are out-of-this-world fresh!
- Bigger and Better. Homegrown produce always trumps store-bought. They’re often double the size – especially if you used Espoma’s Organic Garden-Tone.
- Slash the Grocery Bill. Investing $70 in the vegetable garden can result in a whopping $600 worth of produce. Imagine how much you could save growing blueberries alone!
- Create a Legacy. Involving your children in the garden is powerful. You can teach them how important it is to respect the planet, care for it tenderly and grow sustainable, organic produce.
Yum! We can’t wait to see what delicious, homegrown dishes you create. Enter the contest and share your entry for your chance to win!
When it’s hot, dry and muggy, the only cure is a cold drink. Well, your plants think so, too.
The trick to keeping your garden hydrated during the hottest days is not to water more. It’s to water smarter. We’ll teach you how to conserve water and keep your garden and lawn looking good with these tips.
How to Smartly Shower Flowers and Lawns:
- Morning Glory. Water before 9 a.m. in summer. As the day heats up, water can evaporate before your plants have a chance to soak it up.
- Water Deeply. Deep watering is most effective since it goes right to the roots. Plan on deeply watering your garden frequently with a nice soak. Hold the hose on each plant and count to 20. 30 minutes after watering, ensure the soil is moist 8”
- Prep to Step. Step in the lawn before watering. If you leave footprints behind, water. Properly watered grass springs right back up.
- Precise Advice. Generally, plants, flowers and lawns need 1” of water a week. Use a rain gauge to make sure you’re not over or under watering. Check the gauge after it rains.
- Cool Tools. Add a soaker hose or automated drip irrigation system to save you tons of time and wasted water. Installing them is a project, but one that will pay off for many years to come!
- Clean Green. When watering, get right to the roots. Wetting plant leaves just goes to waste. Plus, wet leaves provide the perfect environment for mold and disease to thrive.
- Thank You Very Mulch! A garden with 2-3” of mulch can reduce water consumption by 25-50 percent. Since organic mulch decomposes, consistently add more mulch.
Nice! You’re saving water, and keeping your garden blooming! Treat yourself by hopping in the pool or sipping an ice-cold drink in the shade. You’ve earned it!
Hanging baskets make great visual impacts when they are filled to the brim with bright summer blooms. They add instant color to any spot and are a sign of warm weather.
Though as days get hotter and the summer rolls on, hanging baskets can start to look tired: drooping blooms, minimal flowers and straggly plants.
Your hanging basket isn’t doomed. It just needs a good ol’ fashion pick-me-up.
Refresh your hanging baskets to keep them partying all summer long
Get ready to give your hanging baskets a make-over. With these tips, your hanging basket will be back in its prime in no time.
Take the Heat Off Hanging Baskets
- Test the Waters Hanging baskets need more water when temperatures rise. During the peak of summer’s heat, water baskets in the morning until water drips from the drainage holes. Check them again in the afternoon to see if they need more water. On windy days, hanging baskets dry out, so they will need even more water.
- Food for Thought. Feed hanging baskets with an organic flower food, like Flower-tone or the new Bloom! liquid plant food. Because of how much water baskets need, nutrients are frequently flushed from the soil. Regular feedings give your hanging baskets the energy they need to shine and bloom continuously.
- Drop Dead Gorgeous Blooms. As flowers fade, pinch them off where they meet the stem. Deadheading hanging baskets keeps them producing flowers and prevents them from going to seed.
- Which to Switch. Not every flower blooms all summer. If one of your flowers is done blooming for the season, swap it out. Gently remove the flower, replace it with a vibrant plant and fill with an organic potting soil.
- What to Cut. When your hanging basket is looking a bit wild or leggy, cut it back by 1-2”.
Look at that! Your hanging baskets already look better. Keep up these tips throughout the summer to keep hanging baskets fresh, beautiful and blooming.
Gardener’s Guide: Hydration while on Vacation
As you pack your bags, finish up at work and plan your vacation adventures, one lingering question remains, “Who will water my plants?
Yes, we’d all like to have a friend or neighbor available to care for our garden while we’re out of town, but that’s not always a possibility.
Luckily, you can prep your garden before you go on vacation. Here are some tricks.
While You’re On Vacation, Treat Your Garden to a Stay-cation
- Right on Time. Install a water timer to automate watering. You can opt for a more complex drip irrigation system or simply use a timer with sprinklers. Plan to give plants about 1” of a water a week.
- Pack a Snack. Keep your plants well-fed and packed with nutrients while you’re gone. Feeding your veggies, flowers and herbs with the right organic plant food sets them up for success and gives them the strength they need to survive tough situations.
- Much Mulch. Mulch helps plants retain 25-50 percent more water, so it’s perfect for vacation use. Make sure all plants have 2-3” of mulch. Water the mulch until it’s wet all the way through.
- Cluster Containers. Group containers in a shady spot where they’ll be watered by a sprinkler. Or if going out of town for 1-2 weeks, place containers out of direct sunlight in a kiddie pool filled with a few inches of water.
- Take Your Pick. Pick anything and everything from your edible plants. That includes any tomatoes showing color, pint-sized cucumbers and zucchinis and any beans you see. Picking will keep plants producing and provides healthy, organic snacks for your travels, too.
- Mow Before You Go. Mow the lawn the day before your trip. Simple!
Now, sit back, relax and get ready for an invigorating vacation! Your plants will surely miss you, but they’ll be just fine while you’re gone.