Home & Garden

Grow Your Own Backyard Paradise in a Pot

June 7, 2014 at 3:00 AM

Create a backyard escape with the help of container gardens. Whether you’re looking for a visit to the desert, an English garden or tropical paradise, a few planters can help create the mood.

Reduce your workload and increase your enjoyment with a bit of planning and proper planting.

Select a container with drainage holes and one that mimics the color and feel of the location you are trying to recreate. Use troughs, stone or other containers made from neutral colors when growing succulents. The container should complement, but not overpower the simple beauty of the desert plants.

Sign Up for E-News

Keep things warm and natural when going for a more tropical feel.  Wicker, bamboo and other natural materials work well with the lush foliage and vibrant colors of tropical plants.

Add a few terra cotta, metal and basket type containers when creating an English cottage setting.  Set them on your patio, steps or in the garden to create a focal point.

Keep your plants looking good throughout the season with the proper planting mix. Look for potting mixes with good drainage and water holding abilities, like Schultz Potting Soil Plus (schultz.com). Check the label as some mixes contain enough fertilizer to last the entire season and water-retaining crystals to reduce the need to water.

Use a cactus mix that provides the perfect growing conditions for cacti and succulents. The potting mix should retain the moisture and nutrients the plants need, while providing the excellent drainage that is a must for these plants.

Plant any orchids added to your backyard tropical paradise in a potting mix designed for these plants. Use an orchid mix that has excellent drainage and aeration, yet retains the moisture and nutrients these beauties need to thrive.

Check your planters daily and water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil are crumbly and slightly moist. Allow cacti and succulents to go a bit drier.

Mulch the soil in tropical, herb, vegetable and annual container gardens. Spread a thin layer of shredded leaves, evergreen needles or twice shredded bark over the soil surface. Use fine pebbles for cacti and succulents that like things hot and dry.

And don’t forget about garden accents.  A wattle fence and arbor of twigs and branches work well for an English garden setting, while a water feature can enhance a tropical paradise themed garden, and some southwest garden art can complete the desert scene you’re going for.

So start your vacation this year with a trip to the garden center. Invest in a few containers, the right potting mix and plants. Then plant your way to the retreat of your dreams.

Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments. Myers is also a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers’ web site, www.melindamyers.com, offers gardening videos and tips.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_4d80854f4b5c252ca5b6_supernet

Wed, January 25, 6:30 PM

The Newark Club - Metropolitan Room, Newark

ACG NJ Joint Super Networking Party, January 25th ...

Arts & Entertainment Business & Finance Food & Drink

Sat, January 28, 10:00 AM

Washington Community School, Plainfield

dfree Path To Financial Freedom Workshops

Education

Carousel_image_13892a4bf48ae0dc36a8_pso_children_s_concert

Sat, January 28, 3:00 PM

Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, Plainfield

Plainfield Symphony's Annual Free Family Concert

Arts & Entertainment

Pedestrian Killed on Route 22 in Union Friday Identified

January 20, 2017

UNION, NJ – The man struck and killed by a motor vehicle as he attempted to cross Route 22 Friday morning has been identified as Edgard Cruz of Union.

According to Union Police, the accident occurred at 9:30 a.m. Friday near the Point Condos and Chick-fil-A.

Cruz, 67, was attempting to cross three lanes of Route 22 East from the Point Condos to the 7-Eleven on the ...

Free Public Wi-Fi in Union County Parks and Facilities in Plainfield Area

January 17, 2017

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Okay, Plainfield, you already know some of the benefits of getting off the couch and stepping away from that television.  Now there is one more reason to head outside, and strive for those 10K steps per day. 

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced the additional park areas that will have free public Wi-Fi, so you can map out your route and post ...

The Working Man Conned

January 23, 2017

The changing of the guard is now complete, and America has entered an era of uncertainty with dark threats to our existing democratic institutions which were built by strong willed men and women over a period of almost three centuries.

A real testing of our moral courage is before us, and we the people will be challenged every single day like never before in our history. This new era of ...

Crisis Listening Line to Offer Suicide Prevention Training and Volunteering Opportunities

January 23, 2017

Are you a good listener? Do you want to make a difference in the life of someone in crisis?

Crisis listening line Caring Contact will be offering Excellence in Listening training beginning March 20 at the First Baptist Church at 170 Elm Street in Westfield. Classes run for three hours one night a week, plus one full weekend, ending June 12.

This award-winning training enables graduates to ...

Tears Are Good, They Let The Sadness Out

January 16, 2017

Jackie Kennedy and Coretta Scott King were our nation’s role models for mourning in the 1960’s and in the decades since. They were praised for their strength and stoicism, their courage and grace, and rightly so. They were great role models for our nation at a time of great unrest and anxiety, but I would say they were not the role models we needed when it came to grieving our ...

Step Right Up

Let’s make America the Greatest Show on Earth Again.

 

I was very sad to learn that after 146 years of big-top entertainment the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is folding its tent and leaving town.

 

This comes a year after the circus, due to mounting pressures from animal rights activists, got rid of the elephants.

 

It is not really ...

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews (St. Martin's Press, 2016)

 

Having just passed the winter solstice, dreams of summer, warm beaches, suntan lotion, and the shussh of the ocean lapping the shore are very much on the minds of beach lovers. It is only five months until Memorial Day kicks off the summer season. If you are looking for a novel to titillate your summer musings, Mary ...