Home & Garden

Five Tips for Container Gardening Success

aaf331b46dd3169caac9_container_garden_3_horiz_Bonnie_Plants_2.jpg
Credits: Bonnie Plants
aaf331b46dd3169caac9_container_garden_3_horiz_Bonnie_Plants_2.jpg

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Container gardens allow you to easily dress up your balcony and patio, create a colorful welcome for guests and keep edibles close at hand for cooking and entertaining. They’re also a terrific way for new gardeners to get their start. Increase your success growing vegetables, herbs or flowers in a container with these tips.

Proper plant selection. Select the right plants for the container and growing conditions. Closely check the plant tags for this and more information to help with your decision. Create attractive combinations with plants that look good together and require the same growing conditions.

And don’t be afraid to mix flowers, herbs and vegetables. This is a great way to have both beauty and flavor on your patio, deck or balcony.  Scour gardening magazines and the internet for free container planting plans like those featured on the Bonnie Plants website.

Sign Up for E-News

Selecting the right container.  Further increase your success by selecting a container large enough to accommodate your plants. The bigger the pot, the more moisture it can hold, maximizing the time between watering. A small pot with a large plant will need to be watered several times a day during hot weather and fertilized more frequently.

Use a container with drainage holes made from material suited to your gardening style and climate.  Even if you could provide the exact amount of water your plants need, nature may intervene with an extra dose or two. Drainage holes prevent water from building up in the bottom of the pot, leading to root rot.

Those in areas with hot summers should avoid black and metal pots that can heat up in the summer sun and damage tender plant roots. Terra cotta pots are a traditional favorite. They are attractive, heavy and dry out more quickly than some other materials. Glazed pots are beautiful, but tend to be pricey and heavy to move. Plastic pots are affordable, come in a variety of styles and don’t dry out as quickly as terracotta. Then there’s the sturdy half whiskey barrel. This planter is a longtime favorite, but be sure to drill drainage holes in the bottom if it doesn’t already have them.

Potting mix.  Next, invest in a quality potting mix that holds moisture, yet provides adequate drainage. These are usually a combination of peat moss, compost or coir to hold moisture, and perlite or vermiculite to aid in drainage.  Leave garden soil in the garden where it belongs, not in containers.

Watering.  Check the potting soil moisture in your container gardens at least once a day and more often if the pots are small or temperatures high. Water thoroughly when the top inch of soil is dry and allow the excess to run out the drainage holes.  This shows you have moistened the potting mix, top to bottom, encouraging a robust root system to develop.

Extend the time between waterings with the help of self-watering pots. Their built-in water reservoirs provide water to the plants as the soil dries.  Fill the reservoir as needed and make sure there is a weep hole. This allows excess water to drain out of the reservoir instead of saturating the soil and leading to root rot.

Fertilization.  Lastly, incorporate a slow release fertilizer into the potting mix at planting. This type of fertilizer provides small amounts of nutrients over a longer time period.  Follow label directions and make additional applications as recommended on the fertilizer label.

As your container plants continue to thrive and you enjoy the flavorful vegetables and herbs and gorgeous flowers they provide, you’ll soon be looking for more spaces to incorporate container gardens into your landscape.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week Joe Sacco Wrestling

The South Plainfield Wrestling Team finished their dual meet season with a deceiving 20-7 record.  This past week saw the Tigers defeat Ewing (69-4), Bordentown Regional (49-9), and Ocean Township (54-6) to win the Central Jersey Group III Sectional Championship.  This advanced South Plainfield to the Group III State Championships yet again.  The wrestling team defeated Voorhees ...

The Athlete of the Week: Alyzah Ziga Co-ed Swimming

This past week South Plainfield’s Co-ed Swim Team finished their season.  The team was competitive in most meets, many times competing against bigger schools.  Junior Alyzah Ziga was an integral part of the Tiger’s Swim Team.

On Friday 2/2, Alyzah scored a total of 8 points against Linden with a 1st place in the 200 Individual Medley with a time of 2:29.55 and in 1st ...

Obituaries

South Plainfield - Mary E. Ridilla, 96,  passed away on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at the ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Middle School Student Council - Thank You!

February 16, 2018

The South Plainfield Middle School Student Council would like to express our thanks for the support of local businesses and organizations in our fundraising efforts.  A spaghetti dinner was hosted by the South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 on January 13th.  Mrs. Sharon Reuter and members of her Youth Committee and kitchen crew provided dinner for family, friends and staff of South ...

South Plainfield Residents  Named to Fall 2017 Dean's List at Seton Hall University

February 13, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -- Seton Hall University is pleased to announce the following students who qualified for Fall 2017 Dean's list and to congratulate them for their outstanding academic achievements:

Brooke Barry, Lindsay Celentano, Cj Dudek, Kaitlyn Faustini, Christopher McNeil,  Meagan Praul,  

Kyle Russell, Matthew Taco Bravo and Tomasz ...

Community Happenings

Pre-Ticket Sale for Holy Savior Academy’s 4th Annual Spring Splendor Tricky Tray

February 7, 2018

Holy Savior Academy is hosting its Spring Splendor Tricky Tray Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the school.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are limited and will be sold at Holy Savior Academy, 149 South Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield on Friday, February 9, 2016 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (cash or checks)

BYOB and food- Admission $ 25 per person includes:  ...

South Plainfield BOE Names Samuel Fierra Head of Guidance

February 8, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The South Plainfield Board of Education announced Feb. 8 that Sam Fierra had been appointed director of guidance for the South Plainfield School District.

Fierra previously served as interim director of guidance South Plainfield before being permanently appointed to the position in January, replacing Elaine Gallo who retired after serving as director for 10 years.

Holy Savior Academy hosts appreciation luncheon for Deanery Pastors

February 16, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The students and Board of Limited Jurisdiction of Holy Savior Academy (HSA), South Plainfield hosted a special luncheon to honor and celebrate the Pastors of twelve local Catholic churches that sponsor the school.  

The event was held at HSA on Tuesday February 13 and included a festive lunch featuring a home-cooked meal prepared by members of ...

Holy Savior Academy Cheer Competition

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Holy Savior Academy’s cheerleading squad is on winning streak.  Competing at the Biddy Level in the CCCANJ League, the girls took 1st place in the first two competitions of this cheer season. The 12 girl squad competed in the Immaculate Conception and the St. Mary’s competitions and came out on top beating fellow Catholic Schools, Immaculate ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_10fcd9abc9e51e251c5b_img_2324

Sun, February 18, 1:00 PM

South Plainfield

Open House 171 New York Avenue South Plainfield

Real Estate

Carousel_image_4b13d74a66d28696835d_sp_cultural_arts

Tue, February 20, 7:30 PM

South Plainfield

SPCAC Meeting

Carousel_image_2016772e51de2589b65e_lenten_dinners

Fri, February 23, 5:00 PM

South Plainfield

The Sacred Heart Lenten Fish Dinners

Carousel_image_160974dbc9379a0238f6_meet_the_mayor

Sat, February 24, 8:00 AM

South Plainfield

Meet the Mayor at the Senior Center

Carousel_image_01278d9d6764037b0a59_children_s_march_flyer-page-001

Sat, February 24, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

The Children’s March being shown at the South ...

Carousel_image_4d7f13f1bac1e8a84adb_races_flyer_4-page-001

Sat, February 24, 7:00 PM

South Plainfield

Night at the Races - Tricky Tray

Columns

Diegnan Bill Allowing Municipalities To Authorize Parking Authorities As Redevelopment Entity Now Law

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick Diegnan to allow municipalities to authorize a parking authority as a redevelopment entity is now law.

“We know that smart redevelopment can help to revitalize areas within a town or city, but we have to make sure that municipalities have the flexibility to undertake projects in the most effective way,” said ...

South Plainfield: A Heart for Giving

South Plainfield received over two inches of rain this past weekend. Fortunately, Mother Nature has cooperated, and the precipitation was not of the frozen variety. Despite the rain, nothing could put a damper on South Plainfield’s spirit of helping those in need.

On Saturday a few Borough employees and I had the opportunity to deliver funds that have been raised for a family that has ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Bookmarks

Tax forms are here!  The IRS has sent us printed copies of some of the most commonly used forms and instruction books.  We will continue putting them out as long as our supply lasts.  If you need other forms, we have them available for copying or you can print them out from IRS.gov.  Look on our website for more tax-related links.

The library will be closed on Sunday, ...

Knights Of Columbus Substance Abuse Awareness Poster Contest

All young people ages 8 through 14 are invited to participate in the 2018 Knights of Columbus Substance Abuse Awareness Poster Contest sponsored by the South Plainfield Knights of Columbus Council #6203.  Students that attend any schools in South Plainfield are welcomed to participate.  Students are encouraged to develop an original poster and slogan idea designed to discourage their ...

Suburban Woman’s Club Hosts Bert Baron of WCTC-AM Talk Radio

Bert Baron, the well-known WCTC AM radio morning talk show host, was the guest speaker at the February 1st Suburban Woman’s Club meeting at the South Plainfield American Legion Hall, attended by 22 members. 

With the same upbeat, conversational style Mr. Baron uses on his morning show, he recounted his love for radio from early childhood, his dream to someday have his own show, and ...

Press Releases

New Brunswick/Middlesex County Reentry Site Opens

February 14, 2018

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ - The New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC), a nonprofit agency serving court-involved individuals, is pleased to announce the grand opening a new reentry site in Middlesex County on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 at 11 a.m. The office is located at 57 Livingston Avenue, Unit 3, New Brunswick, N.J. 08901. Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin will offer remarks and cut ...