Los Fresnos News

Containers, containers everywhere and here’s some tips on how to use them


There are many reasons to plant in containers instead of directly into the soil. Containers situated around the yard make gardening easy and provide better soil, less weeds, and often are easier to reach. They can often be moved around as needed.

A variety of containers are available to garders, including raised beds, clay pots and fabric bags. Photos: Ann Johnston / LFN

Some specialized containers can make gardening even more convenient. These might be raised or elevated beds and self-watering containers.
Then there are the specialized containers that can be difficult, as with strawberry pots. When watering these containers, it is difficult to water them all the way to the bottom without washing the soil out of the planted holes. These clay pots are taller than usual and have several planting pockets hanging off the sides like little balconies or windows.

A trick to use for these pots is to cut a piece of PVC pipe that is slightly taller than the top lip of the pot. Drill holes down the sides of the pipe every two inches. close off the hole in the bottom of the pot with pebbles or pot shards and then place the watering pole in the middle of the pot then fill with wet soil and plant. It doesn’t have to be planted with strawberries. Trailing plants, succulents or any bedding annuals will do well. Pour water into the centered PVC pipe and the water will distribute slowly and evenly throughout the pot.

Strawberry pots with watering pipes to facilitate watering in these specialized containers.

Suggestions: Soak your clay pot first.

  • Dampen your soil before filling containers.
  • Soak your plant’s root ball before planting by submerging the original container and plant in a bucket of water.
  • Start adding soil and add plants working from the bottom upward.

Hint: Damp pots and soil can be heavy so be sure you can get your completed container to its final location safely.

Something to LISTEN for: Our cicadas have begun to sing their summer concerts. Enjoy these insects’ shrill, loud songs and the coolness of the summer evenings. Pull up a lawn chair outside and relax at the end of the day.

Step through the Garden Gate for more gardening hints, suggestions and things to look for next week.