New to container gardening...please help with watering guidelines

zaphod42May 8, 2013

This year I decided to tackle container gardening. Previous forays have been unsuccessful, but I was new to gardening. I'm older, wiser and ready to give them another go. I'm primarily on the rose forums and the need to pot up some of my rose purchases this spring was the primary impetus. So far I've mixed my own blend of potting soil based on a recipe for rose containers. I have four containers of varying sizes with a wide selection of annuals. All are in full sun just off my patio.

Cedar container
20" DIA x 15" H
14" DIA x 11"H

Ceramic container
13" DIA x 10.5" H
10" DIA x 8" H

I'd like to establish a watering ritual so I don't fail as I did last time by neglecting the watering. I've a 3 QT can. Can I water every morning or is that too much? Every other morning? About how much per container? I've been dumping the whole can on the large planter and about a quart and a half on the smaller containers.

I threw in a bit of alfalfa, manure and compost while putting together the mix. How often do you fertilize containers? How soon after planting do I need to fertilize? Thank you!

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

It depends on a few things, type of mix, growth phase of plant, how much sun, time of year, etc. Alot of people use a skewer/dowel and stick it down into the container, remove it and see if it's damp or not in order to determine if the plant needs water. I use cheap bamboo kabob skewers to test my containers. You will figure out what works best for you. I happen to use a fast draining mix so overwatering during the height of the season is almost impossible. I fertilize with a liquid fertilizer at 1/4 strength at every watering or every other watering. Some people also mix a little controlled release fertilizer in with the mix at planting time. I grow mostly veggies in the 511 mix, so maybe others will respond to your mix and flowers.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 1:59PM
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fireduck(10a)

I have read here and other places that inexpensive ph testers are a joke. I don't know. However, I can tell you that the three inexpensive (10-12 dollars) moisture meters (probe kind) I have bought are great. I have often checked and cross checked, and they are always very close. Think about one.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 4:54PM
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fireduck(10a)

I have read here and other places that inexpensive ph testers are a joke. I don't know. However, I can tell you that the three inexpensive (10-12 dollars) moisture meters (probe kind) I have bought are great. I have often checked and cross checked, and they are always very close. Think about one. sorry...got repeated somehow. haha

This post was edited by fireduck on Wed, May 8, 13 at 16:57

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 4:55PM
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four(9B (near 9a))

Please tell about the meters -- brand/model, source(s).

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 11:02PM
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