All containers must be suitable for their purpose. They must fit the plant and they must contain sufficient compost for that plant to flourish. They must be strong enough to withstand the elements. They must also have adequate drainage to allow surplus water to drain away when the plants are watered.
Drainage. Almost all garden containers that you can purchase will have proper drainage holes already in place but if they don’t you will have to make holes in the bottom. The same goes if you have made the containers yourself. Make sure that there are enough drainage holes and if you are lining the container with polythene see that there are holes in the polythene that align with the holes in the bottom of the container.
Winterizing not only makes your garden look better during the cold weather months, but will make for easier work in the spring and it is essential in cold-winter regions, where freezing, drying conditions can tax even hardy plants. Start closing your garden down when there is frost in the forecast or the temperature consistently starts to drop to the low 40’s or mid-30’s (Fahrenheit), usually around late October or November.
One of the first things you should do is clean all the debris from your garden. Get rid of dead foliage, leaves, roots, stakes and row markers. The debris you clean from your garden can be added to your compost heap which will be a big help come spring. You want to be sure, though, not to add any diseased debris or pest infected dead leaves or stalks in your compost pile. You don’t want to accidentally spread a disease from this year’s garden to next year’s.
If you ever visited Europe, flower-minded or not, you returned with enthusiasm for the window boxes they have seen-the red geraniums in Germany and Austria, the tuberous begonias of Switzerland… So think how beautiful cities might be if private houses, railroad terminals, apartment houses, department stores, and office buildings could all be decorated with window boxes.
Europeans have had rich experience in growing plants in boxes. We see them high above the streets of London, Dublin, Copenhagen, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Heidelberg, and Geneva. Along narrow, winding streets, they are a charming decoration throughout the growing season. In spring, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, pansies, wall flowers, and English daisies appear in profusion; in summer, geraniums everywhere radiate their dependable brilliance.
Cabbage should be planted to mature during cool weather. You can grow spring and fall crops where the cool but frost-free growing season is five months or more in length. Cabbages need a sunny site and firm soil. Prepare the soil in fall by adding well-rotted manure or garden compost and then leave it over winter to consolidate. Before planting cabbages, make sure the soil is well firmed by shuffling along the surface on your heels, then rake it flat.
Cabbages contain a fair amount of vitamin C with smaller quantities of vitamins A and B and also calcium and iron. Cabbage can ward off such ailments as stomach ulcers, headaches, arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and even cancers. For any of you that suffer from sore muscles, cabbage has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties, due to amino-acids it contains.
Containers get too hot and dry in summer and conversely they get colder than a surrounding garden in winter because a greater area is exposed to the elements.
Plants in containers therefore need special attention in cold winters and may well have to be protected, however warm the microclimate of the individual patio, windowsill or roof garden. Roof gardens are particularly affected for being open to the elements they are more likely to be buffeted by wind and storms.
Often, due to lack of time, or fine day in October, we don’t clean the garden before November. Keep your garden looking beautiful well into the fall season by trimming hedges, weeding and “dead heading” flowers no longer in bloom. From the garden bring out the stakes and rope that served as the underpinnings of certain types of plants. Clean the stakes and keep them to use next year. Plants destroyed by the frosts, we also should removed from the ground, chop and compost or plow. If these plants remain in the area, pose a threat as a potential source of disease and pests. Do not bother to clean up leaves until all of them have fallen. To rake leaves most effectively, start at the outer corner of your garden and either rake straight lines or rake from the outer corner inwards. If you have space, then keep the leaves to make compost. They are great for compost.