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Home Grown: Practical Planting Pointers

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

While I LOVE my home, sometimes I feel like despite the fact that it’s only the two of us; we’ve definitely outgrown the space. But, it seems we’re not the only ones who seem to need a bit more room for added “comfort”. Apparently so have our plants.

In fact, my husband is such of fan of foliage we have a few plants in each room.

Still, we always find ourselves musing over which are the best for our home and lifestyle. And, because of our “limited” space find ourselves “scaling down” on size of our indoor scenery.

But, according to experts, getting the right size plants, shrubs, etc for your home and garden can make all the difference in aesthetic effect.

1. When it comes to “landscaping” the cost factor can add up. So, when you scope our shrubbery, note that common container sizes range from two-inch pots to 20-gallon tubs. Choose the appropriate size by taking into consideration the type of plants your needs and the number needed to get the job done. Also take into account the location where the greenery will be planted, your budget, and if you intend on moving them yourself or having them delivered. Remember, the weight of the plants you buy can range, depending on the size to several hundred pounds.

2. According to experts, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, they suggest the most two-to-four inch pots, weighing only a few ounces and relatively inexpensive are often the best value, especially those looking for herbs, vegetable transplants, plants for potting on the deck or patio and those that will be used for bedding.

3. Take on a “the more the merrier” philosophy when it comes to gardening. In fact, experts suggest the multi-packs continue to increase in popularity adding that these also offer “gardeners” significant savings. On other hand if you only want a small amount (two or three) tomato plants but you can only find them in “bulk”, such as only in “six-packs”, you may find yourself paying for something you don’t really want or need. In addition, sometimes these multi-packs only have a few healthy plants. However, if you look for multi-packs that offer mostly healthy plants, you’re getting more than you bargained for.

4. Another favorite is the four-inch pot. Experts note that these are often reasonably prices and plants grown here are less likely to experience transplant shock (at least as compared to those in larger containers). Furthermore, and probably most importantly and impressively, these “little guys” are ideal for pocket planting or sticking plants in small, bard spots throughout a particular bed or in cramped locations just beneath canopies of trees where you’re likely to find established roots that don’t offer much digging room.

5. Another highly recommended size is the one-gallon container. And, what’s “great” about these is that virtually every plant is offered in this size, including annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. And, regardless of the type of plant potted in a one-gallon pot, they usually run between $6 and $10 and are easy to move and transplant. Note that one-gallon container plants are the best bargain if you’ve got lots of planning to do. But, if you don’t want to wait for growth and want an instant specimen, then you may opt for a three-gallon size, but the more you plant, the more money you’ll save with a one-gallon size.

Also, for slower growing plants such as mugho pines, you’re likely better off opting for the larger size, even though it may cost you more. According to experts, the difference may be well worth it, because it may be years before it grows to an appreciable size or catches up to a larger one you may already have.

However, if time is NOT of the essence and you don’t mind waiting and watching it grow, them do yourself a favor and save some money by choosing a smaller, more inexpensive plant.

But, before shelling out any cash, check the plants for the following potential problems:

· If the plants have been planted for a significant amount of time, they may have set roots and be root-bound. So, may sure to check out the root-system before making your purchase, and loosen the roots at planting time, or score them with a knife to stimulate new growth.

Another “issue” you may encounter with container plants of all sizes is that they may have been over-stimulated via artificial light, an abundance of fertilizer or both. This note experts is a “ploy” growers use to make plants more attractive and appealing once they get to the nursery, but a technique that can backfire once the plant is at YOUR home. If you notice a plant blooming well before it’s expected to or should, or whose growth seems to be way ahead of its time, experts say, beware! They add that just because a plant looks amazing doesn’t mean it will adapt well to the more realistic conditions at your home.

Long Island Home & Lifestyle Articles > Home Grown: Practical Planting Pointers

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