Wednesday, June 5, 2013

How to Keep Your Potted Plants Alive in the Heat of the Summer.

 I adore plants.  Hence the name Gardenview Cottage.  Plants make everything prettier.  Potted plants are my favorite right now because you..can..put..them..anywhere!  Here in Arizona where the summer sun will burn a hole in your eye you need to be able to move your pots to a shady spot to keep them alive. Plus we get 360 days of pure sun.  I kid you not.  It's a sunny day here everyday!

 

I like to group my pots together for two reasons.
1. They look better grouped together and it's always nice to be near a friend (wink)
2.  It's easier to water them so you aren't going all over the yard multiple times with the hose.


Speaking of watering.  Potted plants here in the Desert need a lot of water.  Even though my pots are in partial sun I still water them deeply every day to every other day.  There is no moisture in our air - like 0% humitity - so the plants need all the water they can get.  I don't think you can over water your pots in the summer.  I take that back....you can if there isn't a drainage hole in your pot.  Drainage holes are a must or you will get root rot, plant fungus and a wide range of other problems.  When I water the plants I fill the pot until water starts to come out the bottom. 

 

I have chickens that free range in my yard.  Chickens like to eat plants.  I had to be very careful when planting my pots this spring.  I didn't want to spend all my plant money on the Chickens lunch and I also didn't want to plant anything that would be harmful if they did nibble on them. 

 What I came up with was that chickens don't eat herbs.  They like to sit in the potted herbs but not eat them.  The picture above is filled with mint, thyme, globe basil and a little succulent I got in Cali. It also has a homemade wire dome that I made out of our marshmallow roasting sticks so the chickens wouldn't nest in my pot.  I have to say it worked great!


Chickens also don't eat potato vine which grows like a weed here in AZ.  It grows in full sun all the way to full shade.  It comes in dark purple (above) and a chartreuse green)  It's a great pot filler, is cheap and can be cut off, put in a cup of water and can be re-potted in less than a week.  I call it the "make a new friend plant" because it's so easy to share with your friends.

 

I fill my pots with 2-3 perennial plants and some annuals so they will be full.
I will do a post in the future on what plants chickens don't eat and what has worked for me.


 My little dwarf Meyer lemon tree got pretty frozen this winter and I thought it was dead for awhile.  It has come back nicely and I will have to take better care of it this winter. This pot would be in full sun all day so I have moved it under the umbrella I keep up to shade the chicken coop on the other side of our pool fence.  It is filled with the dwarf Meyer lemon tree, a chartreuse potato vine, zinnias, and climbing verbena.

Remember:  You don't have to have a green thumb, you just need to pay attention.

1 comment:

AZ Smurfette said...

paying attention is key! this is an awesome post, super helpful. thanks!