In a few weeks we will be moving into a house...our first house ever. So, I guess this means that I'm setting down some roots in Texas (well, we already knew that we were here to stay a while...though we kept saying we were going back to California for the longest time). I'm very excited about having my own space, no one living under me (so I children can stomp around to their heart's content), a separate room for my littlest (who's been sharing ours), and a long awaited REAL garden. I've gotten pretty good at container gardening, but it's frustrating that the plants that grow "wild" in the lawn downstairs from the seeds my potted morning glory drops do better than the ones I tend and care for upstairs. But I do have a few tips up my sleeve, and I thought I'd pass along one of the best ones to you all.
My favorite Texas container gardening tip is...get plastic plants! No, really, this is a real gardening tip...resulting in actual live plants!
Let me explain. For several seasons I tried to grow plants from seeds in containers on our sunny apartment porch. No luck. They would sprout, and then the first hot day would hit them and they would wilt and die. I finally gave up...stuck some plastic plants in a pot full of soil I had tried several times to grow seeds in, and let it sit there on my porch. Rains came. Sunny days came. And then one day I look down and see something sticking out of the plastic plants. It's a REAL plant...a petunia which grew from formerly planted seeds, protected from the sun by the plastic plants. I checked and there were several other plants growing under there (different kinds...I forget now which ones, because I had tried planting several). I left the plastic plants in until they were about the size of the store-bought varieties and then took the plastic plants out and they did great. Then I planted some seeds in another pot and moved the plastic plants over them...and once again, they grew and thrived.
And the great things about this method is that you don't have empty pots sitting on your patio while you wait for your seeds to grow!