UMH Blog

Capture the Colors of Summer

Whether you live in a house, condo or apartment, you may not have the space or time to plant an in-ground garden. But you can still enjoy gardening as a hobby or source of fresh flowers and vegetables.

In a previous blog, we offered suggestions for starting a container garden. Here, we’ll discuss some of the flowers and vegetables that do well in clay pots and other containers—from tomatoes to native grasses.

Veg Out

Growing vegetables, like tomatoes, in containers protects them from critters and keeps them within easy reach. While there are a number of varieties that thrive in pots, a few have become favorites: Patio Princess, Baxter’s Bush Cherry (doesn’t need stakes or cages for support) and Whippersnapper (an early-producing cherry tomato). Most varieties will require staking to support the fruit.

For more detailed tomato tips, visit this article from HGTV. 

Squash and zucchini are hardy and versatile plants. Just make sure you harvest them often to spur new growth.

Sweet peppers adapt well to containers. Smaller varieties require at least a 2 gallon container and larger varieties need a 5-10 gallon pot. Just make sure they get at least 8 hours of sunlight each day.

Chives are a personal favorite and one of the hardiest herbs that you can grow. They add flavor to soups, dips and baked potatoes. Chives are also perennials so they’ll come back every year; and continue to grow indoors during the winter months.

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Flower Power

Gerber Daisies bloom in jewel tones and pastels. Make it easy on yourself by picking up a multiple-plant array already assembled by the grower. A rule of thumb would be to plant three gerberas in a 12-inch pot.

Impatiens are a mainstay of both in-ground and container gardens.

An important considerations when selecting flowers is including varieties that attract pollinators: bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Without them, your vegetables may flower but won’t produce, according to Phaidra Junker, Custom Container Designer at Baker Nursery (Fargo, ND). She recommends:

Black & Blue Salvia, which smells of mint and produces one of the few true blues in nature, according to Junker.

Wendy’s Wish, a vibrant magenta Salvia with a citrus fragrance.

Lantana Landmark Rose Sunshine, which produces a tie-dyed effect as the blossom changes color throughout its blooming cycle.

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Do What Comes Naturally

Native grasses have become very popular among gardeners. They’re easy to grow and add height, making them a good complement to flowering plants.

Little Bluestem ranges in color from shades of blue to green and turns shades of orange, red, and purple in fall.

Improve your chances of success by asking the grower for advice about soil types, sunlight and water requirements and fertilizers that work best with the plants you choose.

container gardening tip