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Welcome to the Ellicottville Special E-Fects
Serving Ellicottville & the Twin Tiers of Western New York since 1989
The Official Newspaper of:
The Town & Village of Ellicottville
Town of Great Valley & Township of Mansfield

Down To Earth
By Gerlind Dubey (04/10/2009)

A Container Garden Is Limited Only By Imagination

It’s not too early to think about how you want to fill this summer’s garden containers. That is why I’m heading to the Greater Olean Home and Garden Show next weekend to get some ideas. There are many selections of annual flowers and containers at your local garden center to select from, choose wisely for the type of light and weather conditions at your home. Live and learn! My first year of gardening in the country I opted for hanging baskets on the veranda, never expecting the high north winds that crop up so often on this hill we live on, it was a disaster! To my dismay, even after wiring the baskets to their hooks the planters took on a life of their own whirling and spinning and tossing broken foliage and flowers everywhere. Now there are four planters that fit snugly onto the railing with florist wire woven through the drain holes and railing for extra measure.

Choosing containers can be as much fun as what you plant in them. Containers don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, anything that can hold soil can be put into service as a pot. Look around your home and scout garage sales for creative containers; anything from an old rusty wheel barrow to a used Michelin tire can add an eclectic element to your garden. And of course, there are also always the wonderful, traditional flowerpots, in terra-cotta, cement or plastic. Opt for larger pots to mix and match several different plants. Smaller pots require frequent watering.

Container gardening enables you to experiment with plants and to optimize environmental conditions, Plan to incorporate companion planting you’re your container garden by mingling flowering plants with vegetables and herbs.

If your vegetable gardening time and space is limited, consider raising vegetables in containers. A window sill, a patio, a balcony or a doorstep will provide sufficient space for a productive mini-garden. Almost any vegetable that will grow in a typical backyard garden will also do well as a container-grown plant. Vegetables which are ideally suited for growing in containers include tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, green onions, beans, lettuce, squash, snow peas and radishes.
Variety selection is of extreme importance, for instance tomatoes, there are a variety of patio vegetables to choose from. One of my choices this season is Tumbling Tom tomatoes, which at the moment are healthy seedlings basking in a sunny window. Tumbling Tom has a compact trailing habit that promises to be a heavy yielder of cascading sweet, juicy bright red cherry tomatoes. Another vegetable I am putting in containers is a tried and true dwarf snow pea call snowbird; a very early. The erect plants get to be about 18 in. tall so there is no need for a trellis. These plants produce amazing numbers of 3 in. pods in groups of 2-3 and are ready to pick 58 days.


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