MAINTAINING YOUR GARDEN sPOT
Thank you for purchasing a Garden sPOT! We know you love your new garden and we want to help you keep it looking great all season long. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us.
WATER THE SOIL, NOT THE LEAVES
We recommend placing your hose at the base of the plants, on the surface of the soil. Sprinkling water from the top often means that the foliage directs water away from the roots and maybe even out of the pot! Additionally, wet leaves encourage plant diseases.
CHECK THE SOIL BEFORE YOU WATER
Container gardens need water more often than in-ground gardens. Containers generally have more plants per square foot, which means plant roots have limited space in which to collect water. However, if you don’t allow the soil to dry a bit between waterings, plants can get root rot or soil fungus may grow.
Check every day to see if the top half inch of soil is dry. Push your finger into the soil, up to the first joint. If the soil feels dry, it is time to water. It’s best to check in the morning – to ensure plants have enough water for the day, but still have a chance to dry before night.
When the temperature is below 80° F, every 2-3 days is usually sufficient for watering. If the temperature is above 90° degrees, you may need to water every day, and for full sun and edible gardens, you may need to water again in the late afternoon.
When you pour an inch or two of water quickly on the surface, it may be deceiving – everything looks wet, so you think you are done, but the water hasn’t had a chance to seep down to the roots at the bottom of the soil. We recommend adding water slowly to give all the soil in the pot a chance to soak up water. Keep adding small amounts of water while you see it still moving down into the soil. When you see the water puddling on the surface for a second or two before being absorbed, it’s time to stop.
If your container dries out too much, the soil may pull away from the inside edges of the pot. When this happens, water will run down the gap between soil and pot and right out the bottom. The easiest way to solve the problem is to set your hose on a very low trickle, place it in the center of the plants, and leave it in the pot for 20-30 minutes. The soil will expand as it absorbs moisture and you should be able to go back to your regular watering routine.
REMOVE OLD FLOWERS & DEAD LEAVES
Dead leaves and flower heads invite plant diseases. Pinch off or clip spent flowers and leaves that are wilted or have spots. Removing flowers once they are just past their prime also encourages more flowers to form. If you have many dead or wilted leaves at the same time, you may be over watering or under watering. Water slowly and thoroughly and allow the top ½ inch of soil to dry between waterings.
FEED YOUR PLANTS
When we assembled your new Garden sPOTS container, we hand mixed time-released plant food into the soil. This food should last about 3 months. After that time has passed and your plants have grown, they will benefit from additional feeding. We recommend you use a water-soluble plant food. Use half the amount of fertilizer recommended in the directions on the label and feed your Garden sPOT once a week.
PREPARE FOR BAD WEATHER
Heavy rain events can cause some soil to wash out of container gardens. You may want to move your Garden sPOTS to a covered area to avoid getting soil on your deck or patio. If this does happen, simply hose off the area, or allow the soil to dry and sweep it away. It is not necessary to add more potting soil unless plant roots have been exposed. Your Garden sPOTS pot is heavy enough to resist typical summer winds, but in the event of hurricane force winds, you should secure the container to make sure it does not blow over. Garden sPOTS containers are constructed to resist cracking in freezing weather. However, most Garden sPOTS plants will not survive past the first frost unless covered or moved to a sheltered location. If you are using your own ceramic or stone pots, plants and soil should be removed before winter to avoid cracking.