4 Ways to Prepare Your Containers For the Spring Season

The Gardenist

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April is such a busy time for a gardener no matter where you live — and it is easy to feel overwhelmed. To prevent myself from entering into a catatonic state where I just stand and stare at the garden unable to move my feet for lack of a logical place to start, I have created some gardening to-do lists to keep me focused this year. No matter what the temperature is where you live right now, you'll find something on this list you can do this weekend to prepare your container plants!

I have built my personal lists off of the recommendations of Margaret Roach (her monthly chores lists are so helpful). So far this year I have: Cleaned out the beds nearest to the house and all the beds that have spring bulbs in them are already done.

But this weekend I am tackling another spring task that is long overdue (which means I haven't done it in a couple of years and now my plants are desperate). I am transplanting my citrus trees, some of my houseplants, and preparing the rest of my containers for the spring season. If you have plants in containers — whether in a big backyard or a tiny balcony — you might want to think about doing the same.

Here are some tips on how to prepare your containers for spring this year:

1. Transplant any citrus trees into larger containers
If you're lucky to live in a climate that supports citrus trees (and have the space to grow them), you should consider transplanting them right about now. This should be done every 12 -16 months — which explains why my trees are in particularly sad shape. This article has some great tips if you are anything like me and have left it too long causing the tree to be bound up.

2) Consider transplanting house plants outside for the season
If you brought any plants indoors to for winter, it's time to begin preparations to move some of them outside for the season. This is a great article about transplanting house plants. I find that doing them all at once helps since some will out grow their pots but I can do the hand-me-down-pot thing to other smaller ones - this way I don't have to buy too many new containers.

3) Refresh outdoor containers that will house summer annuals
Check out your current outdoor container plants. If you can see a crusty rim around the top of your soil or at the edges at the soil line, it is time for a change. Replace with fresh potting soil that will be ready for summer's annual displays.

4) Brainstorm how your containers might be refreshed or cleaned!
While I have things empty, I am taking the opportunity to spray paint a few containers new colors and give them a fresh look. This could be a great time to consider a face-lift for all your containers so you can have a new look this year. Some ideas to consider: 10 DIY Painted Planter Ideas.

(top garden designed by Isabelle Greene)

(Image credits: J Brew under CC BY-SA 2.0)

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