Winter storms have set in 2 months earlier than normal this year. It seems the new norm is abnormal with the last few years have seen some crazy swings in both rain and temperatures. In attempt to continue the productivity of my garden, I've been experimenting with planting more seasonally sensitive plants in containers suitably sized for the plants mature size. The ability to react and relocate the plants to mitigate the changing weather patterns has proven invaluable. Not all of my garden is in containers, but for those more sensitive plants it seems to be a good solution.
Too much rain too early causing tomatoes to split? Move them under cover. Basil is getting a bit too cold at night? Move it to a more protected location. If the basil gets too hot and begins to bolt, move it to a shadier spot.
There are 3 categories I've been trying, but all of the plants have are able to acclimate well to containers and can then be relocated them to their more preferred conditions when Mother Nature has different plans. My first group is trees, such as bananas and figs. Both plants will produce fruit in the pot. The figs may eventually need to be transplanted into the ground, but the bananas have worked well in the pots for several years. I've also done this with lemons and limes with excellent success.
The other category of plants that has proven tricky in a wet climate is herbs. Some herbs can tolerate a lot of water, but others like rosemary and some varieties of lavender can be tricky. They don't like their roots to get too wet and no matter how the soil is amended with sand, the natural clay at the bottom in my ground always proves to be an eventual death sentence. As a result, I've found growing these in pots is easier and enjoyable in that I can move around the interesting colors and textures as desired.
The last group is berry producing shrubs like blueberries. An additional reason for growing these in containers is they can be easily relocated to a convenient location for picking berries at the time they are producing fruit and the deep blue colors are lovely.
There are plenty of options when growing plants in containers, but keys to success include:
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