Plant your Containers in the Fall for Beautiful Spring Colors

When the dull days of winter start to ease, we begin looking for signs of spring, and what better place to look than in our own garden planters full of dazzling blooms. Bulbs should be planted in the fall so that spring will bring a burst of brilliant yellow, deep purple, and pristine white as daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses reach for the warm rays of the spring sun. Tulips in their multitude of colors announce that summer is on its way when the leaves on trees are just starting to bud.

What Planters To Use
1. Patio planters - Any size or style of planters or pots can be safely used if they are going to rest on the floor of your patio, deck, balcony, yard, or walkway. You can choose from formal (heavy iron or stone urns), contemporary (sleek metal), or informal (terracotta, wicker, wood). Resin, ceramic, and fiberglass (polyethylene) can suit any style of home depending on the molds used and the shapes and styles created.
2. Raised planters -When hanging planters or attaching them to a wall or resting them on a windowsill or deck railing, the safety and ease of lifting or moving them are your big concerns. Choose from fiberglass, light metal, or plastic planters. Wooden planters are fine if they are going to rest on a sill or railing, and you can hang or rest a metal basket lined with moss or fiber. If your heart is set on something heavy, like ceramic, make sure it' not too large.
3. Specialty planters -Ceramic, cast cement, or any waterproof container can be used to make a water garden or a fountain. For your herb garden or to grow strawberries and tomatoes, there are towers, pouches, jars, and pyramid planters.

Choose Bulbs and Plants for Early Blooming
1. Your earliest spring flowers come from bulbs planted in the fall.
* Make sure there is a drainage hole in the bottom of your planters so your bulbs don' drown in rainy weather. If the planters are sheltered from the rain, make them moisture-proof so they don' dry out when the weather becomes warmer by using plastic, fiber or moss liners. Cover the bottom of the container with small rocks or gravel and fill with nutrient-rich soil.
* Follow instructions for bulb planting carefully as depths differ, depending on the plant. Containers should winter in a sheltered spot, and may need to be covered with straw if weather is severe. Early spring flowers such as the crocus, hyacinth, tulip, and daffodil are perennials and happy to be clustered in one container, requiring about the same amounts of sun and moisture.
2. If you didn't plant bulbs in the fall, buy plants grown from bulbs that are ready to be transplanted into your planters.
* Pick healthy plants with tight buds or no buds at all so that you can enjoy maximum blooming time.
* Water them before transplanting, and water and fertilize them afterwards. Protect them by covering them or bringing them indoors at night for a week or so.
3. Once your flowers have bloomed and died, remove and store the bulbs for planting again in the fall, and replant the containers with summer flowers and vines.
4. If planting early flowers from seed, choose those that bloom in late spring such as the beautiful pink, yellow, white, and purple primroses. Sow seeds in plastic containers indoors in late March or early February in a sunny location. Thin them when they reach about three inches tall and transplant them into your garden planters when they are about four inches high. Garden planters should be placed in sheltered spots on the patio, deck, or balcony where they are safe from the elements in the early spring, and if a late frost is predicted, you can move your garden inside or easily cover it with newspaper or plastic.

Welcome spring with garden planters resplendent with early blooms to brighten up your home and your life.

About the Author:
Scott Gray is currently a garden enthusiast and freelance writer who enjoys providing tips to consumers who are in the market for all types of garden planters.

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