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3 Simple Tips for Container Gardening Success Here are some ideas for making a beautiful summer hanging basket or container. The first option is to use a peat moss-based artificial soil. Perlite, peat, and other elements are used in good soils like Fafard or Pro-Mix to create a soil that does not compress throughout the summer. Under the strain of constant watering, real garden soil compacts and turns to concrete. Plant roots cease developing when this happens because they need excellent open places to travel into and collect nutrients. Because genuine dirt can not develop healthy plants in hard, compacted soil, do not use it in your pots. Year after year, I re-use my fake potting soil. I remove it from the saucepan. To chop up all of previous year's roots, chew them up with a shovel and add around 10% by volume of compost. The compost creates more air gaps and provides a nutritional boost to the plants. Visit CoolsGarden.com for more information. Feed your plants once a week. Nitrogen, the plant's growth engine, is water soluble, therefore when you water your containers from the top, the dissolved nitrogen is ejected out the bottom. To offer all of the trace nutrients my plants need, I use a fish-emulsion liquid feed with seaweed, which I strongly suggest. To encourage development, use any liquid plant food (such as Miracle Grow or Shultz). Compost tea is the king of liquid plant nourishment, and if you prepare your own, your plants will react with larger, greater flowers and enhanced vigor. Finally, regardless of the size of the container, it is essential to soak it completely at each watering. Continue watering until the bottom of the pot is wet. This guarantees that the roots may reach and develop in all areas of the container.