Container Gardening Tips

Mixed planters

Contain Your Excitement! 


Potted arrangements of flowers, vegetables and herbs can enhance your outdoor spaces and provide a supply of fresh edibles in small areas. Container gardening is a growing trend since the pandemic.  

The Mill’s Tips for Growing Container Plants: 

  • Water!  Soil dries out in containers faster than the ground.  Water often and thoroughly until water flows out drainage holes.  Mature plants in the heat of the summer dry out quickly.  Mulching can help retain moisture in a pot. 
  • Group plants by required light when planning your mixed pots.  
  • Large pots or growing bags are needed for plants that have deep roots or need support like tomatoespotatoespeas or cucumbers.  
    Hanging basket ornamental pepper
  • Ornamental peppers, cabbage and kale are a great addition to mixed pots providing texture and interest.   Most varieties are edible but may be more bitter or hot in the case of peppers.  They are also used for garnishes. 
  • Soil - If growing vegetables use an organic potting mix.  
  • Feed them! Potted vegetables will quickly use the fertilizer in soil, so for better yields and bloomsprovide organic fertilizer every  4 weeks.   
  •  If insects are an issue, use organic control measures such as insecticidal soap, neem or horticultural oil and consider mixed plantings in containers using herbs or flowers that repel pests or attract beneficial insects. 

Recommended Flowers and Herbs for Pest Control:          

Petunias – Repel many insects including tomato worms, aphids and leafhoppers. They are easy to grow in containers and add color to summer planters. 

Lavender – Repels fleas and moths while attracting beneficial insects and pollinators. It is fragrant, and beautiful in mixed pots. 

Bee Balm – Also called Monarda or Bergamot attracts pollinators and provides colorful flowers and interesting texture to planters. 

Marigolds – aromatic marigolds help repel whiteflies and kill bad nematodes, however, use caution because they can attract spider mites.  

Chrysanthemum Repel ticks, fleas, ants, Japanese beetles, and many other insects, due to pyrethrin, a natural neurotoxin. Perfect for fall planters. 

Nasturtiums – Especially the yellow flowering plants combat whiteflies, wooly aphids, squash bugs, cucumber beetles and more.  Plant them near tomatoes and vine crops. 

Dahlias – Bring color and beauty to a deck while repelling nematodes. 

Basil – Does well planted with tomatoes and repels flies, thrips and mosquitoes. 

Borage – Little blue star shaped blossoms attract bees and beneficial wasps while repelling tomato hornworms and cabbage worms. 

Catnip – Repels almost everything except cats! 

Chives – Provide textural interest in pots while repelling Japanese beetles and carrot rust flies. 

Dill – Plant near vine cropslettuce and onions but away from tomatoesDill attracts tomato hornworms, pollinators and beneficial waspsIt repels aphids, spider mites and squash bugs. 

Mixed container with ornamental peppers and cabbage

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The Mill of Bel Air has been recognized as The Best Garden Center in Harford County for 6 years. The Mill of Kingstown has received Kent County's Best Garden Center as long too and The Mill of Red Lion was recognized as York County's Best Lawn Supply store.  Come see the great selection of plants, seeds and supplies to make your lawn & garden great this season. Talk to our experts to get advice for your particular challenges or interests. We love helping our customers get greener!

Mixed planter

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