For the past couple of years, I have kind of let my planters fall by the wayside. I have the best of intentions at the beginning of “planter season,” so to speak, to get flowers in them and keep them watered and fed-but those best of intentions haven’t stood up so well these past couple of summers.

This summer, though, I’m determined to do better. I spotted some new containers at The Home Depot, snatched ’em up and filled ’em up.

This is the formula I use to plant my containers and the tips I’m going to follow this summer to keep those babies gorgeous all summer long!


Choosing flowers:

-Choose the right flowers for your space. Be sure to read the labels on the flowers and make sure they will perform well in the area you are planting them in. If the label says “full sun” and you’re wanting to put your container in the shade, find a different plant.

-Choose flowers that go by the “filler, spiller and thriller” rule. A general rule of thumb is that you want three plants in one container: a filler (something like a mounded flower), a thriller (a taller plant) and a spiller (a plant that will spill over the sides of the container.)

Before planting:

-Check for drainage holes in the bottoms of your planters. Drill some out if necessary.

-If you’ve got pretty large containers to fill, I recommend filling up about a third or half of the containers with something other than soil; otherwise, you’re going to spend a fortune on soil. I use the plastic planters that flowers come in, plastic water bottles, milk jugs, etc.

When planting:

-Arrange the thrillers in the back of the container and the filler and spillers in the front, side by side.

After planting:

-Be sure to water the plants immediately after planting them, and don’t forget to water and feed throughout the summer as well.

Happy gardening season! Do you have any great tips for container gardens?

Jenna LaFevor rants on at Rain on a Tin Roof about DIY projects, junk décor, thrifty finds, crafty creations and other decorating dilemmas. She went to UTC, where she got a teaching degree that now collects dust. When she isn’t trying to keep her kid from climbing out of the circus ring or making sure her husband’s shirts are taken to the dry cleaners so she gets out of ironing, she can be found with a paintbrush in one hand and a cheap beer in the other. But if you’re buying, she’ll have a cosmopolitan. You can email her at [email protected] or you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter @raintinroofblog or at her blog. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not or its employees.