How to plant a winter container

Norman A. Plate
Tip for winter planting from the test garden

A large pot brimming with plants can revitalize a patio in winter. Start with a small shrub or perennial from a 1-gallon nursery pot, and smaller plants from 4-inch pots. Good choices include primroses and violas.

Step 1: Fill the pot with enough soil so that the top of the large plant's rootball sits about 2 inches below the pot's rim. Mix in a complete fertilizer according to package directions. Tamp soil lightly.

Loosen coiled roots and position the large plant in the pot's center.

Step 2: Add more soil around the large plant, then arrange the remaining plants, also to sit 2 inches below the pot's rim. Fill in remaining gaps with soil and water well.

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