Saturday, June 18, 2016

My Pot Ghetto


Mom recently introduced me to a term that she'd found on a gardening forum (I think).
Pot ghetto.

Based on what I've read since, a pot ghetto is definitely not your nicely arranged potted plants.  The term doesn't apply to full-fledged container gardens or carefully placed arrangements of fancy-schmancy (or even not-so-fancy) decorative pots and planters.

No, the pot ghetto is that odd assortment of (usually) cheap plastic nursery-style pots of plants that are destined for the garden proper, but haven't quite made it there, yet.  All those plants you bought but can't decide where to plant (or need better weather or more prep-work before you can plant)-- those clearance purchases that were too good to pass up but now you don't know where to put (or it's just too hot to plant them for the time being)-- cuttings and divisions and seedlings waiting in the wings.

My personal pot ghetto lives mostly on the covered patio by the kitchen door, because the shade cloth covering keeps them from drying out too fast in the sun.  It also helps that it's right by a spigot, which is convenient for watering.  The upside of having the pot ghetto so close to our main avenue of entrance/exit is that it's just a quick step outside to tend them, and I'm unlikely to forget them.  The downside is that they're on display for anyone who comes to our home.  Fortunately, we're not big on entertaining, so I'm not that worried about it.  (Besides, there are worse things about our covered patio than a little pot ghetto.  The whole thing needs cleaning and repainting badly, there are some loose pavers that need attention, and we still don't have a real step for our door-- just dry-stacked bricks!  ...Tsk tsk...)

The current residents of my pot ghetto are as follows (for curiosity's sake):
--numerous daylily seedlings
--numerous pots of seeds (that may or may not ever sprout, but I'm giving them more time)
--some leftover annual climbers (mina lobata and a few assorted morning glories)
--rose cuttings (not even sure which plants they came from!)
--spirea cuttings
--confederate rose cutting(s)-- should be rooted by now and ready to plant
--hydrangea cuttings
--hydrangea from layering (definitely ready to be planted, if it's not too hot...)
--cuttings of Salvia purpurea, 'Blue Bedder' sage, Ruellia elegans, gaura, etc.
--English ivy (leftover from the ivy trellis-- not sure if I even want/need any more...)
--two roses of Sharon (from Mom)
--confederate jasmine and tea olive (clearance purchases)
--baby tiger lilies (grown from last year's bulbils)
--crossvine (Bignonia 'Shalimar Red', waiting for the new arbor to be finished...)
--orange bottlebrush ginger lily (waiting for proof of life...)
--pineapple lily 'Twinkle Stars' (another late clearance purchase I'm waiting to see sprout...)
--some succulent cuttings that I'm hoping will root
--And a pot of probably-dead Mexican petunia, but I'm not sad, because I've already got more of that stuff than I need, and if I want to plant it somewhere else, it's easy to dig some up!

Then there's a secondary pot ghetto over in the semi-shade garden, where I'm either hardening off a few things or trying to find a summer home for plants that I think I'd rather wait to plant until the weather's not so brutal.

Secondary pot ghetto:
--pineapple lilies (Eucomis comosa)
--tuberoses ('The Pearl')
--celosia (just a couple of them I forgot to plant before)

When it gets about this time of year (mid-June) and the heat and humidity really ramp up, as they have lately, I'm not sure if it's better for the plant to stay in a pot on the shady patio or to be planted in the yard/garden.  Sometimes-- if they're perennials or shrubs/small trees-- I think they might better off just waiting in pots until autumn...

Though the vogue seems to be bemoaning the existence of the pot ghetto and vowing to "do better" and reduce the number of pots, I'm not particularly worried about my little plant "waiting room", so long as I can keep it within reasonable limits.  As long as I'm taking cuttings to propagate plants or save them over winter, there will probably always be a pot ghetto somewhere on the premises.  (In winter, it moves into a sunny window in the garage, along with the permanently potted plants of more delicate constitution.)

It's interesting to read about (and sneak peeks at) other gardeners' pot ghettos.  Maybe it provides some level of insight into personality.  My own probably reveals a certain thriftiness (clearance tags, cuttings, seed-grown plants, reused nursery pots and plastic food containers turned into pots).  There's also a splurge or three in the mix, though.  (I do like the occasional little unnecessary necessity.)  Then there are hints of growing obsessions (daylilies, plants with fragrance, tropical-looking plants).

Someday I may share more photos of my pot ghetto, but not today! (g)

Edited to Add:
I forgot the tomato cuttings.  There are also several cuttings from our tomato plants that I'm rooting, in hopes of late-season crop.  This is the first year I've tried that, though, so I'm not sure when I'm supposed to plant the new plants (if any last that long).  Late August?  Early September?  I need more research.