Avant Gardener – 032513

The focus of today’s broadcast is container gardening, starting with a general overview of the topic from host Derek Fell who is without his wife Carolyn as co-host for this session. He describes the pro’s and con’s of container gardening and advises how to create the best potting mix for success, finding that too many commercial mixes are light weight and provide insufficient anchorage for plants. Also, he advises how to prevent soil mixes from drying out too rapidly. Derek’s expert this occassion is container gardening specialist, Dan Bernacik, horticulturist at Chanticleer Garden, near Wayne, Pennsylvania. The gardens each year feature dozens of imaginative combination plantings in a variety of containers, using both hardy annuals and tender tropical plants in a variety of container types and styles, including window box planters and hanging baskets. In the email segment Derek advises a lady on a variety of tomato to grow for high yields in a whiskey half-barrel and another gardener who wishes to know how to stop flea beetles from bothering her eggplants.