POTTING IT UP: how to plant in containers

2015-08-26 06:00
Brighten up your patio,   living area or around your pool with some container magic.
PHOTO: supplied

Brighten up your patio, living area or around your pool with some container magic. PHOTO: supplied

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CONTAINERS are increasingly being used for gardening as they are so versatile. Containers of various heights may be used to add height to a border or certain areas in the garden.

And an attractive container, even without plants, can be used as a focal point, or you can plant herbs to make a different, edible container garden feature.

Concrete containers are much stronger than many plastic types, but may be too heavy to move around when filled with soil, so position them where you want them before filling and planting. Unglazed clay containers need to be watered more often in dry areas as water evaporates through the porous structure of the pot. You can line them with a plastic liner but when not lined, make sure that the outside of the clay pot is also watered every time the plants are irrigated. Invest in deep pots for summer planting as shallower types tend to dry out very quickly.

You will need the following when potting up a container

• Your choice of container.

• River sand to stop water from just running through your pot.

• Bone meal to stimulate root growth.

• Potting soil and drainage chips.

• Aquasoil or Stockosorb.

• Nitrosol.

• Decorative stones.

• Pot and tray.

How to plant in containers

• Ensure that there are enough drainage holes at the base of the container.

• Cover the bottom of the container with a layer of small pebbles. The larger the container, the thicker the layer of pebbles should be.

• Add a layer of wet river sand which will act as a filter and keep the nutrients around the root of the plant.

• Then cover with a layer of moist compost.

• The planting hole should be 16 cm wider than the diameter of the root area of the plant.

• Gently remove the plant from the old container.

• Where the roots are matted, gently loosen the damp roots with your fingertips.

• Roots that are unnecessarily long should be cut shorter.

• Pour a little water into the hole where the plant will be positioned.

• Spread the roots out evenly.

• Add 60 mg (a handful of bone meal to the mix).

• Cover the roots with soil.

• Add a sprinkling of Aquasoil or Stockosorb or which will assist with evaporation.

• Firm down the soil around the transplanted plant and water well.

Creating colourful containers

• When planning to have a number of pots together, consider the entire setting.

• Choose plants that will complement each other, the setting and the containers that they are in.

• Make use of the wide range of colours, textures, foliage and scents.

• Add Aquasoil or Stockosorb to your potting soil and keep your pots well-watered, especially in summer.

• Feeding is essential as the roots are restricted to the confines of the pot.

• Use liquid fertiliser, Nitrosol, once a fortnight for best results.

• Make use of pebbles, statues, wood, etc. to add to the effect.

- Women24


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