Wednesday, 23rd September 2020
GARDEN Article

This Month's Magazine
Cool containers

Cool containers

“Here on the Costa we’ve become very accustomed to life ‘al fresco’, we spend a huge amount of time on our terraces and balconies…” tells us Natalie from the Agave Garden Company

However, container gardening is a whole different ‘ball game’ to the herbaceous borders of our previous gardens/lives in chillier climates. This month we’re giving you some advice on planting and maintaining your pots and containers.

Preparing Your Containers
First a few tips about how to get the best out of your containersÂ…

Unlike traditional borders, container plants are planted very close together so you need to be aware of a number of different thingsÂ…

Garden borders can to an extent obtain nutrients from the soil and other naturally-occurring organic matter. Containers cannot, so buy the best compost you can find!

Container plants need much more water than those in beds. Don't think that just because itÂ’s rained much moisture will have penetrated the soil - it most likely hasnÂ’t.

Pots & containers also need good drainage, ensure that your pot has a sufficient size hole for the water to drain out. Before adding compost use crocks or stones to form a base around and over the drainage hole to prevent it getting clogged with compacted soil.

In the height of summer pots and planters will probably need watering twice a day. You have a couple of choices; you can set up an irrigation system for your pots. If you have existing irrigation in your garden or an outside water supply, a drip feed system can most likely easily be added, or regularly water them by hand.

Container plants will need regular feeding, be sure to mix slow-release pellets into the compost. The alternative is to apply a liquid feed every two weeks throughout the growing season.

Planting Your Containers
OK, so now you have your container and you've mixed in your slow release feed, ensured ample drainage, youÂ’re ready for the plantingÂ…
Try mixing thyme with pansies and ivy, or geraniums with trailing rosemary for containers that look colourful and smell great!

Alternatively a mixture of pots planted with trailing geraniums, impatiens and smaller hibiscus shrubs can add a great injection of colour.

For more architectural planting try smaller phormiums, agaves and aloes.
Remember when planting to gently loosen the root balls to help the plants to establish in their new environment.

Flowering plants for containers need to have the dead flowers constantly removed to encourage further blooming. Pinch out the growing tip of a plant (with finger and thumb) to encourage the production of side shoots or the formation of flower buds. This technique is used to make plants full and bushy.

Your terraces and balconies will be beautiful if you follow these tips!


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