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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Container gardening in Ireland, including Annual Bedding Plants


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Joined: 27 May 2007
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Location: inishowen Ireland

PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 7:30 pm    Post subject: CHOOSING A CONTAINER Reply with quote

I've started planting containers this week. These offer a wide scope for planting as most plants are ideally suited for container growing. Shrubs, herbaceous perennials, Herbs, Climbers, Alpines, Bulbs, Heathers, small trees, Conifers and strawberries can all be considered, either on their own or in combinations to provide all year round colour. If a shrub gets too large for the container, you can find a space for it in the garden. The use of containers help break up the hard lines of patios, walls, steps and paths.

Choosing a container
Plastic pots- these are hard wearing and most are tough enough to resist frost. If shrubs or heavy plants are to be used, then choose a large pot and put stones in the bottom to stop them blowing over.

Terracotta pots- these are less likely to blow over but much more likely to dry out faster than plastic. Some are frost hardy but some aren't so they will have to be put inside in the winter.

Concrete pots- Concrete can dry the soil quickly too. Soaking the empty containers thoroughly before filling with compost helps. This goes for the terracotta pots too.

Planting up a container
Place small stones or broken polystyrene pieces onto the bottom of the container to cover the drainage holes.

Bubble plastic can be used on the sides of the containers to protect the roots from frost in winter if shrubs are being planted. The plastic reduces the need to water terracotta pots in summer too.

Use good quality compost and put in the plants of your choice (A few trailing plants are always an attractive addition) When the plants are in place, leave a gap between the soil and the top of the pot to avoid the water running over the sides.

The container can be raised off the ground by placing small blocks underneath. This will help with drainage.

Looking after your containers
Never allow the containers to dry out. It may be necessary to water in the morning and evening in hot weather

Feed regularly now and in summer. Granular feed can be used on containers with shrubs already in place. This can be sprinkled on the top of the soil. Liquid feed can be used once a week in summer. It may be a good idea to add some slow release fertilizer to the compost when you make up the containers too, as the small writing on the back of the compost bags tells you there is only enough plant food to last for four weeks.

Remove dead flower heads, weed regularly and keep a close watch for pests such as greenfly.



if you are interested in raised vegetable beds and veggie growing I have a new website - We're busy on social networking too and have over 12,000 members in the group.
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