With the passing of Spring and the arrival of Summer, now is the time to start thinking about planting up some flower pots, window boxes and hanging baskets. All garden centres and nurseries are bursting at the seams with every type and variety of a summer bedding plant that you could ever imagine. We are looking at border bedding flowers like Pansies, Violas, Busy lizzies, Trailing lobelia, Marigolds and many many more, too many to mention. We have the larger annuals like Geranium, Trailing Petunia, Lyssi, Cailbrachoa, Sanvitalia and again many more. When planted up in baskets or containers, approx after 3-4 wks later, these will make a wonderful, colourful and fantastic display.
We are going to look at how simple this exercise looks from a gardener or non-gardeners point of view, how and where to start, what we require and how it’s done from start to finish. Below we will go through this process, step by step and demonstrate the ease with which we can achieve a great floral display, without any expertise or garden knowledge.
Step # 1;
It’s important that these containers are washed out and free from any residue or material from last year. The other important issue is that we have a few predrilled holes in the bottom of these pots, so that any excess water can escape and does’nt lodge in the bottom of these vessels.
Step # 2;
Step # 3;
Now we add some broken crockery or some small stones to the bottom of the flower pot, this ensures that we have some extra drainage and soakage. This is primarily a safeguard for the roots of the plants, ie, if we have a heavy rainfall, or if by accident we overdid the watering, then we can rest assured that the flowers do not become waterlogged.
Step # 4;
Fill the pots up to approx ¾ to the top with compost. This potting compost is available at all garden centres and is relatively inexpensive. If we are purchasing this at our local nurseries, always ask for tub and basket potting compost, as there are other types of compost at garden centres, which are not very suitable for our excercise. We then need to water this a little as its too dry coming straight out of the bag.
Step # 5;
Next its time for the planting and before we do this task, we will need to have immersed our flowers in a water container, so that the roots are well and truly soaked. This ensures the survival of our plants and will have started the growth process in the flowers. Tease out the roots from the plant rootball a little, so that when planted the roots will easily find their way down through the compost as is their natural growth process. Depending on the size of the pots we are using, I would plant approx 3-4 flowers in each flower pot. The pot we are using for this exercise, measures 30 cm. in diameter, 10″ in height and volume wise its holds approx 10 litres.
In this example, I have planted one large plant and 3 smaller bedding plants. So for the record, I have planted a Surfinia Petunia, two Violas and one Pansy. Size/area wise, I would allow approx one third of the container to the larger plant (Petunia) and the remaining two thirds to the other three summer bedding flowers. Put some extra compost around all the flowers and firm in with our hands. Top up the container to within about 1″ of the top with compost, this ensures that when we are watering this flower pot later on, we will leave some room for the water to soak in to the flowers without overflowing.
Step # 6;
Following on immediately, it’s so important that we water the planted flower pot in total. This will ensure that the plants will settle in well and will bed down in a natural form. Place in a sunny or shaded location and thats approx. the sum total of what work is involved for this process. As I said no great skills are required for this exercise and there is a great sense of achievement and accomplishment, when all these pots and window boxes are fully planted up.
So to summarize:
The above image is of the completed flower pot , planted, watered and ready to flourish in due course. After all of our hard work, we will have very little maintenance to do after this. All we need now is some watering from time to time. We need to commence watering in earnest, approx 7 – 10 days after planting. Water approx. once per week for the next month and after that we will need to feed this container with some liquid feed or slow releasing fertilizer pellets. The compost is pretreated with all the minerals and trace elements required for these planting purposes. But as the summer bedding plants are vigorous growers and voracious feeeders, they will need to be fed every week or every second week, approx. one month of planting. This will ensure a continuous display of flowers and some great displays for the remaining months, right up to the first frosts.
So once again, I hope that you have enjoyed this post and if so, please comment on any issue that you may like to discuss in the box down below. We will reply to any questions or queries as soon as possible.
Thanking you again and happy gardening,
“ Often I’ll go outside and just
place my hands on the soil,
even if there’s no work to do on it.
When I am filled with worries,
I do that and I can feel the energy
of the mountains and of the trees. ”
― Andy Couturier.