How to plant pots and containers
A container garden can be great if you haven’t got much space for a full border in your garden or just for brightening up a dull space. Different looks can be created by using a variety of plants and colours. You can even use containers to grow herbs for your kitchen. We have put together a guide on how to create a beautiful container garden.
For a summer flowering container, it is best to plant any evergreen or herbaceous plants such as Cordyline in early spring. For tender plants, May is the best time to plant as the risk of frost should have passed by this time.
The first thing that you need to do is choose a suitable container to plant. We advise using a big container as this means the plants are less likely to dry out. Ensure the pot has drainage holes in the bottom. Put some gravel or some broken up pot into the bottom of the pot you have chosen. This allows excess water to escape the container to prevent the pot from becoming waterlogged. Providing 9cm (3 ½ inches) of drainage is sufficient for a 45cm (18 inches deep) container. Also standing the pot on small blocks or bricks helps to get rid of excess water.
Fill the pot with compost, but don’t fill it right to the top, as you need to allow for room to arrange the plants. When planting containers it is important to use a specialist container compost. Gro-Sure Easy Container Compost is ideal to use because it contains unique water storing granules for easy watering. This means that if the plants are not watered enough, it will help the plant to avoid becoming too dehydrated. It also contains seaweed to encourage healthy plant growth, as well as a slow-release fertiliser.
When selecting the plants for the container try to use a theme which matches in with any existing colours you have in your garden. This ties the garden together and makes it more appealing. Also try to select some plants with various heights to bring vertical interest and variety into the container. A popular combination is a Cordyline as a centre piece with annuals that can be changed seasonally around the outside such as Pansies and Lobelia.
Start to plant up the container by placing taller plants in the centre. Then fill the pot slightly more with compost for the smaller plants around the outside.
Once all the plants are planted in the container, firm the compost around the plants with your fingers and top up with compost where necessary. Leave about a 2.5 cm (1 inch) gap between the soil level and the top of the container to allow room for the water to soak in. This is important as all the roots need to be in contact with the compost, as this is where the new nutrients and water will be. Plants need to reach out and grow into the compost in the surrounding area.
Water the container well. The container will need watering at least once a day from April to September. If you are using Easy Containers Compost, you do not need to feed your plants as the compost already has the fertiliser in it. However, if you are using another compost, feed your plants with a tomato food.
These are the key steps and guidelines to create a beautiful garden container. It is a great opportunity for you to become creative and bring some great colour into your garden.