JOHN’S JOURNAL

Looking After Your Pot Plants

Many of us have pots all around the garden, sometimes an easier choice rather than planting them in the ground, and plants can happily grow in pots and we grow thousands of them this way at the nursery, but there are a few rules you need to follow to make sure that you keep them happy and doing as they say on the tin so to speak!

FEEDING

At this time of year the season is ahead of us, currently most pot plants won’t be doing a lot, whether it be topiary, a shrub, maybe some Winter bedding or your pot may be empty waiting for a new companion come Springtime. Feeding is essential however, it’s the only way that plant is going to receive its nutrients to give it the energy to do everything you want. You can either mix slow release fertiliser into the compost when you plant, you could also give them a pellet based feed which you apply to the surface like Vitax Q4 once we get to March and this will let the nutrients wash into the soil as the year goes on, or you can use liquid feeds (this one is mainly used for annuals and flowering bedding plants, Tomato feed is perfect for encouraging compact growth and lots of flowers. Make sure to also mix in some soil based compost to fill up your pot as this is the type of soil that holds nutrients, a 50% mix of multipurpose compost and a soil based compost is always a good rule of thumb

WATERING

Secondly is the watering of your pot plants, now this can vary a lot depending on position and also if it’s in a sheltered position or not. At this time of year there is little watering to do but through the season it is crucial! Make sure to check your pots at least twice a week once the plants begin to grow away and the days get warmer giving them water as and when they need, always aim the water at the soil rather than over the leaves, giving more chance of the water getting to where you need it most

RIGHT PLANT

All plant like different things and if you have pots in a shady location then you need to make sure you have the right plants,  you always have the flexibility to move pots around so do a little research into what you currently have in your pots and get them positioned correctly, you can also repot plants at this time of year,  and you can also keep the same plant in the same pot for quite a while as long as you feed it and water it correctly, think of the bonsai effect! It is good to ring the changes though and sometimes plants are ready to be put out into the garden, giving you a chance to put something new in there for the year ahead.

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Here you can send in and find out the answers to those gardening problems

 

Are terracotta pots frost proof?

At the nursery we offer a selection of terracotta pots from the Pots and Pithoi company and it really does come down to the quality that you purchase. These are frost proof but there are a whole host of other pots out there advertised as being frost proof so it’s always worth investing in quality terracotta rather than some of the cheaper offerings. They age beautifully over time and are such a beautiful colour, they look beautiful at any time of year especially with the frost glistening on them 

How many drainage holes should there be in a pot?

It’s always best to have more than one but the main thing is to make sure you put some materials in the bottom of your pot which is free draining, you can use old broken clay pots or gravel. This way it helps filter the water coming out of the soil so not to block the drainage hole up. Get this wrong and it can spell the end for your plants!

What compost is best to use for hardy plants?

John Innes No.3 is the best soil based compost available, you’ll find it’s a lot heavier than multipurpose and will do a lot more good than multipurpose just on its own. Mix it 50/50 and for any acid loving plants use ericaceous compost instead of multipurpose to get the pH right

 

JOBS FOR THE WEEKEND

 

 

Plant of The Week

Helleborus

The Christmas Roses are still blooming and there are so many other different varieties of flowers now and also to look forward to. The lenten Roses have beautiful coloured flowers and all the different types love a shaded position so perfect for under the canopy of trees