‘Dotty’ goes potty in the garden

What wonderful things pots are! You can let your inspirations take reign when it comes to containers and plants. I have old kettles, cake tins, sugar bowls, terracotta pots of all sizes and quite a few ceramic pots, hanging baskets and hanging plastic pots. It is very important to ensure there is adequate drainage for the container size. I generally place a piece of shade cloth in the base of containers to prevent soil seeping out and if placing the pot on a surface that will mark, it is a good idea to place a saucer or tray underneath to catch moisture.

Containers can be moved around to follow the sun, shade or weather to avoid frosts. Don't forget to water plants over winter and just because it is raining outside, the veranda and indoor plants are not getting wet!

Managing Baskets

Nothing is prettier than a hanging basket bursting with colour. If using a basket, try to get a good thick liner to keep roots moist, and use water crystals in a good potting mix. To help keep plants growing evenly rotate the basket regularly. If planting flowering plants, (eg; petunias, lobelias, fuchsias, nasturtiums, geraniums etc) snip several holes in the liner about a quarter of the way down from the top and insert the roots as you fill the basket. Water with a weak liquid fertiliser and hang in the shade until plants establish.

Pots

Terracotta pots are porous and really need to be sealed to avoid rapidly drying out. Alternately, grow your plant in a plastic pot and place it into a terracotta pot. Succulents and cacti do well in earthenware containers and need a very well draining mix (sandy gravel). Small citrus do well in larger containers. Surround base of plant with herbs or flowers to create more colour. Citrus are heavy feeders and require regular fertilising during the main growing season - spring to mid autumn.

Window Boxes

Herbs or flowers in a kitchen window box are pretty and convenient for the cook. As window boxes are generally made of wood, line with plastic to prevent timber rotting or grow in pots and sit in a box. These are easily replaced when needed.

Lismore Garden Club meets every second Thursday of the month at Lismore Workers Club 1pm. Next meeting 14th February. For further information please ring Judy 66220974 or 'Dotty' Dorothy 66214100.


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