Container Aftercare

Containers dry out quickly, so frequent watering is essential, especially when they are standing in full sun. Apply water to the soil, not over the leaves and flowers – preferably in the evening or early morning when it is cooler. The best method of watering is to use a watering can with a small rose (so you don’t damage the flowers) or to use a hosepipe with a spray gun attached – using a fine spray. Give enough water to moisten the soil thoroughly, then leave until the soil is almost dry before watering again – over watering a container is as harmful as too little water. In hot spells, water may be needed twice a day.

For additional plant vigour, give a regular liquid feed every two weeks – never apply fertilizer to dry soil. Dead-head all plants regularly and stake and tie tall species as necessary.

Watch out for pests and diseases – dense plantings often encourage fungal diseases and many insect pests. Spray with a general-purpose insecticide and fungicide regularly. Sprinkle slug bait to control slugs and snails – also check around the rim of a tub for snails hiding during the daytime. Clear away fallen leaves and other debris from the soil to discourage fungal growth.

With permanent plantings, scrape off the top 5-7.5cm of soil every spring and replace with fresh potting compost. Check the securing brackets of window-boxes and hanging baskets at the same time, replacing if necessary.

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