Planting containers

Water all plants a few hours before planting with a watering can or fine spray gun attached to a hose pipe. Organise the planting scheme by arranging the chosen plants on the surface of the soil Put the largest in the centre of towards the back of the container, finishing off with the dwarf or trailing types around the edges.

Once satisfied that the design is correct, set the plants to one side. Using a hand trowel, dig holes for the largest ones first. Knock them out of their pots one at a time and plant them slightly deeper than in the original pot. Firm in well and water gently once all the plants are in place.

Where the planting is permanent or semi-permanent, a top layer of wood bark chippings, gravel or rock chippings can be sprinkled around the plants to improve the overall appearance and reduce moisture loss from the compost. A top later of this kind also prevents soil surface capping where hard tap water is applied regularly. For temporary planting, mulching is unnecessary.

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