Anyone can be a successful container gardener because it’s just so easy. The secret to a great looking container is ‘lots’. Lots of plants, lots of watering and lots of good nutrition. You can use just about anything you like as a container as long as it has drainage holes and will hold potting mix. Old tea pots, gumboots, baskets, the kitchen sink or splash out on something stylish from the huge range at Wairere. We have pots and containers to suit any style or budget. Do use a good potting mix – this is very important as garden soil just doesn’t drain well enough. Add a handful of sheep pellets for extra oomph and then get planting. If you want a bit of instant you can just plant up with flowering annuals, the advantage of this is that they are cheap and can be changed regularly. For impact perhaps do 3 containers of a similar planting style and place in a group. Many trees and shrubs will happily grow in a container for a few years. Choose something perfumed such as a Daphne or a Gardenia to place by a window or doorway. Perhaps surround the shrub with a trailing annual like Lobelia or use perennials such as Ivy or Helxine (Baby Tears). Vegetables are easy to grow in pots - I love to grow lettuce in pots as it keeps the foliage clean and it is easy to control slugs and snails. Herbs such as mint and parsley are perfect in pots. Really you can try anything that takes your fancy. Once planted up water well and yes you will have to water your container often, probably every day in summer. Liquid feeding every few weeks will ensure good flowering and high health. If you really don’t think you can commit to regular watering then use succulents in your pots. These cope well with a little neglect but will still need watering every now and then. Container gardening provides immediate impact whether your garden is large or small or even if you have no garden at all. So there’s no excuse to not go completely ‘potty’.
Top Tips for Successful Container Gardening
•Ensure your container as good drainage holes •Never use garden soil •Use a good quality potting mix with slow release fertilizer •Water regularly – probably every day in summer •Liquid feed regularly •Use a size appropriate pot
•Sealer for the inside of terracotta pots to help prevent moisture loss •Water retaining crystals added to the potting mix •Pot feet to assist with drainage
Eventually you will need to re-pot your permanent container plants especially if you are growing large trees and shrubs. On average these will need re-potting every 3 – 5 years. I usually stop watering the container a few days before removing the plant, this helps shrink the root ball away from the side of the container. If at all possible lay the container gently on the side to assist the drying out process. Gently tap the side of the container to loosen the plant – you may have to use a trowel down the side of the pot to get things moving. Then wiggle and woggle the root ball (avoid tugging on the plant) until it slides free. Pot up in fresh mix, water well and liquid feed to help the plant get over the shock, stand back, admire your handy work and watch your plant grow, go to Wairere to select a new plant for the now empty container.
Wairere Nursery 826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email: Open 7 days 8:30am-5pm