How to Plant for Container Garden

Before planting, wet the rootball of the plant if it is dry, as afterwards it is difficult if not impossible to wet it and the plant may not establish. The easiest way to wet a dry rootball is to stand the plant, complete with its nursery container, in a bucket of water almost up to the rim of the container, for an hour or so.

To plant a single plant in a tub, pot, etc, first place a layer of compost in the bottom, over the drainage material. This must be of sufficient depth that when planting is complete the top of the rootball is 12 mm below the level of the new compost and there is a 12-25 mm watering space (according to size of container) at the top. This layer of compost should be firmed moderately if soil-based, or lightly if soilless.

Plant Container Garden

Carefully remove the plant from its nursery container, avoiding root disturbance. If in a pot the easiest way to remove it is to invert the pot and tap the rim on a solid object so that the rootball is loosened and slides out. If the plant is in a flexible polythene bag simply slit this down one side and underneath and peel it off. Place the plant in the centre of the tub, etc, and trickle compost all round it, at the same time firming moderately if soil-based and lightly if soilless. Firm with your fingers.

If you are planting several plants in containers, such as spring or summer bedding plants, then it is easiest to fill the container with compost first and then make a planting hole for each, say with a trowel.

Bedding plants are often planted bare-root – in other words, lifted from trays or boxes, with very little soil around the roots. Do ensure the roots do not dry out before planting, so only lift a few plants at a time. Holes for bare-root plants must be sufficiently deep to allow the roots to dangle straight down to their full extent – roots crammed into shallow holes can result in the plants failing to grow well. Planting depth should be the same — in other words, do not plant more deeply nor more shallowly.

After planting, water the plants heavily as this helps to settle the compost around them. Before planting wire hanging baskets first line them inside with sphagnum moss, with one of the proprietary basket liners or with a piece of polythene with drainage holes in it. Black polythene is least conspicuous. You can then insert plants through the wires in the sides of the basket to provide a ball of colour. Plants should be inserted as the basket is being filled with compost. Carefully push the roots through and cover them with compost. Do not forget to leave a good watering space at the top – about 2.5 cm (1 in). To make a hanging basket more stable when planting stand it on a flower pot of suitable size.

When planting growing-bags make holes in the top as directed by the makers. Do not make drainage holes in the bottom (you will have to be careful with watering to avoid having saturated compost). It is essential to stand growing-bags on a completely level surface.

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About the Author: Greenery always attracts Arthur Kunkle. He has a big garden where he plants many fruits and vegetables. His passion for gardening motivates him to write and share different tips on gardening.

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