Giving your pots and containers a burst of life with a springtime spruce up is a great thing to do at this time of year in preparation for summer.
In their latest video, our friend Martin Fish of Pots & Trowels takes you through the process of maintaining your potted outdoor plants. You can watch the video below, or keep reading for all the tips, tricks and equipment you need to keep your container plants in tip-top shape.
Tidying up your plant pots and containers is a perfect job for spring. It’s important to give plants, trees and shrubs that permanently live in their pots a little sprucing up – since they’re not living in the ground and they can’t get their roots further out into the soil, you want to give them more in the way of food and a little bit of TLC around this time of year to try and keep them healthy.
It’s amazing how weeds grow over the winter months, so the first thing you want to do is have a look at the soil in your containers and remove any weeds. Our DP2544 5in1 Trowel is perfect for this job. The forked end is ideal for getting right in there, getting through the roots and lifting any weeds out with ease. Whether there’s visible weed growth or not, it’s also a good idea to loosen up the top inch of the old compost and remove it from the pot, as there’s often weed seeds in there that are still going to grow. The removed compost doesn’t have to go to waste either, as you can add it to your compost bin for some organic matter and the weeds will rot down in time too.
The next thing to do is to give your containers a feed, as the roots in the pots rely entirely on us for their food and their water through the growing season. Something like an organic blood, fish and bone fertiliser is a good choice as it’s pretty balanced in nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphate and potash. Nitrogen will make the leaves nice and green and healthy and promote top growth, the phosphates are for keeping a healthy root, and the potash is more for promoting the overall health of the plant and helping assist with thing like winter hardiness and disease resistance, which is especially beneficial for flowering plants.
Take a small handful of your chosen fertiliser, sprinkle it over the top of the compost and then work it slightly into the soil surface before top dressing with a couple of handfuls of some fresh compost to replenish it. It’ll supply a little bit of nutrition and also encourage some newer roots to form at the surface.
If your pot is still fairly moist then wait before giving it a water, but if it’s at a stage where it’s starting to dry out a bit then give it a good watering and that will then start to dissolve those nutrients which will wash down into the roots and then in a few weeks’ time you should start to see a little bit of growth.
Try and keep your pots lifted off the ground a little to allow excess water to drain out instead of it sitting in the bottom of the pot. This is good in winter as it’ll stop the water potentially freezing and breaking or cracking the pot depending on what material it’s made from. In summer, it’s useful as you’ll be watering more frequently and the water can run off without causing any dark marks to form on your path or patio. From using bricks to buying feet or rings to prop under your pots, there’s plenty of options available.
If you’ve got any trees or shrubs in pots, even though they’re normally pruned in the summer, it’s worth going round and checking the foliage for any dead, damaged leaves, any little stumpy bits or any old berries. Work your way around the tree and remove any that you find with a pair of pruners just to tidy them up a bit so that, once they start into growth in a few weeks’, you’ve already gotten rid of any rubbish and they’ll grow away and look fantastic through the summer.
Where to Buy Darlac Tools
You can find our Darlac products in store from your local garden centre, or you can buy selected products direct online from our website. Find your local Darlac stockist here.
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