Keep your garden looking stunning this summer
28th May 2012
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By now, nearly all of you keen gardeners would have visited a garden centre or garden nursery within the past few days to purchase new shrubs, trees and bedding and would have made the most of the good weekends to get the plants into the garden.


With the hose pipe ban in force, watering is a little more time consuming so I hope these few tips below will help.


First of all make sure your new plant or plants are well watered prior to taking them out of their pots and water the soil a few times prior to planting whether in pots or borders. Watering the soil or compost prior to planting will make sure the plant is put into wet soil or compost and will help to stop the run off of water when you water them after planting.


  • Water Butt


Keeping water retained in pots and hanging baskets is an annual nightmare for most of us and there are water retaining gels and different composts that we can buy but this can be done a little simpler and maybe more cost effective if items that we have around the garden are utilised.


  • Bath Water


When planting up a pot whether it be large or small try using the plastic trays that we all throw away in the recycling bin every day. Wash the plastic tray out and place it upright into the bottom of the pot, fill the pot with compost and water generously allowing it to drain for a few minutes and then water generously again until you feel that the compost is very soggy. Allow to drain again and then go about planting your new plants. The plastic tray will act as a reservoir for excess water and keep the bottom of the compost, where the plants roots will reach for, good and wet. I appreciate that the tray will have holes in the bottom of it but the pot is still going to need drainage and these holes are perfect for that job.


  • Washing Up Water


Watering of pots is a constant job and is always best done in the evening when the sun is not beaming on the area where the pot is positioned. The more often you water the less you will need to water each time as the compost will be kept moist at all times. NEVER allow a pot to dry out because you will NEVER be able to get the compost wet again, water will just run off, unless, of course, you are able to immerse the whole pot in water. Just keep watering!!


  • Watering Cans


Another cheap and easy way to help retain water in your pot is to use the plastic bag that the compost came in. Split the bag to the size required and line the inside of the pot with the bag making sure that you cannot see any of the plastic from the top of the pot when you fill with compost. Do not fill a pot to the top with compost as this will enable the water to run of the top of the pot, always leave some space for the water to puddle in. This cheap and easy water retaining exercise can also be applied to hanging baskets.


  • Buckets


More tips to help in your garden watering exercise


  • Collect rain water in water butts or other receptacles
  • Water garden early in the morning or last thing at night
  • Use bark mulch on borders to retain ground moisture
  • Add water retaining crystals to the compost and use compost that will retain the water longer
  • Use larger pots rather than small ones and move pots into the shade whenever the weather becomes too hot
  • Don’t cut your lawn as often as usual and keep your grass cut higher than normal
  • Don’t cut the lawn when the sun is at its hottest


Your plants are living, so water them so they stay alive; after all they cost money too. Your Money!!


For more information about me, Mark Stradling and Mark’s Garden Services in Bishop’s Stortford, please click here.

About the Author

Mark S

Member since: 28th May 2012

Mark Stradling the local owner of Mark's Garden Services in Bishop's Stortford. I love to blog and give advice whilst creating Affordable Gardens - Luxury Spaces. As seen on Channel 4 Phil Spencer: Secret...

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