• watering

    Garden, how-tos • Jul 27th, 2020

    I love plants in containers, my garden soil is light and sandy so not rich in nutrients or texture and the look of Mediterranean gardens with huge terracotta pots has a lot of fond memories for me. They do need watering most days as they allow plants to breathe from the sides and the soil inside dries out pretty quickly. My large pots are from here not very far away, handmade pots that look great and have grown lots of plants over the years. Smaller pots are vintage from the Sankey factory near Nottingham. I bought quite a few to decorate my daughter’s wedding barn and they’re also giving good service in the garden. I also use and reuse plastic pots and supermarket punnets to stop them going to landfill.

    So a few tips to make pots work beautifully in your outdoor space big or small, they’ll  grow flowers, veg and herbs and I’m won over with the whole sowing and harvesting in one season thing.

    ▪️never think that rainfall will save you the job of watering your pots, it doesn’t touch the sides, and the canopy of leaves will divert raindrops so the plants won’t get their drink

    ▪️larger pots need less watering than small ones, I have endive lettuce growing in a deep pot so the compost doesn’t dry out

    ▪️with smaller pots though you can stand them in a tray for watering  and collect the water that runs out to use in your borders and for larger pots use pot feet so you can see when the water runs out at the bottom and use the rest of the can on another plant

    ▪️water the compost, don’t shower the leaves, unless you’re putting soap in the water to deter aphids and earwigs*

    ▪️water in the morning not at night so the surface of the soil is dry by dusk; not so appealing to slugs and snails.

    ▪️use a top dressing or mulch to keep the water from evaporating quickly, grit if you can, the slugs don’t like it

    ▪️move your pots into the sun unless you’re growing salad leaves or kale, plants really do love the sun and by watering them well they are getting everything they need.

    There are other watering solutions too like proper irrigation and water retentive capsules; I’ve kept mine simple  and eco friendly and hope you’ll feel encouraged to grow from seed or plug plants and share the joy of a harvest.

    *strong soapy water makes the leaves taste horrible, use it for flowers like dahlias, sunflowers, cosmos and ammi; for edibles I ask the ladybirds to help out. I use an all purpose soap like this olive oil soap: bath, laundry, cleaning and now a pesticide.


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