Creating a borderThere are a number of things to take into account when laying out a border. There’s soil type, light requirements, the wind factor, flower shape and plant size and the flowering period. Luckily, Bakker has an extensive choice of bedding plants and ready-made border collections for you, so you can always find the best choice for your garden! For instance you could order a lush milkweed, a lovely daylily or deliciously scented thyme. When designing your border, or even a large planter, it’s handy to remember a couple of important things. Colours define things, and light has an effect on colour. Many primary colours or contrasting shades together can make a border or planter really colourful. On the other hand, lots of plants in similar shades can make a border look rather dull (pastel for instance) or just too dominant. Flowers in darker shades need lots of light whereas white flowers (like gypsophila and phlox) require it to be shady to look their best.
The correct planting distanceIf you are about to start planting your new additions we have some handy tips here for you that will give your plants the best possible start. Planting ground cover bedding and perennials seems easy but there are one or two rules that will ensure best growth. Before planting anything, it’s handy to first divide the plants over the border (still in their pots), to see where you want to put them. Pay attention to planting distances too because if you plant them all to close together they will not develop properly. Also, if you plant them too far apart it will take too long for them to cover things adequately. So always check the recommended distances on the labels. When you have sorted them to your satisfaction, it’s time to dig them in.
Fertilising your plantsAll plants need the correct type of nutrition to thrive. There are two types of plant food, organic fertiliser and chemical fertiliser. Organic comprises well-rotted manures and compost from mixed organic substances. This is good for soil organisms and the structure of the soil. Use organic fertiliser in the winter or early spring. A chemical fertiliser contains lots of plant nutrients and gives fast results. Use the chemical feeds from April through to August, using the recommended dosage on the pack.
Taking plants out of their potsHold the pot upside down, tap or squeeze it until the root ball loosens. If this doesn’t happen easily, you can always just cut the pot off. If the root ball seems too dry, plunge the whole thing in a bucket of lukewarm water to soak for a while. You should always be able to see lots of roots – the more you can see, the healthier the plant. Loosen the roots a little with a couple of tugs to help them spread out better in the soil. Use a trowel to dig a wide enough hole and loosen the soil with a fork. Add a mix of potting compost or well-rotted manure to the soil and plant the plant at the correct depth – the top of the root ball should be at soil level. Don’t forget that loose soil will likely collapse a little and that plants planted to shallow can dry out. Heel well in and water immediately.
Flowering plantsThe flowering of a plant is intended to form seed. Once seed has formed successfully, the plant may stop flowering so if you deadhead regularly, you can stop the plant forming seed and have it flower for longer. Fuchsias for instance can flower 3 times in a summer season if you remember to regularly remove all the overblown flowers.
Do check out the following interesting items:
gardening advice pages.