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Gardeners Goodies: How To Plant up Pots and Tubs: Your Plant Cannot Live by Water Alone Don't be tempted by the first spring sunshine it may be freezing the following day. When the da...

Your Plant Cannot Live by Water Alone

Don't be tempted by the first spring sunshine it may be freezing the following day. When the danger of night frost is over mid may bring your plants out of doors.
Before you start to plant up your pots or tubs, window boxes check if surplus water can be drained off. Most pots have holes in the bottom. If they are missing you should make your own drainage.
Put a layer of broken crocks or clay pellets on the bottom. Next fill the pot loosely with good potting soil do not use soil from the garden.
In the open plants will be able to take up sufficient nutrients, but in a pot the roots have only limited space to develop. The nutrients in the fresh potting soil will have been taken up within four weeks so you should regularly feed the plants.
There are fertilizers which contain all the necessary nutrients for your plants follow the directions as regards the dosage. You all so need to check regularly that the soil does not dry out. Especially in warm weather be extremely careful.

What is A Suitable Place

Most plants are not too demanding as regards their temporary shelter if a few conditions are met.
The surroundings should be frost proof and not too warm. A temperature of 5-10 degrees c is ideal for most varieties.
Non deciduous plants such as Chrysanthemum, Frutescens, Citrus Trees require full day light so they best placed near a window or under a skylight. By giving them some fresh air from time to time not when its freezing you prevent disagreeable mold diseases.
Plants which do not hold their leaves in winter need less light. Fuchsias spend the winter in a dormant state if you store them in an almost dark cellar.
If your garden is not too wet, you can store Fuchsias in a pit provided the plants are well covered with soil.
You see that it is all less difficult than you may have thought. You have a suitable place in mind such as a shed or attic if it can be kept frost free. A conservatory will often be to warm a greenhouse would be ideal.

Overwintering

When the summer is at an end and the fall turns the foliage of trees and shrubs into the most beautiful colors the time has come to start thinking of winter storage of your patio and balcony plants.
Most varieties are of tropical or subtropical origin. You can not leave these plants outside. Even a single night frost can be disastrous to some varieties.
If your plants are hardy and planted in terracotta pots you should take the necessary measures however sturdy terracotta seems to be the pots are not frost proof.
When to bring your plants indoors not straight away after the summer or in early fall. Bringing them in too early does more harm than good, you should leave the plants outdoors as long as possible.
If you don't have too many plants and no planters or pots that are too heavy you can put them in the shed or garage for the time being if a night frost is expected that is if you are not own of a greenhouse or conservatory.
They can then be brought outside again the following day but beware not early in the morning for it might be freezing. When the weather really cold plants should be given a permanent place indoors until spring.

If you think that growing and caring for shrubs and plant's in tubs and planter's is a new hobby you are wrong.

Our ancestors discovered hundreds of years ago that oranges could very well bear fruit when planted in tubs. In summer they were placed outdoors. In winter taken indoors in a sheltered place called an orangery.

Its your decision how the container should look and of what material it should be made. Some people like synthetic material lightweight frost proof moderately priced.

Where as others prefer terracotta heavy, vulnerable the risk of breaking or damage by frost but so beautiful. There are people who rave about a classical wooden tub or planter.

You should not choose a planter or window box which is too small for your new acquisition.

Do not plant a dwarf lilac or a hydrangea in a pot which can barely hold the root ball. The root ball does not have enough room to develop and the consequence is stunted growth and eventual dying down. So choose a good sized tub, pot, or window box. This goes for all patio and balcony plants.


Varieties that can remain outside in winter.

Fortunately quite a lot of them fall under this category. Yet these plants and shrubs too require some extra care as they are more vulnerable in a pot than in the open ground. Especially in a prolonged period of frost the danger exists that they might dry out.

Terracotta pots are liable to freeze and crack. You can protect the root ball and the vulnerable terracotta by wrapping the pots in jute or straw or by covering them with fir branches.

See list of plants below.

Acer Palmatum  ( Japanese Maple )
Arum Italicum ( Italian Arum Lily )
Azalea
Blueberries
Buddleia Davidii  ( Butter Fly Bush)
Dwarf Shasta Daisy
Dianthus
Dryopteris Filix Mas  ( Male Fern )
False Acacia Robinia
Hibiscus Syriacus
Hosta
Hydrangea ( Hortensia )
Laurus Nobilis ( Sweet Bay )
Lavender
Lilies
Rose
Trailing Rosemary Capri
Scabiosa Columbaria
House Leek