How to plant the best summer containers - use polystyrene trick for maximum drainage | Express.co.uk

2022-06-15 16:42:11 By : Ms. LUCKY CHAN

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Containers are the perfect home for a variety of different plants and are great for putting on patios or balconies. Fruit and vegetables can also be grown in containers, providing the conditions are right. When I visited The Savill Garden, I was excited to find out exactly how to plant a container, and find out what colours work well with each other.

I purchased a terracotta plant pot to begin with because I wanted the container to be outside all year.

When it came to picking plants to put in the pot, I focused on what colours worked well with one another.

It was also important to pick plants based on where the pot would be placed in the garden, either in the sun or shade.

As I love colour, I went for four different plants in pink, purple, white and yellow.

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I wasn’t sure whether the colours would all work together well but I was pleased with the outcome.

The plants I picked were cosmos, calibrachoa and verbena. 

Cosmos are upright plants and I thought it made an excellent addition to my container as it was quite tall.

Calibrachoas, also known as million bells, have a trailing habit, which looks great over the side of a pot.

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I decided to pick two colours for this plant, pink and yellow.

The verbena was also gorgeous, which flowers non-stop from early summer until the first frosts.

To begin planting, I broke up polystyrene and placed it in the bottom of the container.

It allows the soil to drain as well acting as an insulator.

The pot was then filled halfway with organic matter as well as a handful of slow releasing plant food, which will keep the pot fed for six weeks.

Gardening expert Julie was on-hand for any gardening advice and she showed us how to plant properly.

We were first taught to position our plants in the pots before we made any decisions to see how they would work together.

Julie recommended placing the tallest plant towards the back of the pot if it wasn’t going to be viewed from a 360 angle.

I decided to place the cosmos towards the back of the plant with the other tree surrounding the front of the pot as they were shorter.

It was quite tricky to get the plants out of their pots but we were taught to gently tease the roots.

To plant the cosmos, I made an indent in the soil, digging deeper until the base of the plant slotted in perfectly.

I followed this technique with the other three plants before topping the soil up to make sure they were well hidden.

Julie then recommended firming the compost around the plants.

When it came to watering, Julie recommended giving the pot water as soon as it had been planted.

The container also needs watering every day in hot weather, if not twice a day if possible as it is in the sun.

However, it is important not to water the petals or leaves surrounding the plant as they can scorch easily.

Plant containers need deadheading regularly to encourage more flowers to form.

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