How to age a new terracotta container…
Terracotta containers age well but it takes months. To accelerate this ageing process, mix some yogurt with horse manure and brush it on the pot. The yogurt encourages algae growth; the manure will help the growth of lichens. Soon the pot will look as if it’s been in your garden for years!
You don’t need to buy expensive pots, use your unwanted household items.
You can utilise an old car tyre, an old watering cans, a butler sink – any large mixing bowls and cooking pots & pans; plastic & metallic bins, trash cans, waste paper baskets; wooden & plastic boxes etc remember to make drainage holes in the base. You can make a hanging basket out of and old colander, a sieve or a lampshade
Avoid those ugly plastic containers looking like terracotta pots
Paint or cover them up!rnReal teracotta is cheap and widely available -so get the real thing. If you like plastic, buy modern containers or utilize plastic trash cans, rubbish bins and plastic boxes!
Don't let them get your bulbs! Grit their teeth!
I've tried chicken-manure pellets, chilli powder(hot!), chicken wire, chemical deterrents, soap and a HyperSonic Scarer but none of them work as well as simple horticultural grit which is cheap, natural, not smelly and long-lasting.
Planting in containers
Before planting you need to prepare your pot and your plant
Soak your plant before planting, and if you’re using terracotta pots, soak those as well. Large containers should be planted in situ. You can save on compost and lighten the weight by filling the container (up to one third) with polystyrene bits. Always place small stones at the bottom of the container and add some grit to the compost to allow better drainage. Add water-retaining granules and slow-releasing fertiliser to the root level of your plant. Then you’re ready to plant!
Self-watering plant pot
This is how you can make a pot that waters itself!
Cut a plastic bottle in half. Pull a piece of fabric through the neck of the bottle. Turn it over and put your plant into the half-bottle. You can put this into another container which is filled with water. The fabric will soak up the water. Another way is to use a jar with a screw-on lid. Punch a small hole in the lid; poke a piece of fabric through it into the earth via the hole in the bottom of your pot. Fill the jar with water, secure the lid and place the plant on top of the jar.
Insects like Daisies
They're not just pretty to us, insects really like daisy-like flowers.
To help the environment, the pollination of your other flowers and to combat pests you should plant plenty of flowers like campanula, salvia, alysssum and geraniums.
Are you trying to create curved flower beds?
The easiest way to mark out simple or complicated curved beds is to use a hosepipe!
Take Care of Your Tools
Look after your garden tools - don't leave them standing on lawn or soil.
After scraping off any mud, it's best to hang them up, otherwise wrap platic bags round them and put them on a wooden board.
Simple Mini Compost Heap
If you've only got a small garden a proper compost heap may not be possible so:-
Put a couple of heavy duty plastic bin bags inside each other. Bung all your kitchen waste (pealings etc), newspapers, garden cuttings and so on into them. You'll need to put a few holes in them and give them a shake from time to time until everything rots down to a splendid mush.
Cut the Clematis
March is the time for pruning both June and late flowering clematis.
Viticella and similar earlier flowering varieties need to be cut back on each stem to a plump bud where you want the bottom flowers to be. The late flowering types should be cut down pretty well to ground level.
What to Plant round Christmas
If the soil is frozen or very wet don't plant anything. Pot up any bare-rooted new plants.
If the soil's OK this is the time to put in hardy plants such as shrubs, hedges, roses and climbers. Wait another couple of months for more sensitive evergreens and conifers.
Vegetables can be Attractive
You can mix in your veggies in flower beds - some are very pleasing on the eye as well as the palate.
Some vegetables that look very presentable in flower beds are Rhubarb, chard, runner beans and strawberries. Be adventurous and reap the reward!
Green is great but for a shiny, sheeny look try this one.
The dark-purple flowers of Verbena 'Aphrodite' combine well with the silver foliage of Brunnera macrophylla 'Jack Frost' in a galvanized pot. The Brunnera flowers in early spring with metallic-looking foliage that lasts through summer. Put in full sun.
Always use a residual current device (RCD) when using an electric mower!
Even if you think you're safe because the whole house is protected by an RCD, it's still better to use a lead with a built-in RCD plug.
November Gardening Jobs
Now is the time to start protecting plants against winter weather.
Young conifers lose water fast in strong winds, so make a windbreak by sticking evergreen prunings in the earth or by attaching hessian or windbreak mesh to canes or stakes.rnAgapanthus, bay, Ceratostigma, Crinum, Diascia, Eccremocarpus, hardy fuchsia, passion flower, Penstemon, Phygelius, tree poppy and flame creeper need their roots protected against frost - use loose mulch like bark, about 6" deep but don't let it touch woody stems as this will cause rot. rnrnInsulate the roots of the following with a 15cm-deep, loose mulch, eg bark
What to Plant in November
This is the time for roses, of course, but it's also right for hardy perennials, deciduous trees, hedges, shrubs, climbers and fruit.
When planting roses, lay a cane across the planting hole to make sure the bud union is about an inch below the surface. Avoid cold, wet areas - wait until spring to plant there. Likewise wait with conifers, evergreens, grey-leafed and tender plants if your garden is not very sheltered.
The plants you need to deadhead in June/July include azaleas, calendula, delphiniums, iris, lilac, lupins, pansies, rhododendrons, roses and viola.
There's been research done recently by the British Royal National Rose Society that suggests it is much better not to cut off the dead heads of roses. If you just pull them off you get more repeat flowering.
Precautions before winter
As winter approaches we think the nasties go away but in conservatories & greenhouses problems still lurk!
Check for scale insects & mealy bugs on more delicate plants like bougainvillea, citrus and plumbago. Also look out for gray mould which arises when the air is damp and the temperature cooling. Remove any affected leaves. Water sparingly and avoid wetting leaves.