Perk up your patio with autumn pots of colour
As the new season approaches, plant some pretty pots to brighten the scene
As pots of tired summer bedding are tipped onto the compost heap to make way for autumn and winter flowers, there are certain things you should do now to ensure your container plants for the cooler months get off to a good start. Here’s our step-by-step guide…
1. Provide good drainage
Once you’ve emptied your pots of summer bedding and given the containers a good clean, line the base of your pots with crocks from broken terracotta pots or bits of polystyrene that your new bedding comes in, to make sure you have ample drainage for new autumn and winter bedding.
As autumn rains come, if your pots are exposed to the elements, the roots of your plants can become too wet if you don’t include sufficient drainage when you plant them up.
Mix a handful of sharp stone or grit into the fresh compost to help drainage and stand your pots on feet, so the moisture doesn’t come up through the pot and soak the roots from below.
2. Fill pots well
Unlike summer bedding, which grows rapidly to cover the whole area of the pot, winter bedding is slower to make an impact – so it’s best to plant winter bedding closer together in tubs, troughs and hanging baskets.
They won’t have as much growing time as summer plants had to make their mark, so don’t penny-pinch on the amount you buy.
3. Don’t over-water
Winter-flowering pansies and other bedding won’t need as much water as your summer annuals did, so don’t mix water-retaining granules into the fresh compost, or you’ll end up with rotten roots and wilted plants.
4. Shelter containers
If you have planted up pots with spring bulbs, violas and pansies, put them in a sheltered spot – say under a porch or cold greenhouse when the winter weather is at its worst – but make sure they get maximum light so they can benefit from even weaker sunshine.
As the weather gets cooler, protect plants by grouping containers and moving them closer to the wall to keep off wind and rain.
5. Choose plants wisely
Some bedding only appears in the autumn, including dwarf Michaelmas daisies, pot chrysanthemums and miniature cyclamen, while orange-berried winter cherries and ornamental kales appear slightly later on in the season. All can be put to good use in a container and enhanced with evergreen foliage plants.
Garden centres will now be awash with autumn and winter bedding, including pansies and violas, wallflowers, dianthus and cyclamen. Use a showstopper as the centre plant and then use trailers, such as creeping Jenny or ivy, around the outside of your pots, filling the gaps with pretty violas and pansies.
The Press Association
Latest posts by The Press Association (see all)
- In Pictures: Super snow moon delights stargazers - February 21, 2019
- Living with arthritis? 7 tips for managing morning stiffness - February 21, 2019
- 7 facts about Karl Lagerfeld’s fashion legacy - February 19, 2019
- Bristol has been named the UK’s ‘kindest’ city – here are 5 other reasons to visit - February 19, 2019
- How to choose the right compost for the right spot - February 18, 2019
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!