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planting out your pots

potting mix

You must use a high quality potting mix containing all the essential nutrients and organic material if your plants are going to flourish. 

So how do you know what the right composition is?  If buying pre-packaged, look for the Standards Mark with five ticks on the label. This will tell you that the mix has been independently tested and certified to contain a suitable mix of nutrients in an appropriate base material to meet the requirements of the potted plant.  A black Standards mark indicates ‘regular’ potting mix and a red Standards mark indicates ‘premium’.

‘Regular’ potting mix may require extra nutrients or fertilisers depending on the plant species, while ‘premium’ potting mix contains additional nutrients and often won’t need extra fertilisers.

Regardless of the type of potting mix you use you should always exercise caution when handling.  Make sure you wear gloves and preferably a face mask (at minimum turn your face away when opening the bag) to avoid the possibility of coming into contact with any type of bacteria, if present.

Potting mix is available from Provincial Plants and Landscapes.

potting up plants

When filling your pots, always use premium potting mix with water storing granules as this will ensure an enhanced water retaining capacity within the soil.

Selecting the most appropriate plant for a particular place can often be a challenge, so if you’re unsure ask Provincial or your local garden centre for advice. Ornamental grasses, strappy leaf plants and grass trees create a dynamic impact.

Give the soil a thorough soak before removing the plant from its original container.  Turn the pot on its side and gently ‘squeeze’ around the outer surface to loosen the plant (if it’s a hard plastic you can’t squeeze just turn it on its side).  Gently ease the plant out holding on around the base on the plant near the root system. 

Your new pot should be at least 1/3 larger than the original to allow roots to spread.  Keep your premium potting mix (with water storing granules and slow release fertiliser) a few centimetres below the rim to leave room for water to soak in and don’t bury the stem of the plant.

Finishing your planting with decorative pebbles available in a variety of colours and sizes is a lovely way to ‘finish off’ and further helps the soil retain moisture and reduce evaporation.  Ensure there’s a drainage hole in the bottom of the pot so the roots don’t become water logged and put pot feet under the pot to assist with drainage.   

You can use a watering can instead of a hose for potted plants, and you may like to consider a dripper irrigation system.  Some planters come with a built in reservoir at the bottom that can save both time and water.  If pots are grouped together they’re easier to water.

Placing potted plants in areas protected from drying winds and with some shade will reduce evaporation.  Potted plants need more water during really windy or hot days.

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