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Summer Ready Containers

by Malachy - Horticulturist CountryLife Dungarvan | Apr 17, 2017
Marigold offer vibrant summer colour

At this stage of the year many of the containers and pots that we have had planted up with spring bedding and bulbs are starting to reach the end of their time in the garden and we need to start thinking about replacing the plants and getting ready for some summer colour.

It is important though when you are clearing out old containers to think about what was in it and not to just dump everything into a bin or on the compost heap. If you had spring bulbs or even things lime primroses in it take these out of the containers and replant them somewhere in your garden where they will reappear next year. I am always surprised by some gardeners who get too excited about getting new plants in to a pot or container that they often dump great plants that could be repurposed somewhere else in the garden.

When you have cleared out your containers or window boxes I like to get rid of all the compost that was in them and start fresh with new compost. The majority of the time when you are at the stage of replacing spring bedding with summer bedding the compost will have been spent and lost it nutrient value so won’t actually give any benefit to new plants so it best to refill them with new multipurpose compost that you will get the benefits from.

At home when I am doing this I like to give my pots or containers a quick wash with some disinfectant before replanting them to make sure that I am not carrying over anything nasty from the old plants such as fungus or diseases. I find this really just makes sure you’re start with the best conditions possible for your plants to grow healthily in.

Once you have your containers ready it now time to pick what plants you are going to put in them which for any gardener is always the best part. We have definitely had a good few customers in to CountryLife over the last week or so who are in full swing of getting summer bedding madness and were in to pick up some plants for their own gardens.

No matter what is the new IT plant in terms of summer bedding plants each year gardeners never really shy too far away from the old classics to be honest. And really they are classics for a good reason they put on a great display and work extremely well in Irish gardens. Petunias will never fall out of fashion in my eyes because they really are a show-stopping plant during the summer. And thanks to plant breeders around the world every year there seems to be a new variety, flower type or even colour to keep things interesting.

Geraniums, both the standard and the trailing forms, are great plants because apart from deadheading they really look after themselves. They are great in particular if you are not great with keeping on top of watering because they can tolerate a bit of drought. I often feel a lot of people over look trailing geraniums and just use them in hanging baskets or window boxes but they can work extremely well tumbling down the edge of a large pot planted with other flowers.

When it comes to summer bedding plants it is all about colour and really the bolder the colour the better for many gardeners. Thanks to they vivid orange flowers marigolds are always make a welcome addition to containers. The same too goes for lobelia with their great purplish blue flowers. I like to use lobelia by itself to plant up containers because I feel they produce just so many flowers when you have a big sea of them it has great impact in the garden. 

Written by Malachy

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Malachy's Bio 
I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!

We were shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category.