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Welcome to the CountryLife Gardening Blog, written by our horticulturist to provide you with the best tips & advice for all things gardening!  We have been shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category. 

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Container Gardening

by Malachy - Horticulturist CountryLife Dungarvan | May 01, 2017
Ceramic Pots

Being a gardener doesn’t mean you have to have acres of land around your house that you cultivate into a manicure masterpiece. For me being a gardener is about having a love or interest in plants and using whatever outdoor space you have to its best potential.

For many people, particularly anyone living in a town, this space could be very small and might just be made up of a few containers and pots around a patio. This doesn’t mean you can’t still have an impressive display of plants though and it doesn’t limit what you can grow either.

One piece of advice I always give to customers when they come into CountryLife looking for plants to grow in containers is to think about the plant they are looking at and imagine the size will it reach in two/three years time. Don’t just focus on the size of the plant in your hands in the shop think of the plant when it is mature and the type of container it will need to grow comfortable. Sometimes a container or pot may seem excessive when you first put a plant in it but you will be surprised how quickly it will fill it up.

I always recommend buying frost proof containers if you have the choice, as you know they will withstand Irish winters. Especially if you are investing money in some nice decorative container you don’t want to come out some morning in winter to a broken pot. In my own garden any of the more delicate container or pots that I have are moved to more sheltered spots in the garden during the winter to offer a bit more protection.

When you are growing anything in a container it is important to think about drainage for your plants. Make sure the container you are using has adequate drainage holes and if it doesn’t make sure to add some extra to ensure water can freely drain away from the roots of the plant and won’t pool up around them. It is also a good idea to put some rubble or stones in the bottom of your container before you add the soil as this will help to present the soil from blocking the drainage holes.

In terms of planting mediums I use a good quality multipurpose compost at home for my containers and I find it works brilliantly for offering the plants what they need to grow successfully. With containers it will be important though to feed your plant every two weeks or so to ensure they have a regular supply of all the different nutrients they need to grow throughout the summer months. I use a mixture of a liquid feed for containers with flowering plants and then a slow release pellet feed for larger shrubs and plants. 

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.