Garden And Gardener

Everything for the Gardener and their Garden

Bedding plants

by Sarah - February 2nd, 2012.
Filed under: garden.

Buy your plants from a reputable supplier. Buy more plants than you need to account
for any plants dying off during the growing on process or from being damaged once
in situ.

The idea of bedding plants is to provide a seasonal change of appearance to
your garden. Ensure you have got the right bedding plants for the season. There
are two main seasons for bedding plants. Summer plants which you buy in late
winter if you are growing on, or late spring if you are buying them garden ready.
Winter plants which you buy in autumn for planting. The varieties are different
with many of the summer bedding plants not being frost hardy which means they
can be damaged by a late frost. Winter plants should be very hardy though and
easily cope with frosts.

Make sure you plant your half-hardy plants out after the last frost. If you’re
not sure when the date is then it is worth asking neighbours who grow lots of
plants in their garden. The last frost date is usually earlier in the south
of the UK and later in the north, with the start of June being considered about
right for Northern parts.

Feeding the plants to get them to flower more is an excellent idea. Buy a high
potash fertiliser and read the instructions on the packet. You usually feed
every two to three weeks but some products allow you to feed a more dilute version
of the fertiliser every day as you water.

Watering is important too. Check the individual plant recommendations as some
plants prefer the soil dry. Plants that come from hot countries originally tend
to prefer hotter drier weather. Plants in hanging baskets and tubs though will
need more watering as there is less soil for the plants to root into looking
for water. Failure to water hanging baskets often enough will result in plants
dying. If this happens then you can replant the basket with any remaining bedding
plants that you happen to have left over. Adding water retaining products to
the basket is a good idea. Baskets are especially vulnerable as they have a
smaller volume of soil to retain water and they are up in the air and subject
to more wind which can aid evaporation.

Slugs can be a problem eating your tender bedding plants. There are treatments
available which you water on and they kill all slugs for many weeks. Whilst
expensive they are cheaper than having to replace all your plants. If you want
to grow hostas then a slug treatment is sometimes the only way to allow the
plants to get established enough.

If you put sun-loving plants in a shady area of your garden then they will
not do as well as if they were in a sunny part. Planting in the sunniest areas
of your garden will give you the best chance of fantastic flower displays. There
are shade loving plants suited for shady corners. If you have no flower beds
in sunny areas then either put a bed in if you have lawn, or create tubs and
flower boxes on paved areas in the sunshine.