Bedding plants when looked after give you flower from May until November and it is for this reason they are worth a little investment.
|A Terracotta Bowl Planted with a Mix of Summer Bedding|
We love our perennials but most have a season of a few weeks or a month so they need to be planted in continuous succession to give you all year round colour. There are exceptions.
Bedding plants should be considered an art form like painting. They are a gift for the creative amongst us. Following a few simple rules we can make wonderful visions of colour and with minimal care and enjoy our creations until the first frosts in November.
There are three simple things we need to consider compost, colour then care:
Plant in a suitable compost. These are vigorous hungry plant and they need a compost to suit or they will wither rather than thrive. They are going to grow very fast so they need a lot to eat. Plant them in a rich potting compost and if you are planting a hanging basket >> or container than what better than Westland Hanging Basket and Container Compost because it is rich and it also contains slow release rich feed and some water retaining properties. If you are using a rich potting compost both these agents should really be bought and added so it make this choice of compost cost effective.
|Plants in Harmony|
This determines what impact or level of attention your creation will have on other. Do you want it to be subtle tasteful a calm creation a subtle harmonising basket, perhaps in a area of the garden you like to relax. Do you want it to be dynamic something that absolutely catches your eye. Is it going to be in a bright light position, where bright primary Caribbean colour look amazing or will it be a little shady where blues whites and pastels look brighter and primary colours a little Gordy. Make your decision.
|Dynamic Colour Contrast|
The colour wheel >> is a handy tool. To create a harmonising combination of colour choose similar shades close together on the wheel. Pinks, blues and silver is the most comon choice but choosing similar shades of yellow or reds and oranges is also calming.
Dramatic dynamics comes from selecting direct opposites. Orange opposite blue, red opposite Green and purple opposite yellow.
Water, feed and dead head your plants. Plants can not survive without water and these are hungry plants growing in an artificial compact environment so they need watering every day. This means a soak not a dribble. The compost must remain moist do not let it dry out. If its a basket take it down if its getting dry and dunk it in a bucket. If crack appear in the compost the water just runs through and out bypassing the roots. Lazy watering is the main cause of loss. Geraniums , scaevola and begonias and salvia handle dryer conditions best. Fuscias and petunias will be lost first if they suffer drought.
If you are going away and they are going to be possible dependant on your neighbous watering vigilance stand you plants in the shad perhaps over a bucket of water.
Don't think when it has rained they don't need watering they probably do. When its windy take special care that they have not dried out in the wind. When it muggy damp miserable and cold stick your finger in the compost and feel it it is moist or dry and decide accordingly. This is the worst kind of weather because the plants can get too cold and wet and can form mould.
Feed is vital because these are hungry plants. I feed bedding a little every day well below the requirement for a weekly feed. I prefer to keep the plant the perfect colour green so they are never compromised and continue to photosynthesis and grow to their maximum. Off the shelf feeds you mix in a watering will suggest once or twice a week. If you mix up a fraction of the weekly requirement in your daily water that would be fine.
Tomatoe feed is worth having in as it contains a lot more trace elements and magnesium all of which are required in low doses for plant heath, use it occasionally or all the time for your bedding. If you over feed the plants will look slighly blue, stop the feed for a few days and just water until the foliage looks right.
A feed diectly after planting is imperative. The plants are not yet established so are not absorbing the quality compost but they can asorb the feed and moisture through the roots so this will help them recover from the mild shock of planting and thrive.