Homes+ (Australia) - - MY BACKYARD -

YOU WILL NEED pot­ted dahlias (see left); se­lec­tion of vin­tage bis­cuit tins or large cans; ham­mer and heavy-duty nail; drainage crocks; gravel; pot­ting mix.

ONE Soak the root­balls of the dahlias for 30 mins or so. Use the ham­mer and sturdy nail to make holes in the bases of the tins – these drainage holes are nec­es­sary to pre­vent the pot­ting mix be­com­ing wa­ter­logged.

TWO Add drainage crocks to the bot­tom of the first tin, cov­er­ing the drainage holes so they won’t be­come blocked with pot­ting mix.

THREE Put a cou­ple of hand­fuls of gravel in the bot­tom of the tin, which will again help to im­prove drainage. Half-fill the tin with pot­ting mix and level off, mak­ing sure there are no air pock­ets. You can do this by gen­tly tap­ping the tin on the ground to help the pot­ting mix set­tle.

FOUR Take the first plant from its pot and gen­tly re­move some of the pot­ting mix, be­ing care­ful not to dam­age the roots. Plant the dahlia in the tin, adding more pot­ting mix around the top so that it sits about 2.5cm or so be­low the rim. Re­peat for the other tins and wa­ter spar­ingly.

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