Need to give your garden a lift before the Christmas guests arrive? Try adding a pop of potted colour.
Quick and easy ways to get your yard ready for entertaining
IF YOU haven’t yet prepared the garden, outdoor entertaining areas and indoor plants for Christmas then you’d better get cracking. For a quick fix, start by removing any weeds or, if that’s too big a job, cut them off at ground level and cover them up with newspaper and a layer of mulch. I know, it’s cheating, but I think you’ll get away with it for a couple of days.
Trim and tidy the plants, removing any past their prime. If there are gaps that need filling, choose some appropriate plants and put them in. If you don’t have time to plant them properly, try pushing them down into the mulch and bringing the mulch up to cover the top of the pot. Or sit them on top of the mulch in a decorative pot.
I like to fill short-term gaps with potted colour. It’s inexpensive, which means if the plants don’t survive this rather rough treatment I don’t feel as though I’ve wasted a heap of money. I know that the more permanent plantings will fill the space in time, but the potted colour will do the job beautifully in the meantime.
Check your potted plants. If they don’t look great, get rid of them. An ailing pot plant just looks sad and dreary, definitely not the mood we want to create during the festive season.
Top up the potting mix in large pots, and add a layer of decorative pebble or tea tree mulch, or plant a low-growing ground cover on the top.
If you don’t have time to refresh your potted plants, just hide them. Anywhere. Just get them out of sight, and deal with them in the new year when the pressure is off.
Remember, it’s false economy to use anything other than the best potting mix you can find.
Cheap potting mix might look attractive in dollar terms but it is a complete waste of time and money. It doesn’t have the structure, the water-holding power or the nutrients a premium mix has. This means plants will struggle from the moment they go into it, and before long you’ll need to repot them again.
By all means use a bag or two of cheap mix in the bottom of a huge pot, but then top up with the good stuff. Don’t expect your plants to grow and thrive in anything less than premium mix.
Lastly, if you need any nice last-minute Christmas gifts, head to your local garden centre where you can chill out and do the last of the Christmas shopping. Enjoy.
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CHEAP POTTING MIX MIGHT BE KIND TO YOUR BUDGET BUT IT’ S NOT KIND TO YOUR PLANTS
Brighten up your garden with some potted colour for the festive entertaining period.