A Guide For Planting Pots This Spring, For Total Gardening Novices Like Me

Here's everything you need to start container gardening for yourself 🌼
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Fancy finally giving gardening a go this spring? Container gardening is perfect for beginners. Growing plants in pots rather than into the ground is an easy way to create an instant oasis, even if you’re short on outdoor space.

You can transform a barren balcony or unloved patio with a selection of blooming pot plants on display. And you can move and rearrange your pots however many times, to fit your space or garden.

As long as you get the right kit, growing your own ‘patio plants’ is an easy and rewarding way to get into gardening. And with Easter nearly here, it’s the perfect time of year to start!

How to get started with planting pots

As the founder of Gardening Express, Chris Bonnett knows a thing or two about ensuring your plants thrive in their new pot home, so I asked him for some top tips for novices like me.

First and foremost, you’ve got to pick the right soil, he says. “Don’t fill your pot with soil from garden beds, as it will be too dense, and won’t allow for proper drainage. Use potting soil instead which is much more lightweight and suitable.”

Now you’ve got your soil, fully water it in the pot. “If your soil is particularly dry you may need to do it a few times.”

Bonnett also says it’s best to let the watered soil rest. “Avoid planting straight away into a soggy mess of soil,” he says. “Wait around a day [after watering] before you start planting and the soil will be well-drained.”

Once the filled containers have had ample time to rest and drain, you can start planting your bulbs or seeds.

The general rule is that bulb planting depth should be between two to three times the length of the bulb, while seeds can be much shallower (but you can always check the packet instructions).

It’s that simple! Ready to get stuck in? Here’s a bumper beginner’s pack with a few key bits of kit that’ll help you become a pot planting pro.

1
This pretty plant pot
You can't start planting pots without the actual pot. This is made from recycled plastic and comes in an oh-so-pretty colour. It's lightweight (so easily moveable) and include drainage holes to keep outdoor plants healthy.
2
These begonia bulbs that are perfect for planters
Looking to create one of those colourful balcony or rectangular planter displays in time for summer? For beginners, begonias and dahlias are a relatively safe bet, and will bloom all the way through to autumn. And now is the perfect time to plant them!
3
This durable trough with drainage holes
Durable and frost-resistant, this rectangular concrete planter is just what you need for displaying your summer bulbs. Plus, it’s got pre-drilled drainage holes, which is crucial if you want to ensure your plants stay healthy.
4
A potting soil that’s made for container gardening
Containing 14 vital nutrients that’ll keep plants fed and happy for the first six weeks, this compost is the perfect lightweight soil for your pots and tubs.
5
These handy seedling pots
There's a reason these seedling pots are Amazon bestsellers. Tthese are great for starting off plants from seed. The biodegradable material can be planted directly into soil once plants are established and the roots will penetrate through the base. A good option for fussy plants that don't like being transported.
6
This nifty garden kneeler seat
A 2-in-1 product, use it as a kneeler with handy support handles, or flip it over if you’re in need of a seat. Plus, it comes with a handy tool holder that’s perfect for keeping all your equipment together.
7
A super cool railing planter
For brightening up a balcony or garden fence, you'll want one of these clever hanging pots, available in multiple colours.
8
This gourmet flower kit
Grow your own edible flowers and create culinary theatre! This kit has a range of six seed varieties including Wild Pansy and French Marigold – suitable for sweet and savoury dishes.
9
This mini set of gardening tools
There’s no major digging or raking required with container gardening, so a mini tool set like this is just what you need. Made from quality iron, the small-sized rake, shovel, and spade will help you keep your pots in order.
10
This complete kit for growing herbs
In this nifty kit, you’ll have everything you need to grow your very own basil, parsley, thyme, chives, coriander, and rocket seeds. Plant them indoors or outdoors, and you’ll be enjoying your very own herbs in no time.
11
The ultimate evergreen patio plant
Famously laidback, the Fatsia Japonica is a pretty much unkillable outdoor plant that stays green all year round. Fine in a shady spot, and pretty happy as long as he gets a drink whenever his top two inches of soil feel dry. Pop him in a pretty pot, and he’ll make the perfect patio statement.
12
A fertiliser feed that’ll give your blooms a boost
An ideal summer fertiliser for container plants, dissolving these soluble crystals in water every 7-10 days for a feed. If you start applying the feed from the bud stage right through to their flowering period, you’ll enjoy a continuous succession of colourful blooms.
13
The perfect pruning shears
The ratchet system in these pruners can cut things as small as flower blossoms to 3/4 inch branches like a hot knife through butter and with minimum effort.
14
A rust-proof watering can with a removable rose head
When in the sun, plants need to be watered once a day – and some even more frequently. Visually appealing and functional, this retro watering can is definitely up to the job, and won’t rust if you leave it outside.
15
A frost-proof stone pot for stand-alone plants
This stone option is far more hardy than any plastic alternatives, and will fend off frost throughout the winter months. Plus, each pot is fitted with a clever water reservoir system that helps with drainage. The perfect home for your statement plants!
16
This all-in-one seed starter kit
Reap the delicious rewards of home-grown with this seed starter kit. With 15,000 seeds in 30 vegetable and herb varieties, you could soon be enjoying everything from broccoli to carrots to lettuce, spinach, red sweet pepper and more. (Just remember that some of these veggies will need a rather large pot.)
17
These bestselling gardening gloves
Avoid getting your finger nails muddy and keep your hands protected with these spandex/leather gardening gloves for men and women. Comes in three colours.
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