Skip to main content

Compost for containers

Garden soil can be used for planting containers providing the plants are short term, such as annuals or pansies, and are replaced after a few months. But there are many disadvantages to using soil in pots, not least in that it will be full of weed seeds just waiting to germinate and choke the plants. There will probably be some pests such as chafer grubs. Vine weevils and leatherjackets, and spores of various fungal diseases. Garden centres and  stores are well stocked with a range of proprietary composts to suit every plant's needs, including soil-based kinds whose soil has been sterilized, and soil-less types using peat, coir (coconut fibre) or other additives to provide a suitable growing medium.

The one great advantage of soil-based compost is that it is more retentive of moisture and so less likely to shrink away from the edge of the pot as it dries out, making re-watering easy. Its disadvantage compared to soil-less compost is that it is heavier and a large container recently watered is not easily moved.

There are various specialist composts too, such as ericaceous composts for lime-hating plants and orchid mixes that provide a really open, free-draining material. Composts with built-in resistance to some pests are proving popular and every type of compost contains a fertilizer whose composition is consistent in every bag. There are composts containing slow-release fertilizer that gradually supplies nutrients to the plant roots over a period of anything from 6 months or even up to 14 months for shrubs in pots, but most others are exhausted of nutrients after about six weeks. Plants in pots need regular feeding during the growing period and should eventually be repotted into larger containers with fresh compost.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Panic or panick

There is only one spelling for panic; the verb is inflected 'panic, panics, panicked, and panicking’. The form panick is used for progressive tense, past tense and past participle. We don't write panick today, though English speakers from a few hundred years ago might have (in the same way they might have written musick).

When the alternate spelling “panick” is used for the past participle: "I panicked last night at the disco." When it’s use for progressive tense: “Invariably, when markets are panicking, they sell the stocks quickly.”

It's the rule for root words ending in "c" is that you have to add “k”, so the spelling is related with the pronunciation. If we don't add the <k>, it looks as if the <c> has to be pronounced /s/. If the "k" was not there, “panicing” would look like the word which is supposed to be pronounced as if it is ended in "sing," while “paniced” would be pronounced like “panised”.

The same would …

Penny Hang

In Victorian times, many people flocked into the city, the cheap houses were badly built, cold and damp. In London, as many as forty people could have been found living in a tiny terraced house, with ten, or more, people in a single room.

Unable to find rooms, many lived in cellars, under bridges, or even in sewers. Homeless people or drunks out on the street could hire a 'penny hang'. This was a space on a thick rope. Two hooks fixed in the walls,  ropes strung in parallel from one side to another at about shoulder height. You would enter the penny hang, after paying a penny. There was no room to lie down. You hung across it. In the morning, the proprietor could come down and untie one end of the ropes, so that the clientele who had not managed to wake up and stagger out already would collapse together in a heap on the floor.

PEMDAS

"PEMDAS" - parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction, is the "order of operation" in a single math expression.