Strictly get sowing! …for beautiful flower displays

by John Weedall [email protected]

Yes, it’s strictly the latest time to start your terrace garden design for 2012 with your choice of plants representing the “Celebrities” in all their glory and you the enthusiastic growers as their “Partners”.            

With most things, preparation is the key to achieving great results throughout the season and this includes having the correct tools and equipment at your fingertips.    

So here’s a list of hardware I recommend you need from the outset:

– Hand Fork

– Hand trowel

– Secateurs

– Scissors

– Dibber for sowing and potting on

– Medium duty gloves for soil handling

– 15-25 litre soil bin with lid

– Small, medium and large watering cans preferably with rose

– Hand held water spray gun

– Seed trays (reusable)

– Approx. 7cm diameter potting on plastic or fibre pots

– Terracotta pots about 22cm and 32cm diameters are essential sizes and larger up to 48cm diameters (for Bougainvilleas) and terracotta troughs about 40 x 18cm particularly for herbs.  

– Corresponding saucer sizes on which the pots stand.

– A source of approx. 3-6cm stones, gravel or equivalent to place in pot to ensure plants are properly aerated and drained.

– Long handled dustpan and broom.

– Plant label and permanent ink marker.

Before you start seeding and planting, it’s important to wash and sterilise all your equipment otherwise lingering bacteria could ruin your hard work in weeks to come.    

Now for the software:

– All purpose compost.  This works out around €5-7 per 45 litre sack and I use about six in a season.    This is usable for most plant types.    

– Liquid fertiliser and the brand I use for all plants including vegetables and herbs is Compo General.

– Rooting powder

– Horse manure (optional extra!)

No matter how large or small your terrace (ours is 7.5m x 5m in an L shape with a wall and balustrade height of 1m), you will probably sow far more seedlings than you actually need!      

Don’t worry – after potting on, I suggest you offer acquaintances, neighbours, your postman, the EMARP water lady who adores our display, or indeed anyone you think may appreciate a plant or two from your surplus stock, they’ll be delighted!      

With the remainder, throw the surplus in a nearby field and you’ll be surprised how many flourish in months ahead.  This applies to flowers, vegetable and herbs.      

Remember, our goal is to create a beautiful and colourful flower display on our terrace to be enjoyed by us and all who see.    

Don’t take risks on buying unknown seed brands and I suggest you buy from Unwins Seeds online. Their quality is highly reputable and we recently experienced delivery in just four days from placing our order… Great!

There are certain plants best bought locally in March but until then I can only recommend…..

Keep sowing!