Keep your patio plants in top condition without much effort

09/04/2021 - 00:00

There is spring, there is the sun... One look at your terrace or balcony and you think: time to add some colour. But before you rush off to the garden centre, it is best to ask yourself a few questions. Which plants and pots fit your terrace, when will you plant and how will you do it ... ? And the most important question: how do you keep them in top condition? This step-by-step plan will help you a long way.

Look before you leap

Everything starts with a good preparation. Especially when you know that the choice of patio or balcony plants is overwhelming. Pansies, daisies, buttercups, geraniums... in all colours, scents and shapes. Or maybe you prefer perennials such as lavender and hibiscus. You can also plant bulbs, herbs and vegetables. You wouldn't be the first person to leave the garden centre empty-handed due to choice overload.

So first of all, look at what suits your terrace or balcony. Does an intense red Begonia seem the perfect match for your maroon tiled floor? Go for it. Also check whether they are sun, shade or semi-shade plants. Because as with real estate, the same applies to your plants: location, location, location!

And remember this too. If you are a lazy gardener, invest in plants that require little maintenance. Although there is a remedy for this too. More on this later.

Choose a pot to suit your plant and terrace

Once you have chosen a plant, the next question arises. Which pot? Here too, the choice is almost endless. Flower pots, balcony planters, hanging baskets ... First of all, take the plant itself into account. Which pot size is suitable, now and in the future? After all, a plant still grows. And then there is the choice of material: stone, terracotta or plastic... Each type has its pros and cons.

  • Ceramic and terracotta pots play a role in thermal regulation and thanks to their porosity allow air and water to circulate, but they are heavier and more fragile in case of impact.
  • Plastic pots are light and hard-wearing, but they are impermeable to water and air and do not contribute to heat exchange.

In any case, every pot should have drainage holes so that excess water can flow away easily. After all, terrace plants do not like wet feet. We will come back to this in the section on care.

Tip! For optimum water drainage, pour a layer of pea gravel, pebbles or potsherds into the bottom of your pot and place it on blocks so that it stands slightly off the ground.

Potting soil with a plus

You have undoubtedly noticed it in the garden centre: there is a wide variety of potting soils. The composition determines the price. Universal potting soil is suitable for all flowers and plants. But you also have potting soil with a composition adjusted to a specific flower or plant species.

Whichever potting soil you choose, adding a soil conditioner will increase the chance of survival of your plant. TerraCottem for example. This product ensures better water storage and stronger roots. It makes your flowers grow faster and more resistant to drought stress. Another plus? More and bigger flowers. And your plant will last longer.

Tip! Do you prefer a potting soil with less peat? TerraCottem is also an excellent alternative here as it boosts the water storage and aeration of the potting soil for many years.

The Ice Saints: fact or fable?

Did your green thumb start to itch early this year? Best to wait a little longer. After all, beware of the Ice Saints. The three saints are celebrated on 11, 12 and 13 May and mark the end of the cold period in the garden.

But even after mid-May, harmful night frost is still possible (northern hemisphere). So be patient and keep an eye on the weather forecast of your hometown.

In 8 steps to a flourishing plant

Time to let the plants really shine.

This is how you get started:

  1. Mix the potting soil with the recommended rate of TerraCottem (TC).
  2. Pour a layer of this TC-potting soil mixture on top of the pea gravel, stones or potsherds.
  3. Remove the plants from the pots.
  4. Untangle the roots by hand.
  5. Place the plants on the first layer of soil.
  6. Fill the pot further with the TC-potting soil mixture up to about 2 cm from the rim.
  7. Press the soil firmly into the pot.
  8. Water generously.

Keeping your plants in top condition

Planting is only half the work. Now it is a matter of giving your terrace plants the right care. Some evergreens: always remove dead flowers and weeds. After all, they take energy away from the plants. Support large flowers so that they do not break. And perhaps most importantly: do not forget to water your plants!

Lots or little water?

How much water a plant needs varies per species. Rule of thumb: it is better to water a lot once, than little many times. Ideally, you should give a large amount once or twice a week until the water comes out of the bottom of the pot.

Tip! How do you know if your plant is thirsty? Lift the pot. If it feels light, it is time to water. If the pot still feels heavy, then the soil is still moist enough.

At what time of the day?

"Never water your plants in the hottest time of the day because it will scorch leaves", you often hear. After all, the water droplets are said to act like a magnifying glass and cause burns. But is that really true?

The truth, as always, lies in the middle. Watering in the morning or evening is always better. This way, you prevent the water from evaporating quickly. Also make sure that you only water the soil and not the flowers.

TerraCottem to the rescue

If you follow the steps above, chances are that this summer you will be enjoying a nature cure on your balcony or terrace. But sometimes the deckchair is too comfortable and you linger savouring your drink. Oops, forgot that your plants are thirsty too. Too late? Not if you add a soil conditioner from TerraCottem to your potting soil.

The water crystals in TerraCottem hold water and nutrients in the soil, so that you don't have to water as often. Moreover, your plants are more resistant to drought, something that occurs more frequently due to climate change. TerraCottem provides an extra water buffer so your plants wilt less quickly and you can enjoy them longer. So feel free to stay in your cosy deckchair for a little longer.

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Want to keep your plants in top condition without too much effort?

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