August 12, 2022
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  • As a eager gardener, you may suppose including an inch or so of gravel or damaged crockery to the underside of plant pots earlier than including compost will assist crops thrive. However, in the event you’ve been handed down this widespread backyard drainage recommendation while in search of potted crops as a part of your patio concepts you may do extra hurt than good.

    QVC’s Gardening Knowledgeable Richard Jackson has shared with Superb Dwelling that this backyard recommendation is a standard potting fable. ‘Which? Gardening disproved this works a couple of years in the past. As an alternative of enhancing drainage – it may possibly make it worse and enhance water logging,’ Richard explains.

    Potting up crops mistake

    A staff of consultants at Which? journal have undermined the declare having carried out a collection of managed exams. They examined 40 pots by filling 50% with crockery and 50% with out. After watering them in equal measures over a while, they discovered it made no distinction to how the crops grew.

    Picture credit score: Joanna Henderson/Future PLC

    Sean Lade, director of Simple Backyard Irrigation agrees with Richard and factors out that in some instances the gardening hack can really show damaging to your crops. ‘It’s a widespread false impression that it is advisable put drainage materials like gravel, damaged up pots or different course materials within the backside of plant pots,’ he says.

    ‘The logic is sound sufficient; if we’re apprehensive about overwatering, we wish to assist drainage, however this doesn’t have the specified impact. Some research have discovered it has the other impact, which ends up in root rot and results in plant loss of life.’

    plant pots painted with faces

    Picture credit score: Future PLC/ Graeme Ainscough

    What ought to gardeners do to enhance plant drainage as a substitute?

    So how do you create a stunning backyard structure crammed with flourishing potted foliage? Though gravel and crockery are a no-no. There are different methods to make your painted flower pots bloom.

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    ‘Definitely, put a flat stone or one piece of crock over every drainage gap to forestall it clogging, however go away it at that and fill the remainder of the pot with compost,’ says Richard Jackson.

    painted flower pots of shelf on garden fence

    Picture credit score: future PLC/ Jamie Mason

    Sean suggests investing in high-quality potting soil and mixing it with potting grit. ‘What we wish to do as a substitute is use high-quality potting soil that can permit the water to empty freely and have a drainage gap within the base of the plant pot to launch extra water. We wish to combine into the soil a superb potting grit and perlite for free-draining soil and to assist aerate the soil. Aerating the soil permits oxygen to get to the roots and promotes plant well being.’

    Subsequent time you’re potting up your houseplants overlook the gravel and crockery fable, and as a substitute, stick with good potting soil.