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Bedding plant advice

Andy163Andy163 Posts: 59
Hi all, I'm hoping some one can shed some advice on some bedding plants that will truly flower from nowish right through the winter until spring. The area to be planted gets almost a full day of sun, I had new guinea impatiens there throughout the summer which did amazing but need some good winter bedding plants. Last year i think it was pansies i used but they didnt really do very well until the spring which is understandable i guess in the plant world. So something properly in flower over January, February, March would be ideal. Cyclamen maybe??

Also on another note. I work in a garden that has around 500 bedding plants in the summer. These all need feeding, now i have gone through many 1L bottles of tamatorite or other products with a high potash feed, but im wondering if there is a product or a supplier that will sell in a bulk quantity. Next year i believe i will be planting near on a 1000 bedding plants and thats going to take a lot of feeding during there flowering period. A 1L bottle doesnt go far feeding fortnightly to that many plants. Can any anyone suggest a supplier or product that may have larger quantaties? What do the pros use when they have to feed huge bedding displays? surely not a 1L bottle?

Thanks in advance 


  • Have you looked into fertiliser injector pumps? They are fairly expensive. But a great investment in commercial and large. You can use any water soluble fertiliser and connect it to the hose or irrigation system and you can easily feed all the plants without straining a muscle. It saves you from having to constantly make more feed every time the watering can finishes. 

    My garden is very boring and dull in the winter, can't help you with the winter bedding plants. At the moment I still have marigolds and dahlias blooming beautifully. This list is from Thompson Morgan : Pansies, violas, primrose, polyanthus, wall flower, sweet williams, stock, forget me not, bellis, and cylamen.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,695
    As regards feeding, I feed the soil , not the plant. I use Fish, Blood and bone at a cupful per square yard or so, and add as much compost as I can before planting. Some plants such as dahlias need feeding towards the end of the season, but generally, most bedding plants are happy with that.  For late season additional feeding I use Phostrogen powder, which can be bought in quite large boxes and seems to be fairly economical.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053
    I'd save the money on "winter bedding" and spend it on some good well rotted manure and get that into, or even just ON the ground for the winter.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,429
    Personally l find that violas flower better than pansies, also bellis daisies flowered on and off through the winter last year. I am not sure that there is anything that is guaranteed to flower whatever the weather. If it gets sun in the winter it may be too bright for cyclamen?
    I plant wallflowers, partly to have something green to look at ! So much depends on the winter weather we have, l don't think there is such a thing as guaranteed winter flowering bedding sadly.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,116
    I'd agree with you Anni - violas are far better. Nicer plants anyway, IMO.

    I can't see any cyclamen flowering 'all winter'. You'll get the hederifolium ones just now, [from late summer into early autum] and you may get a bit of an overlap into early winter depending on your local conditions, and the coums flower in late winter/spring. You won't have any of them flowering in December and January though.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Andy163Andy163 Posts: 59
    Hey. Thanks for all the advice. I think I'll have a look into violas. It's not for myself it's for a garden I work in and the client is very keen on having winter bedding. We get about 60m3 of well rotted manure each year to spread through the garden and feed the bedding plants through out the summer, had some great displays this year. I'll def look into some violas as I dont think weve tried these yet. Thanks people.
  • oooftoooft Posts: 191
    I planted a load of tulips last year then overplanted them with bellis. The effect was brilliant in the spring with flowers above and below and nowhere for weeds to get a hold. Once the tulips had truly gone over i pulled everything up, planted marigolds, gazanias and rudbeckias in the bed. Lots of little seedlings came up which i left to see if they would be bellis. Delighted to say they are, they've come up slowly and filled the bed saving me the bother. When the summer flowers have gone over i will just cut them to the ground and leave the bellis to fill the bed. Free plants and no work. You can't beat that!
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,116
    You could also try some of the species tulips - many of those are small, around 6 to 8 inches, and they flower around February/March. They don't need lifting like the bigger, blousy tulips, and they will multiply over time. The only drawback would be that the bulbs, being small, would be near the surface, which may interfere with putting summer bedding in. 
    Good bright colours too - oranges, yellows, deep rosy pinks. Take a look at Peter Nyssen's online site. There's a very good selection there.
    I can highly recommend them - the tulips and the site   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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