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3 questions from a novice...

Hello! As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m pretty new to gardening but I’m pretty keen to learn. 
I have been looking after a few plants for some weeks on my balcony, and I have the below questions which I’m wondering if you can help me with... 

1) do you cut off wilted flowers, or is it better to leave them? I have a few primrose for examples and I’ve been cutting off the wilted flowers, but just want to make sure it’s the right thing to do. 

2) when you water a plant, do you direct the water to their base only, or do you make sure to wet the whole of the compost in the pot? 

3) how often do you water roses? 

Thanks so much!!! X 


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700
    edited April 2020
    No idea about Primrose, but I suspect you could always nip them out if they die ugly.

    Always water at the base, and try to aim at watering the whole pot. If you consistently water into a certain area, you may soon find that when you try to water the rest of the soil, the water will not go into the other areas due to the prolonged dried compost. It is also good practice to water at the base as some plants can be damaged easily by watering overhead. Especially if you water in the sun.

    I have never attempted growing roses on my balcony, far too windy, they will not keep their leaves. But if you do have them, I suspect every other day in warm temperatures, but in summer when it gets really hot, has to be every day.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,500

    I think it's best to remember that Nature encourages roots to look downward for water.  Rainfall sinks into the soil and then capillarises up to the surface, passing roots on the way - hence dew in the mornings.  Surface watering can therefore keep the roots near the surface, because that's where they find it.

    I therefore have a policy of putting water underneath my plants to replicate Nature as much as possible and, to do this, I dib holes alongside each plant and fill them with water.  If I feel they need a bit of nourishment, I drop in a few granules (usually chicken manure pellets in my case) before putting in the water, but you could mix in liquid feed with the water if that's what you prefer.

    To save my back, I had a 'walking stick' dibber made by a local blacksmith, which also makes 12" deep holes for planting leek seedlings etc.  Pic attached:-

  • ozma83ozma83 Posts: 38
    Thank you! 

    Another question (Sorry) - what’s the best compost to buy for plants kept on a balcony? 
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