Planting in troughs
As I age I cannot bend, so have bought two troughs which will go in a shaded area. What soil should I fill it with & fertilisers etc. I want a nice spring show so plant suggestions please as well. Oh & should it have a lining? Thank you 🙏
What material are the planters made from? Can you tell us the dimensions? What do you plan to grow e.g. shrubs, perennials, only annuals?
Planters are made of Timber size 1mt x 30cm x 30cm. I was hoping to have early spring bulbs then perennials. I’m really am a novice at gardening so any help and suggestions will be gratefully received.
Usually John Innes no 3 plus, if you can find any plus some multi purpose compost, bit of garden soil and you could add some bonemeal but not too much.
Bulbs will be fine but it's too shallow for shrubs but perennials will be fine but probably only 2 to allow room for growth, a penstemon can spread 3ft
Allium and/or grass for height and hardy geranium for ground cover and to trail over the edge.
Keep up with watering and slow release fertilizer in spring.
west central Scotland
They aren't very big, so you'll need a good hearty soil based compost, otherwise you'll be constantly watering, even in shade. You can get various types from GCs. If you line it with old compost bags, or even the ones you would be buying - providing you have something to put the compost in temporarily. Lots of holes for drainage- liner and troughs, and keep it off the ground with some pot feet, or similar.
Plenty of bulbs will be fine - snowdrops, crocus, the smaller types of daffs - they'll all grow in a shadier spot, although most daffs need some light, so it'll depend just how shady the spot is.
You could have things like native primulas, or the drumstick ones [denticulata] and they'll be happy. Pasqueflowers [Pulsatillas] will also take a bit of shade. I grow a white Candytuft [Iberis sempervivum] which is very happy in a shady spot, and trails down from it's position. They're easy to get at GCs.
Hardy geraniums will be fine - loads of varieties readily available, and they're very good with bulbs growing through them. Heucheras, Tiarellas and Heucherellas [all very similar] are fine in containers in shade, and provide great foliage colour. The only drawback with them is that they can be susceptible to vine weevil, so you need to watch out for those if you see them.
There wouldn't be a lot of room for too many plants though, and they'll need some new soil/compost each year, and a bit of slow release food which will save you constantly feeding them. All the GCs have plenty of different ones. The granular ones will be easiest, and you just put some in as you fill the planters.
For annuals, if you want them - most need a sunnier site, but Busy Lizzies [Impatiens] are fine in shade though. Fuchsias are too, but they might be too big. There may be small varieties- someone will know. I don't grow them.
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