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Reduce watering my containers?

At what point should I reduce watering my container plants (if at all) as this has been mentioned on several programmes/in different articles?
I have a dwarf cherry tree (approx. 2/3 years old), lemon tree (approx. 2 years old), fuscias, pansies, begonias, acidanthera (if that's spelt right?), goji berry, aquilegia, tomatoes and carrots in containers then cabbage, cauliflower and calabrese in a raised bed (which is not sat on earth).
I also have various cuttings and young chilli plants in a plastic pop up greenhouse. 
I have also recently read in a gardening magazine that reducing watering of the tomatoes to once every one or two weeks will stress the plants into ripening the tomatoes that are still green, but it doesn't say if they are container plants or those in the ground. 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I only started gardening in May this year so am going into Autumn/Winter completely blind! 
Thanks 😊 
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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,312
    At all times of the year I am guided by the planting medium as to the amount of watering needed by my plants so firstly I check the compost ... i stick my finger in up to the first joint ... a living plant needs moist roots but those roots also need oxygen so it needs to not be boggy. 
    In the autumn and winter most plants are not in active growth so they will not use the water up very quickly so that reduces the amount of moisture needed. When the leaves of trees and shrubs start to change colour and fall in the autumn they are not in active growth so they don’t need much water then. 
    So in short,  I’m saying that you have to study your plants and what is happening and care for them accordingly. 

    Now the weather has turned colder the tomatoes will not ripen outside so I’ve picked the last of mine and they’re spread out on a tray on the sideboard and they’re ripening in the indoor warmth. If they’re not ripe in a couple of weeks I’ll add them to some chutney or make a salsa. The tomato plants have gone on the compost heap. 

    I would bring your chilli cuttings indoors now and keep them on a kitchen windowsill or similar.  

    How big is your lemon tree?  Do you have a cool but bright frostfree place you can move it to?

    Begonias won’t survive outside in the winter. If these are the tuberous sort they can be dried and the tubers kept over winter then planted again in the spring to start again. 

    As for the vegetables, just keep an eye on the soil ... they won’t need much, if any, water. They just need to be moist so regular checking is the key. 

    I hope that helps. I’m sure others will have some more tips, but don’t be afraid to ask ... we were all newbies once 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,064
    In addition to what @Dovefromabove has said - Acidantheras need very little water as they like a drier medium, but also - they aren't hardy in the ground everywhere. You can either lift them after they've died back, or leave them and buy new ones next year. If they're in  pots, you can simply overwinter the pot somewhere undercover or sheltered depending on your climate  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • spookessspookess Posts: 63
    edited September 2020
    Now the weather has turned colder the tomatoes will not ripen outside so I’ve picked the last of mine and they’re spread out on a tray on the sideboard and they’re ripening in the indoor warmth. If they’re not ripe in a couple of weeks I’ll add them to some chutney or make a salsa. The tomato plants have gone on the compost heap. 

    I would bring your chilli cuttings indoors now and keep them on a kitchen windowsill or similar.  

    How big is your lemon tree?  Do you have a cool but bright frostfree place you can move it to?

    Begonias won’t survive outside in the winter. If these are the tuberous sort they can be dried and the tubers kept over winter then planted again in the spring to start again. 
    Thanks for all that info Dovefromabove 😊 
    My tomatoes (I forgot to mention) are in their own little pop up tomato greenhouses and are still ripening as it isn't too cold here yet. 

    My thinking is that once they are finished I will move the lemon tree into one of those pop up tomato houses as it gets sun throughout the day. It is only about waist high but has green lemons on from when i bought it back in July and has just produced new blossom so would like to protect that.  I have also read, since posting, about wrapping the pot in bubble wrap to protect the root ball so might give that a bash along with fleecing the tree section. 

    I dont really know about the Begonias. I bought it from the garden centre and it started flowering a few weeks later. 
  • Fairygirl said:
    In addition to what @Dovefromabove has said - Acidantheras need very little water as they like a drier medium, but also - they aren't hardy in the ground everywhere. You can either lift them after they've died back, or leave them and buy new ones next year. If they're in  pots, you can simply overwinter the pot somewhere undercover or sheltered depending on your climate  :)
    Thanks Fairygirl. They are in pots. They seemed to be nothing but leaves for ages and have now started opening. So pretty! 😊
    The only places I have are the pop up greenhouse and pop up tomato greenhouses.
    I am in South Yorkshire and we can get 3 different seasons in one day! There isn't really anywhere in the garden that is sheltered from wind other than the pop-ups. 
    I was going to fleece the inside of the greenhouse when it starts getting really cold - hopefully that will help the things in there as I don't have much space indoors to move things inside. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,064
    The acidantheras are just small bulbs, so you could take them out and store them somewhere cool instead. In a paper bag or similar, so that they don't get damp and then rot :)
    Against a house wall might be enough protection, but I'd have though you'd get too much cold weather for them to stay outdoors. They don't survive outside here, as the ground is too cold and wet over winter, but the bulbs are so cheap and readily available, I just treat them as annuals, and buy a pack most years. They aren't frost hardy either, so I plant a few in small pots and have them undercover, and plant out in late May or June. Yours are very late in flowering though - mine have just finished. 
    If they didn't rot, the squirrels would have them anyway!
    The biggest problem with the plastic greenhouses in autumn/winter is stopping them blowing away. I always tied them onto a fence. Even then, after a year or two, the covers rip, and they're quite difficult to keep temps stable in them.  If you're keen to keep growing stuff that needs protection, you might want to invest in something more substantial. I got one of the little polycarbonate growhouses a few years ago, which is far better. I don't have space for anything bigger, but it's fine for some tomatoes, cuttings etc,  and overwintering odd things - like Acidantheras .  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • spookessspookess Posts: 63
    edited September 2020
    I know what you mean about the plastic greenhouses Fairygirl. We have now screwed the tomato ones onto wooden sheets at the bottom and weighted the cover down on the inside with gravel which helps when watering. 
    The larger greensouse is tied to a metal fence and the bottoms held down with bricks. 
    I would love a proper greenhouse but my hubby has been resistant so far. There is room for one as his mum had one in this garden when he was young, but i think he is waiting to see if i get bored before splashing out 🤣.
    Six months in and not bored yet so i may have to ask Santa for one 🎅 😜
    If anything, I am getting more into it. Have bulbs I ordered from Holland, have planned my next lot of veg for the raised bed and have a Readly subscription so I can read a variety of gardening mags (you dont get any seeds but if i see one with really nice ones and the magazine has enough useful information, I will go and buy it 😁). Also have a GW subscription as i like to actually touch a physical magazine every now and then, but as you dont get any free gifts like you would buying it in store I may have to buy in store when my subscription runs out instead 🤣
    Have also recently discovered "Beechgrove" on the iPlayer so that has been keeping me amused in between GW episodes 😊
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,064
    Good luck with the Christmas present then  :D
    This is the one I got, although I got it through an outlet up here, and it wasn't quite so expensive. 
    https://www.rowgar.co.uk/product/hardwood-mini-greenhouse/

    You'd probably be able to get something of that sort though if you do a bit of searching. It's tall enough for my cherry toms and for our length of season etc. 
    There's loads of small 'proper' greenhouses too, which aren't hideously expensive. I thought about one of the lean-to kind, but the only space suitable would have been the wall of my new extension, and I wanted to have brightly coloured plants which like lots of sun, to make the most of that when we have it here  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • I like the look of this one.......


    But will probably get this one......


    Champagne dreams vs. filtered water budget! 🤣
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,052
    I'm in South Yorkshire too, and acidanthera aren't reliably hardy for me (not even in my well-drained sandy soil) so it might be best to store them indoors for the winter. A garage or shed might be enough protection.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,064
    edited September 2020
    We have to have our dreams! :D 
    I'm laughing at the 'free installation' statement on that first one. I should bl**dy well thinks so when you're spending that amount! My daughter's little car bought recently, cost that  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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