Now is the time to give your patio surface a clean, removing any algae which can be slippery. Dust off your garden furniture, applying fresh preservative where required. If you live in the South, tender plants that you have hardened off can be put outside in their containers towards the end of the month. If you live in the North, leave this until June. Sow hardy annuals directly into containers, thinning them once they are large enough. As your climbing plants grow, provide support. Once pot-grown bulbs have faded, plant them in a corner of the garden until the foliage dies down. Lift the bulbs, clean them off and store until the Autumn. Replant your containers with bedding plants, not forgetting to keep them well watered. Pot up hanging baskets with lobelia, ivy, fuchsias and pelargoniums and hang where they can be seen from your seating area and at a height where they can be easily watered.
Complete the planting of containers, using peat-free compost and mixing in some water retaining granules. You can also mix in some slow-release fertiliser or remember to keep feeding the plants. Keep containers well watered, preferably once a day. Remove dead flowers and move your pots around, to show them at their best. Why not try vegetables in pots - peas and dwarf runner beans will provide interest with their pretty flowers. Outdoor tomatoes, such as gardeners delight, will also look good near to your dining area.
Continue to water all containers daily, remove dead flowers and be prepared to remove and replace plants which are past their best. Container grown vegetables should be progressing well now with broad beans maturing, baby carrots ready for picking for use in salads and a whole range of salad vegetables available for picking.
Very much as for July – keeping up with the watering, feeding and deadheading are the main priorities for container plants and hanging baskets. Container grown veg should be starting to mature now and should be harvested and stored or used as appropriate.
Continue to deadhead flowers and water containers well. As you clear your containers of plants which are 'past it', clean them and add new compost ready for spring bulbs or store in a frost free place.
Most summer pots will be coming to an end now and should be emptied out - any tender plants which you want to keep should be lifted and potted up and moved indoors for the winter. Trees and larger shrubs in pots should be moved to a sheltered position to prevent them being blown over and damaged in windy weather. You can still have some plants in pots during the winter to provide some interest on the patio - dwarf conifers or heathers underplanted with spring bulbs are an excellent way of usng your pots for the cold season.
Trees and shrubs can be planted in containers but avoid those with a heigh or spread of more than 6 foot. Use containers with a broad base to keep them stable in windy weather. Prune or pinch out the growing tips to keep specimens under control.
Containers should be moved to a sheltered position and checked for slugs and snails. Slugs are usually found on the bottom of pots and snails under the rim.
Check containers are not being damaged by dripping gutters or trees and move to a sheltered position if necessary. Plants can still be potted up into containers to provide an interesting display.
If you are looking for something different in your patio pots why not consider climbers - they can cover large areas of unsightly walls or fences and yet only take up the footprint of the pot on the patio - Ivy plants of all types and Jasmine are good plants for this. Obviously you will need to provide some support but it does not have to be a major construction project - just nails and wire are perfectly adequate.
Browse the catalogues and internet and order pots for container planting. Install window boxes, clean out any old pots for replanting and treat wooden pots and tubs with preservative. Reposition existing plants for the best display, mixing in pots of bulbs and even herbs.
Tubs, pots, planters and troughs should be prepared as described in March. Alpines can be planted in sinks and troughs and hardy annuals sown.
General information, hints and tips on how to get the best from your patio pots throughout the gardening year incuding growing veg in pots, spring bulbs and general care advice.