Bedding and Summer Plants
Bedding plants are generally considered to be annual or tender plants used in quantity for a temporary garden display in summer and autumn/winter.
The main 'Summer Bedding' is available, weather permitting, from mid April to the end of June and once established, these plants will give a fantastic show of colour throughout the summer until November. There are many different types of summer bedding such as Impatians (Buzzy Lizzie), Begonia, Petunia, Nicotiana (Tobacco Plant), Lobelia, Dahlia, Verbena and many more.
The winter bedding is more limited but old favorites like Winter or Universal Pansies, Mysotis (Forget me nots), Bellis and Polyanthus will add colour throughout the this period and continue until April-May when the summer bedding becomes available.
Bedding plants can be used on the edge of existing planted borders or beds or can be planted in a bed on their own, on mass, to make a wonderfully colourful statement !
Most of the bedding varieties will prefer a sunny aspect which means they can be added into Pots and Tubs and even hanging baskets, making them vey versitile garden plants
To get the best from your plants it is recommended to dig well rotted or composted manure into the bed which also helps to break down the soil into a friable texture. Adding food like 'Fish Blood and Bone' at this stage will give the plants the best start .
When planting, dig a small hole with a trowel, carefully remove the plant from the pack (trying not to disturb the root), place into the hole and firm in with soil, using your fingers.
If planting in a formal scheme, it would be best to calculate and mark out the areas for the different varieties before planting. This will ensure even spacing, giving a more formal look.
When the planting is complete, water all the plants in. Watering little and often as required during the season will ensure best results and feeding regularly with liquid feeds such as Miracle Gro will make the diplay much more prolific.
We use the term summer plants faily loosely, as during the Spring and Summer period there are hundreds of types of plant which tend to be pot grown and used in lots of different applications.
Plants like Geraniums, Fuchsias, Pelegonums, Osteospemums and Begonias are ideal for planting in tubs, baskets or for putting in flower beds as the bushy, more dominent part of the display. The other main catagory of plants are the basket or trailing plants which have been developed over the last ten years, into a fantastic range of plants with colourful flowers, interesting foliage and some with fragrance as well !
These summer plants are generally available from mid April but do need to be kept free from late frosts. If possible, plant the containers and baskets to allow early growth but be prepared to keep them in the conservatory or greenhouse untill more established before puting out into their final position.