21.09.18 / Blog

Getting your outdoor space ready for winter

In early autumn the leaves start to change and our thoughts turn to winter. With the temperatures still mild enough, the end of September through to early October is the best time to plant your outdoor containers with winter interest – so they are ready to brighten up the colder months ahead.

Choosing your container

Plants take a little while to settle into their containers and then begin making root growth. Always make sure the container you choose has some extra space to allow for future growth.

For containers that need to be outside all year, choose frost-proof terracotta rather than those labelled frost-resistant which can still crack when temperatures fall for long periods. The Chatsworth Cabinets Outdoor Planter is an excellent choice as it’s weatherproof and suitable for outdoor use. As well as it’s practical features, it can be personalised with your house number and painted in a colour to match your front door – a stylish finishing touch to your outdoor space.

Choose a container that is at least large enough to hold the roots of single specimens and remember: small pots dry out quickly, so plant groups in large containers to help reduce the chore of watering.

Ensure adequate drainage by selecting only pots with an adequate size and number of holes in the base. Our planter has drainage holes to allow for drainage.

What to plant

For a splash of colour, choose winter bedding plants like cyclamen, winter-flowering pansy, Hellebores (sometime know as Christmas roses) or ornamental brassicas. A brilliant idea to take you through into spring is to plant tulip or daffodil bulbs below your winter bedding plants and they will emerge when the weather brightens giving you a colourful spring display.

Alternatively choose a winter flowering shrub like Skimmia or an evergreen like box, Euonymus or even a Christmas tree. With evergreens, you also have the opportunity to add seasonal lights for Christmas to brighten up the depths of winter. You can contrast the dark foliage of evergreens buy underplanting with a light or variegated leaf Ivy.

Make sure to consider the colours in the plants when choosing the colour of your Chatsworth outdoor planter – if you intend to plant a variety, why not go for something neutral like Down Pipe or French Gray?

How to plant up containers

  1. Potting media can be washed out of the container through the drainage holes at the bottom of your container. Place suitable drainage material in the bottom of the container to prevent this. Use stones or broken terracotta (crocks).
  2. The correct potting medium is important. Composts for containers are not the same as garden compost made in your compost bin. They are specially formulated for use in pots and often called potting compost or potting media. If using short-term plants in your container you should use a multipurpose peat-free compost. If opting for permanent plantings use a soil based compost.
  3. Fill the container with compost, leaving room to arrange the plants on the surface
  4. Carefully remove the plants from their pots, tease out the roots gently and work more compost around the rootballs. Ensure that the top of the root ball is level with the surface of the compost.
  5. Firm the compost around the plants, water well to settle any air pockets and top up with compost if necessary
  6. Make sure there is a small gap between soil level and the top of the container. This will ensure there’s room for the water to soak in.

We’d love to see photos of your Chatsworth planters all ready for winter! Share them with us on our Facebook and Instagram.