Potting In Autumn

September 9, 2019
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planters images

Summer is almost over but don’t forget your pots, planters, tubs and troughs in the winter months, there’s still plenty that can be done. As the colder weather starts to creep in, gardens can begin to look bleak and bare as plants and shrubs start to die back. Pots, planters, window boxes and containers are a great way to continue growing throughout autumn and winter and add a splash of colour and vibrancy.

The beauty of a pot or container is that they require very little space, making them ideal for use on balconies and many urban areas where garden space is limited. Pots can be easily moved, allowing you flexibility to display them wherever you desire around your garden. Pots and containers look beautiful featured on decking and any patio area. In this guide we offer some helpful tips on how to plant flowers in your own containers over the Autumn months.

You can be as creative as you like with your garden pots and containers as there are many different sizes, styles and designs available. During the autumn months such as September, October and November, we would recommend planting delicious herbs such as Basil or Parsley, or plant summer-flowering bulbs like Daffodils, guaranteed to lighten up your garden in the Spring. This is the best time to begin planting and potting, as the ground is still slightly warm but has the moisture needed to boost plant growth.



When choosing your container, consider ones that won’t crack or freeze in the cold weather. This can be avoided by lining the containers with hessian or similar materials before filling to protect the compost from frost once added.

Potting in autumn hessian protection

Materials like resin are perfect for protecting your plants from any frost, they also do not absorb the moisture that is needed by your plants. If you are planning on using a clay pot we would suggest you soak the pot before planting to ensure it has soaked up a sufficient amount of moisture.

If you are using a pot or container that you have used in previous seasons you should ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned. If you were to leave traces of soil in the bottom of the pot this could have diseases and even pests which you would then be transferring into your new display. Generally lighter coloured plant pots develop white streaks on the inside, these can easily be removed with a damp cloth and some washing up liquid.


It is important that you create satisfactory drainage holes to allow the plants to diffuse in all essential nutrients. We recommend including a layer of our Horticultural Grit to improve drainage and prevent pots from becoming waterlogged.

Horticultural Grit resized

When it comes to filling your pots we would advise you not to use the soil from your garden. This soil will not have enough of the necessary nutrients in order for your plants to grow and become healthy. The soil may also contain harmful diseases that could affect the growth of your plants. Instead you should use a specialised compost that has been designed for use in pots and containers.

You should then begin to add the specialised compost to your containers. We recommend using our ProBlend Multi Purpose Soil. If you have a large container and are planting bedding you may wish to pack some polystyrene at the bottom of the container. When filling the pot with compost you should look to leave a gap at the top around 2cm for watering space. Once the pot is filled you should lightly firm the compost.


October blog planting in containers

Ideally you should have already chosen the plants you are going to use in the container. You should begin to thoroughly soak these plants. This will give them the necessary moisture before you plant them. If you are unsure on how you are going to display your plants you could lay them out on top of the container in their original pots to see which design looks best.

You should then remove your first plant from its pot, preferably the plants root should practically touch the outside of the container, this demonstrates that the plant has strong roots that are growing well.

Start by placing your first plant in the centre of your container. You should begin by making a hole that is large enough for the plant and its roots, you could use the plants original pot as a guideline for the depth of your hole. Begin to lower the plant into its hole and then firm the compost around it. You should repeat this process for your plants, additional plants should be placed around the centre plant. If you were feeling creative you could also add a mulch of decorative gravel.

Decorate gravel can complement your plants and help finish of the overall look of your container.  At Gravelmaster we stock a large range of decorative gravel and slate in a range of colours and design. To view our full range of decorative gravels, click here.
Once all flowers are planted you should ensure the compost is level and water them thoroughly. If the weather really turns cold, pots and planters can be moved into greenhouses or, depending on their size, onto windowsills to protect them against the cold.

Winter Care:

Once you have prepared, filled and planted, it is time to pick the perfect spot.

If you have chosen to use hanging baskets, select a location that has plenty of shelter, such as in a sheltered corner close to a wall to deflect the rain, as these are the most difficult type of container  to care for through winter. The height leaves hanging baskets exposed to rapid drying and wind-burn.

If you follow each stage you should end up with a beautiful display in your containers.

At Gravelmaster we love receiving customer photographs. If you would like to send us a photograph of your own pots or containers please email images to customerservices@gravelmaster.co.uk and for further information or advice, call 0330 058 50 68 8AM-9PM to speak to our friendly Sales team.

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