5 Tips to prepare a pot for planting
Planting in a pot is not easy unless you have all these handy. 1. Pots / planters 2. Pot mix / potting soil, 3. Seeds / plants and 4. Slow release fertilizer.
That said, if you are brand new to gardening then there are few things you must know before you start planting.
1. Select a Planter Pot with Good Drain– You need to make sure the pot is right for the plant type with a sufficient drainage for the excess water.
The pot should be able to accommodate the plant's root growth.
Usually, You will get pots with one tiny hole in the bottom. If the pot is a bigger one, a single hole may not let enough water escape. If you decide to buy a big one of these pots, you can make extra holes or be careful while watering. If your pot is ceramic made, it would be tough to make holes, you may end up breaking it. So it would be better to buy the pot with 2-3 holes or keep a small coco peat kind of moist absorbers.
Many plants commonly die because of excessive watering than not enough water.
2. Prepare the Potting Soil- Ordinary soil will not be suitable for the pot gardening. It would be too heavy for the plant to grow in the pot. The potting soil should be lighter. You will get pre-ready “Potting Soil” which is a mixture of sterilized soil, compost and fertilizers.
If you are planting a succulent, you must prefer a potting soil which weighs less than normal soil and should dry out faster.
You can prepare your own potting soil by mixing 1 portion of normal coarse soil (Builders soil) into 3 portions of compost and one forth organic fertilizer and half portion of coco peat fibre mixture.
You need to choose a slow release Fertilizer. If it is not available, you can mix fertilizer granules while planting.
3. Separating Plants from Nursery Pots- If you buy plants from the nursery to grow, then you need to carefully remove the plants from the nursery pots without losing or damaging the root system.
If you just pull it off by holding the stem, the roots may cut off and can cause the plant to dry out in few days.
Try to tear out the cover or the pot and trim the excess soil carefully. Always keep some old soil attested with the root.
4. Planting- You need to plant at the same level as it was planted in the nursery pot.
There should not be any air gaps in the soil. If you find any you need to refill. The soil should not be too tight or loose. It should give sufficient balance to the stem and plants weight.
Always take a pot minimum 2 times bigger than the nursery pot keeping the plant's growth in mind sometimes you may need to take a much bigger pot.
Place a pebble or stone on the pot's hole at the bottom before filling the potting soil, so that the soil would not drain out with water.
5. Setting Light and Watering- You need to set up the pot in the right shadow. Watering a plant is an art than science. You will need to know what conditions your plant or plants prefer, for that read the care instructions or know about the plant. However, many plants like to be kept in moist soil--not wet--but damp condition. To find out if your plants need more water, you can check with your finger. If your fingertip feels dry, then add water little by little slowly. The water should go to your plant's roots, should not float on the top or drain out quickly. Need to sprinkle the water so the water gets all the way down to the plant’s roots. You can find out if it is enough by checking the bottom of the pot until you see a little drain out.
Always try to pour water before it’s too sunny.
Now a days self-watering pots are also available in the market which will reduce the stress of remembering to water your plant. But it would be bit expensive.