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Potting mix in both outdoor and indoor situations requires seasonal maintenance to keep plants flourishing. Potting mix and plants growing in pots react to changing environmental and climatic conditions that come with seasonal change.

When starting out, always ensure a Premium Potting Mix (look for the red ticks on the bag) is used in pots. A Premium mix keeps plants growing strongly and healthily and encourages good flowering and fruiting (on productive plants).

Every season

Apply Seasol Potting Mix Booster to the top 2cm of potting mix every season and water it in thoroughly. This helps to rejuvenate the mix by the addition of microbes, improves aeration and water absorption and makes plants more resilient to drought.

Apply mulch such as sugar cane, lucerne or decorative pebbles to the surface of the pot mix. This helps to protect the potting mix, stopping it from drying out and keeps the potting mix soil cool and moist. Check the mulch each season and top up as necessary.

Autumn potting mix care

This season is all about recovery from the stresses of summer’s hot and drying conditions. Start by doing a stocktake of all your pots. If they have been under shady trees to escape summer’s heat, bring them out into the open and into more sun as the weather cools.

Check potting mix – has it slumped, are roots showing? If the plant has outgrown its pot, now is the perfect time to transplant up to a larger pot size. Choose a pot one size bigger (larger diameter) and follow the successful planting tips. If the plant is ok in its pot, check the depth of the potting mix and top up with Seasol Advanced Potting Mix or Seasol Indoor Potting Mix. If the potting mix is ok, but the plant has been in the pot more than two years, repot in fresh potting mix to keep the plant flourishing or apply Seasol Potting Mix Booster, which helps revitalise older potting mix.

Check the moisture of the potting mix and ensure when watering that the water soaks into the potting mix and the plant’s root zone. If you see it sitting on top or running down the side of the pot and out the bottom, it could have dried out over the summer and become hard to wet. Apply a soil wetter such as Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner to overcome this. Also, consider autumn maintenance application of Seasol Liquid Compost that will help to improve the condition of the potting mix.

Also check mulch levels and top up where necessary.

Winter potting mix care

This season is all about ensuring potting mix stays warm to keep plants happy and healthy. Winter warmth is particularly important for subtropical or frost-sensitive plants. Plants in pots can become colder over winter than the same plant growing near by in the ground. Move the pot to a warmer position for winter such as against a north-facing brick wall or onto a north-facing verandah or deck. Refresh mulch or gravel toppings, which can help insulate the potting mix and plant roots over winter.

Generally pots need less water over winter but still check regularly and water if the potting mix feels dry. Even if the weather is cold, if it is windy pots can dry out rapidly and may need watering.

To protect and revitalise the potting mix in winter, apply Seasol Liquid Compost. Not only does it help to rejuvenate the potting mix, it protects the plant against frost, cold, pests and diseases. Adding Seasol Potting Mix Booster to the potting mix also adds beneficial microbes to revitalise the mix. Microbes in the Booster assist in the retention of important nutrients in the potting mix, which can help to prevent pests and diseases.

Great tips for watering potted plants Your Garden December 2020

Spring potting mix care

This season is all about lush, vigorous growth, flowers and fruit and the recovery from the cold and frost of winter. Start by doing a stocktake of all your pots. If they have been in a protected area over winter,  bring them out into the open and let them get some sun and warmth.

Check potting mix – has it slumped, are roots showing? If the plant has outgrown its pot, now is the perfect time to transplant up to a larger pot size. Choose a pot one size bigger (larger diameter) and follow the successful planting tips. If the plant is ok in its pot, check the depth of the potting mix and top up with Seasol Advanced Potting Mix or Seasol Indoor Potting Mix. If the potting mix is ok, but the plant has been in the pot more than two years, repot in fresh potting mix to keep the plant flourishing or apply Seasol Potting Mix Booster, which helps revitalise older potting mix.

Check the moisture of the potting mix and ensure when watering that the water soaks into the potting mix and the plant’s root zone. If you see it sitting on top or running down the side of the pot and out the bottom, it could have dried out over the summer and become hard to wet. Apply a soil wetter such as Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner to overcome this. Also, consider autumn maintenance application of Seasol Liquid Compost that will help to improve the condition of the potting mix.

Also check mulch levels and top up where necessary. Select mulc such as sugar cane, lucerne or decorative pebbles to the surface of the pot mix. This helps to protect the potting mix, stopping it from drying out and keeps the potting mix soil cool and moist. Check the mulch each season and top up as necessary.

Summer potting mix care

Summer is all about making sure pots don’t dry out when hot, dry winds blow or air conditioners are switched on inside. As most pots only contain a small volume of mix they can dry out very quickly. Pots also get very hot during summer especially where they are exposed to direct sunlight. One way to keep pots cool is to place plastic pots inside cover pots made of ceramic.

Check pots daily to ensure potting mix is moist. This is especially important in summer for hanging baskets and smaller pots that dry out rapidly. To check moisture levels, insert your finger into the potting mix, if feels dry, water it; if it feels moist, leave it and recheck it the next day. On hot days check pots morning and night as they can dry out during the day and causing heat stress to the plant.

When watering, if water pools on top or runs quickly down the side of the pot, the mix could be hydroponic (repelling water). Apply a soil wetter such as Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner to help to overcome this. Always check pots even if it has rained as many containers are protected from rain and could still need to be watered.