Help...Roof Terrace & gardening novice!

Discussion in 'NEW Gardeners !' started by Tilly37, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Tilly37

    Tilly37 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hello!

    We have moved into a flat with a beautiful roof terrace, never having had our own outside space before we are really wanting to make it as nice as we can. The previous owner has left several plastic terracotta colour pots in different sizes with goodness knows what in them, pretty sure most are dead or weeds! There are a few lovely wooden planters & a couple of stone ones. Now, I'm a novice, & my husband can mow the lawn (which we don't have) but that's about it!! So....

    All the plant pots (plastic type ones) seem to have no drainage holes, is this going to be a problem?

    What should I do with everything that's in said pots? Uproot all plants?

    Can I reuse all the soil that's in the pots?

    What can I plant that will make it look lovely & bright? It's south facing, on the 3rd storey but pretty sheltered by other buildings, railings all around it & about 15ft by 8ft size wise. We have a lovely bench in one corner & a table & chairs for eating outside too.

    There are ALOT of those terracotta coloured plastic pots, they're not they type you get plants in at garden centre, they're thicker plastic & look very nice, especially as there are a heap of different sizes, my issue is the drainage, can't afford to buy all new suggestions?

    Any help would be so so appreciated, I so sorry if any of my questions are stupid or insane but I really have NO idea where to start!!!!!

    Many many thanks in advance

    Tilly
     
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    • clanless

      clanless Total Gardener

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      Hi Tilly,

      I'm a great fan of spring/summer bulbs - which I think would be ideal in your situation, to give some guaranteed colour. You can purchase some lovely coloured bulbs.

      Empty and clean out the old pots (the soil will have lost all its nutrients by now) - buy some multi purpose compost and get some Summer bulbs - too late now for Spring. For year round greenery get some 'standard' trees - I see that ASDA currently have some nice ones in stock.

      I'm quite a fan of Wilkinsons and Morrisons for my plants.

      One thing you absolutely must do - and its not too late to plant the seeds - get some night scented stock - they have an amazing fragrance on a warm Summer evening.

      Enjoy your new garden,
      Chris
       
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      • JWK

        JWK Gardener Staff Member

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        Hello and welcome to the forum Tilly.

        Are you sure they are all dead? If so then just tip them out. Hopefully you have got an area for compost or a garden waste collection council scheme, otherwise it's a trip down the dump with them.

        Yes it's not good if they are open to the elements, plant's roots will drown.

        It's fairly easy to drill holes in plastic pots with a standard power tool, put the pot on some spare wood to avoid breaking through and damaging the pot. There needs to be at least four 1/4" holes for a big pot.
         
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        • Fern4

          Fern4 Total Gardener

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          Hi Tilly...welcome to GC :sign0016: :spinning:

          It's very nice of the previous owners to leave you some pots! :biggrin: As has been advised, clean out the pots - I use Jeyes fluid on mine and then drill some holes in the bottom. Use fresh compost too.

          As far as plants are concerned, you could have a go at direct sowing some seeds straight into the pots. Today I direct sowed some Linaria Fairy Bouquet and some Nemophila into containers. Nasturtiums and Calendula are also easy from seed. Just keep them well watered not soaking wet though and thin them out as they get bigger so they're not crowded. Hey presto lots of colourful flowers! :spinning:
           
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          • Tilly37

            Tilly37 Apprentice Gardener

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            Righto, lots of wonderful suggestions! My concern with all the holes in the bottom of pots is the water running all over the roof terrace? There's just the roof covering as such, which is pretty new as it's just been redone, I'm loathe for it to get filthy with soil from the water flowing out of the drilled holes, am I being ridiculous? Is there a solution?
             
          • Tilly37

            Tilly37 Apprentice Gardener

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            Massive massive thanks as well to all the gardeners who've given advice, it's so appreciated!
             
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            • westwales

              westwales Gardener

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              Unless we have torrents of rain, water coming out of the pots shouldn't be a problem but if you're concerned you could try putting a flattish saucer shaped receptacle underneath, really you're almost in the position of indoor house plants in that respect. I've never had a roof garden but I understand that you do need to be aware of load and what weight your roof can take.
               
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              • Tilly37

                Tilly37 Apprentice Gardener

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                I'm cracking on great guns today! Have emptied all pots & realised there are ready made holes already in position you just have to drill through them so have done half already...also rather helpfully it says on the bottom the size of the pot & the size saucer/tray thingy you'll need! I'm off to the garden centre in a tick, will see what they have plant wise too, I'm aware this first batch will probably be pretty experimental & some may not make it, but I'd like it to look nice for a few weeks time as husbands having a foot operation & will be housebound, would be so lovely if the weathers good enough he can just sit outside & not be surrounded by decaying plants for once!!! Anyway sorry to harp on, thanks a million for all suggestions, it's looking better already!!!
                 
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