Perlite / Vermiculite in a small flower bed?

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by LS15, Oct 7, 2020.

  1. LS15

    LS15 Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi,

    I'm fairly new to gardening and have really got into it this year with the increased time I'm able to spend at home. Having taken inspiration from a recent gardeners world episode I've decided to build a cover for my bins and have a small flower bed for some plants above it about 6 inches deep. Unlike on the show however I want to try to grow some plants that need to be watered and enjoy the sun.

    The place it will go gets sun a lot of the day the and current pots we have dry out very quickly, I have done some research and I wondered if it will need vermiculite or perlite adding to the compost to help it avoid drying out. However, living in South Wales it does also tend to rain a lot so I'm wondering if adding either of these would actually do more damage than good if it gets too wet and causes the roots to rot.

    Can anyone give any tips on if adding these would be a good idea? or would I be better off just sticking to using just compost?
     
  2. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi LS,
    Can I come from a different angle and ask what kind of plants you have in mind that you want to plant?
    I remember the Gardeners World program with a Lady who put a wood shelter over her Council Bins that were in her small front garden and then put wooden containers on the top.......a brilliant idea. Using just compost is not a good idea either way as when compost dries out it is a pain to wet again:wallbanging: Most gardeners use a mixture of Compost, sand and potting grit to help keep a balance of moisture retention and reasonable draining growing medium. You'll also need to have some drainage holes in the bottom of the containers. Which ever way you go you have to keep an eye on the weather and plants and water them when they need it.:dunno::cat-kittyandsmiley::coffee:
     
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    • LS15

      LS15 Apprentice Gardener

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      Thank you for your response :) My intention was to grow some annuals from seed this year and then plant them up in the bed, If they do well maybe try some small herbaceous perennials the following year, nothing specific as yet but given the sun levels, ill look for plants that do best in full sun. drainage holes will be present in the bottom as well as some gravel at the bottom of the planter to help prevent those from getting blocked.
       
    • mazambo

      mazambo Total Gardener

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      This probably seems contradictive but perlite holds moisture and also allows for good drainage so would probably be a good additive in your situation.
       
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