Welcome to a new section of this blog called GROWING YOUR OWN FEAST IS FUN! Bob, my son and I are planning to grow vegetables, salads, herbs and flowers, mainly in containers, in our garden. So to kick off this new addition to my blog I’d like to invite you to my Wilko Gardening Product Review.
I was asked to choose 3 items from a list sent to me, the set of 3 Bee Hive Plastic Planters immediately caught my attention. With drip trays underneath, all that I needed to do was punch through the drainage holes in the base, which I did easily with a screwdriver.
Next I asked for a transplanter trowel, because honestly, any gardener will tell you that you can never have too many of these. Fortunately for me the garden sign that was my third choice, must have been out of stock as I received 2 transplanters. This was so thrilling as it meant Bob and I could have one each.
I ordered compost and some Dahlia tubers from Wilko. No lugging heavy bags of compost home, for a small fee order on line and have everything delivered!
As you can see from the photograph above, the base of each Bee Hive Plastic Planter was filled with some broken polystyrene. As we have our meat delivered, the polystyrene boxes themselves make useful planters and the lids are great for breaking up. This adds drainage to the base of the container and helps the plants grow better. You can also use broken terracotta pots, however, polystyrene is light and means the pots can be easily moved.
On top of the drainage fill the pots, almost full with compost. I then added some water retaining crystals and slow release plant food granules. These are then mixed throughout the compost in the pot.
By adding water retaining granules, even on really hot days, when the tubs have been watered first thing in the morning, the roots will not dry out. Similarly adding slow release plant food granules ensures that after 6 weeks, when the natural nutrients in the compost have been used up, plant food and nutrients are still slowly being released.
During the long Summer and Autumn growing season, I will not have to worry about feeding the Bee Hive Planters provided for the Wilko Gardening Product Review!
Whilst Bob and I want to grow lots of different salads and vegetables, I still want the garden to look pretty. So I added some Dahlia tubers, that will grow up through the courgette plants to give height to the planters. We will also be sowing and growing companion plants and flowering plants that will attract pollinators.
Making a deep well in the largest planter I spread out the Dalia tubers and planted them so that the dried stem, at the top of the bulbous tubers, was level with the top of the compost. Then I planted two courgette plants either side. The courgettes will spread and hang over the side of the planter. Growing courgettes in containers has many advantages, the courgettes are free from the soil and predators, such a slugs and snails. Although growing French marigolds will attract pollinating bees, it also makes hand pollination possible – something I will address in future posts.
This planter’s compost top will be completely covered within a couple of weeks and a few weeks later we should be harvesting our own, homegrown courgettes. Perfect for kebabs, stir fries, sliced thinly in salads. Courgette flowers are also edible, small and raw, or covered in batter and deep fried. There will be plenty of new and interesting recipes coming from GROWING YOUR OWN FEAST IS FUN.
The second largest Bee Hive Planter was planted with herbs bought with my shopping from the supermarket. Both Coriander and Curly Parsley. I split the shop bought herbs in half and planted the parsley and coriander around the edges. Although a little bedragled, within a couple of days they had settled in and perked up.
Using the transplanter trowel for this Wilko Gardening Product Review made life very easy. Planting the smallest Bee Hive Planter with small, mixed lettuce leaves, the transplanters moved the soil and transplanted the pre-grown mixed lettuces into their holes. Pressing gently with my hands, around the planted lettuce, herbs, marigolds and small courgettes settles and firms them into place.
Finally give the Bee Hive Planters a gentle but thorough soaking.
They have been placed in an area of partial sunlight as all the plants suit this condition. Daily watering and snail and slug patrol are important. Placing Vaseline around the tops of the containers will help deter slugs and snails. Also placing the planters on some wire mesh works as a deterrent.
I am really impressed with the size and decoration of the beehive planters. The transplanters are sturdy and very comfortable to hold. I look forward to seeing our produce and flowers flourish, with regular watering there really shouldn’t be anything else to take care of, except for picking courgettes and cutting herbs and salad leaves as they grow.
Wilko sell a wide range of gardening products. I have a nemesia, that I bought from Wilko many years ago and it still blooms with tiny pink flowers ever year.
I hope this post has given you the basics on how to plant containers and encouraged you to try growing a few of your own herbs and vegetables.
Whilst I am by no means an expert, I have been gardening for as many years as I have cooked and baked. So if you have any relevant questions, please either leave a comment or send me a tweet and I will do my best to help.
Bob and I hope you enjoy GROWING YOUR OWN FEAST IS FUN and the journey we have started together?
Wilko sent me the Bee Hive Planters and transplanters for the purpose of review. All other items mentioned were purchased by me. I was not paid to write this blog, all content, photographs, views, opinions and advice are my own. I do not take responsibilty for anyone acting on the advice gien in this post. Please see my Disclosure Policy.Share