Six-on-Saturday – Going Potty

When you think about it logically, it isn’t an impulse purchase if you think about it.

Before I knew it, I’d pressed the button. Pots ordered. Planters ordered. Grit, perlite and vermiculite too. I sat back and tried to remember if I’d intended buying all that stuff. Like, when I woke that morning, had I really intended to buy these things at all? Was it a purchase that sneaked up on me during the day? Or was it an impulse buy?

In any event, ar aon nós, everything arrived on Wednesday. In fact, two large boxes were sitting outside the front door when Marion and I returned after a windy morning cycling. I could sense eyes being rolled even though they didn’t.

1. Perlite

The second part of the delivery arrived a few hours later, the 100 litre bag of perlite. Same van, same driver. I guess he just underestimated how many buttons I’d pressed! Looking at it, to be sure it will last me for a few years!

My plan is to replace the soil in many of my patio pots bit by bit over the coming weeks. It’s a tall order. There are more than a hundred. This will help with aeration and water retention, especially in warm weather. Top tip: anything that helps to remind me of warm weather is to be welcomed. Perhaps I’ll think about a few more impulse purchases.

Now that I see that on my screen, it’s all wrong. When you think about it logically, it isn’t an impulse purchase if you think about it.

2. Recipe

Included in the order was this 20kg bag of grit.

I’ll be using this as a final topping on some pots. I think it will look great, but apart from that it’ll act as a weed suppressant and will also help to keep soil moist underneath.

Here’s a rough guide to my potting mix…

  • Soil from the 2021 compost heap
  • Peat-free compost
  • A fistful of perlite
  • A fistful of grit above
  • Half a fistful of fertiliser
  • A wing and a prayer

The final steps will be to….

  • Insert plant or tuber.
  • Cover lightly.
  • Water well.
  • When plant is 5-10cm above ground, add a layer of grit.
  • Sit back & relax.

3. Begonias

There were eighteen Begonias tucked away safely in the glasshouse since late last October. I made sure not to water them for about three weeks before bringing them inside, and they’ve dried out completely since then. This week, I made a start at getting them ready once again. As they are very hungry feeders, the soil in the pots needed replacing. I made a start during the week and was pleasantly surprised to find that they all survived except one. Again, I used the recipe above to give them a good start. Everything will now start happening underground, and there’ll come a point where there’ll be activity above ground as well.

4. All Together Now

The summer Geraniums had been removed from here back in January and they’re being cared for in the glasshouse. They were promptly replaced with these Tete-a-tete daffodils, using my familiar pot-in-a-pot trick. These will stay until they are finished flowering and then it’s all change again.

It’s literally a five minute job to change things around. Out and in.

5. Standard Pots

Thankfully, garden centres use standard pots for many plants. I think these are one litre pots and I’ve got a few dozen of them. I’ll be planting them with something that will provide some colour between end of March and early summer. I’ve a few options to think about. In June, the Geraniums will return to complete the seasonal cycle.

6. Pieris

This Pieris Polar Passion got a mention three weeks ago and here it is again, potted up for the season ahead. It should be very happy with the upgrade. Following the recipe above, there’s fresh home made compost with added peat-free, together with grit, perlite and fertiliser. The plant came with a thin covering of matted fibre, placed on the soil to keep weeds from growing. I was able to put it back in place when I was finished. Anyone know what it’s made of?


That’s it for this week, a cháirde. Until next week, I hope that all will be well in your world. Slán go fóill. Sincere thanks to Jon The Propagator who continues to host this Six-on-Saturday meme. You can find out more about it here.


Karma caught up with me. Following on from my very satisfied horticultural grin, I cycled long on Tuesday. For three hours this noticeable grin could not be displaced. But with 30km remaining on my homeward journey, my rear derailleur locked into just one available gear. Nothing for it but to keep going, hobbled by failed engineering. Pressing buttons had no effect. I tried using some French but that didn’t help at all.

Pádraig.