Touchstone Garden Centre
Hours of Trade
Monday to Saturday
9am to 5pm
Sunday 9am to 4pm
Closed Xmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year Day, Easter Friday, Anzac morning
129A Ormond Road, Gisborne

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In the Garden

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Container Gardening


  • Excellent for small gardens e.g. flats, units, apartments
  • Soften paved areas
  • Create focal point in the garden
  • Can be moved easily
  • Provide interest at different heights e.g. hanging baskets
  • The pots and containers add colour and interest as well as the plants
  • Restrain growth of plants that would grow too big in the garden
  • Almost any plant can be grown in pots and containers

Soil Mixes

  • Do not use garden soil in pots and containers
  • For outdoor containers use
    • Debco Pot Power
  • For indoor pots use
    • Thrive Potting Mix
  • Use specialist mixes for certain plants
    • African Violet Mix
    • Cacti and Succulent Mix
    • Bulb Mix
    • Orchid Mix


  • Container grown plants have a restricted root system and a limited supply of nutrients in the mix
  • Good and drainage and frequent watering mean plant nutrients are lost more quickly
  • Feed small amounts of food regularly to keep plants growing strongly
  • Apply fertiliser to moist soil mix

Fertiliser Types

  • Slow or Controlled release
    • Osmocote Pots, Planters and Indoors
    • Slow release fertilisers are easy and safe to use – they will not burn plant roots
    • They need to be applied 2-3 times per year
  • Liquid / Soluble powder
    • Nitrosol
    • Thrive
    • Phostrogen
    • Baby Bio
    • These need to be mixed with water before applying
    • Apply only to damp soil
    • Fast acting
    • Need to be applied more often – every 10-14 days during growing season


  • The size of the container and the size of the plant will affect the amount of water available to the plant
  • On hot summer days , daily watering will be necessary
  • Small pots and hanging baskets may need water twice daily
  • Water thoroughly – fill the gap between the top of the potting mix and the top of the pot with water and allow to soak through the pot and drain out the bottom
  • Use watering wand or soft spray nozzle
  • If mix dries out it can be difficult to water – the water tends to run off
  • Add Saturaid wetting agent to mixes when planting to avoid this
  • Add Yates Waterwise water storage crystals to mix when potting up.
  • These hold and store water which becomes available to the plant when potting mix dries out
  • This does not replace the need for watering


Pests and Diseases

  • Container plants can be susceptible to the same pests and diseases as the garden
  • Key ones to watch for are
  • Snails, caterpillars, scale, mealy bugs, mites, aphids
  • Mildew, black spot, blights

Pest and Disease Control

  • Insects
    • Confidor
    • Mavrik
  • Mites
    • Mavrik
  • Blackspot
    • Supershield
  • Blights
    • ChampDP Copper

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