Planting Climbers, do it once, do it right

Elvis Elvis

Soil Preparation

There is no magic to planting climbers for most will grow in any garden soil as long as the plants have a reasonable amount of plant food. The soil should be well dug so that the young roots can easily penetrate the ground.

The main thing to remember when planting against a wall is that the soil is always at its driest right next to the wall, so leave at least 30 – 45cm and lean the climber into the wall.

Dig a hole about 45cm square and as deep, fork over the bottom and mix in some manure, peat, tree compost or similar, and if the ground is heavy clay then add some grit to the mixture, also a small amount of fertiliser will help the plant to get going.

Planting Climbers, do it once, do it right


When planting climbers after soil preparation in autumn, winter or early spring, bare rooted plants should have their roots spread out as far as possible, whilst containerised plants will be happy with just having their roots teased away from the side of the pot, this stops the roots from going round in circles once they have been planted.

Plant the climbers just as deep as before, any deeper and the plants growth will be retarded. Shallow planting could result in root die back. Water well after planting and keep the soil moist until the plant is well established.

Container grown climbers can be permanently planted in Tubs or Planters that hold at least 100 litres of soil. It is better to use a soil based compost because of its capacity to hold nutrients longer.

If garden soil is used then one third of the mixture should be peat, to ensure good aeration combined with moisture holding ability. Add a slow release fertiliser to the mixture at the manufacturers recommended rate.

After planting add a mulch to the top of the compost, whether planted in the ground or in a container.

Manure, Leaf mould, Mushroom compost, (watch out for high PH content), or similar can be used for open ground, whilst Gravel, small Pebbles, Slate etc, may give a more pleasing look to containers.