GARDEN TIME with DOUG – Caring for Hanging Baskets
HANGING BASKETS ARE A STAPLE WHEN DECORATING PORCHES, PATIOS, DECKS.
Now that it is May, blooming and foliage hanging baskets are very popular with most all homeowners and with people living in apartment complexes. And, for good reason: Hanging baskets are an instant way to add color and pizzazz to your outdoor spaces.
There are 4 steps to keep in mind when purchasing and caring for these hanging baskets:
- PLACEMENT – It is all about the right plant and the right location. You need to know if you will be placing the hanging basket in full sun, part sun, part shade, or full shade. Knowing this information before shopping for a hanging basket is vital in making the right choices.
- WATERING – Proper watering is probably the most important factor in hanging basket care. Since hanging baskets are suspended in the air, they are more susceptible to drying out as a faster pace than plants on or in the ground. Just be aware that with some hanging baskets varieties, such as the combination of assorted plants, there are a lot of plants contained within a relatively small soil volume which means baskets can dry out very quickly on hot summer days.
- TIP: If you are going to be away for a few days then soak the basket thoroughly before leaving and set it down on the ground.
- FERTILIZING – Just as all those plants in a small soil volume compete for water, they also compete for nutrients, so properly fertilizing baskets is crucial for success. It only makes sense if you think about it – watering a basket regularly will wash out nutrients more quickly than with plants in the ground. So, nutrients must be replenished in the soil with regular feeding. There are many high-quality fertilizers that can be used. JACK’S 20-20-20 is an excellent fertilizer. Or, you can do Fish Emulsion or other natural, organic feedings. Whatever you choose, just use according to directions.
- DEADHEADING – In other words, this refers to cleaning and trimming. If you want your blooming baskets to look fresh and good throughout the summer hanging baskets will require maintenance. Many of the blooming annuals need to have their spent flowers removed in order to stay looking their best. Often by mid-summer baskets can start to have a leggy open appearance. By giving them a good haircut, the baskets will be invigorated with more branching and flowers long term. You may lose a few blooms at first but will reap the rewards a couple of weeks later when your baskets once again look full and beautiful.
Follow these 4 simple steps and you will be amazed come November as to how amazing the hanging basket continues to look and perform. Then in November, a decision will need to be made as to whether you want to try to save it through the cold winter months. Many do not bother. It’s your call.
For more info from Doug, check out his other blogs