How to Care for your Hanging Baskets

Gardening Tip of The Week

White petunia and white lobelia.

There are a few important factors to consider when caring for your basket.

Hanging baskets are packed with plants. It is very important to keep the basket well fertilized so that the small amount of soil
can sustain all that plant! When your baskets leave Westland they are fertilized with a slow release fertilizer that will last
about 6 to 8 weeks. If you got your hanging basket or planter from another garden center you should confirm with that supplier whether
or not the plants have had an application of slow release fertilizer.
So once it is your turn to apply the fertilizer (your 6-8 weeks is up or it was not applied from the garden center) you will want to choose a
fertilizer that is for blooming plants. This means that the middle number in the fertilizer code will be the highest. You can use a water soluable
fertilizer or a slow release fertilizer. Just remember to always read and follow the label!

It is important to make sure your baskets and planters remain well hydrated. You will want to check every basket daily and water when necessary.
Watering daily may prove to be difficult with family vacations and camping trips coming up, so there a few options for these situations. There are hanging
basket saucers that will hold a few inches of water on reserve at the bottom of the basket. Another option would be to sweeten up to your neighbour and ask them
to water your baskets while you are gone. One final option would be to take baskets from areas that are hot and dry and move them into a part shade spot where they would
keep their water for a longer period. Just remember to place them back in the full sun when you return so that you do not stunt their growth!

Care and Maintenance:
To keep your hanging baskets looking great all season you will have to do some dead heading and trimming. Geraniums and petunias will always bloom better if you
remove dead and dying blooms and transfer that energy to budding blooms and stem growth. Your green fillers like ivy’s and potato vine will often outgrow the blooming plants
in the hanging basket, so it is best to trim them back so that all the plants are even in the basket.
If there is a chance of extreme weather it is best to remove your baskets from their hanging spot and place them in a sheltered area. This is important because
a large amount of rain falling quickly can flatten the top of your basket. Also high winds can cause your basket to get smashed around which can break the stems around the
ridge of the pot. Finally extreme weather may bring hail which can shred the leaves of the plants in the hanging basket.

With these simple steps you are sure to be pleased with your baskets all season long!
Happy Gardening!

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