WATERING YOUR HANGING BASKET
Watering your hanging basket is the most important thing to remember – you can’t ever slip up! For mixed baskets water at least every second day in cool weather but as soon as the sun is it out and it’s hot (as it usually is in Kamloops) water once a day. Hanging baskets are very unforgiving. If your container does not include “Soil Moist” you can certainly add it to you soil. This is a polymer designed to reduce the frequency of plant waterings, it absorbs water like a sponge and as the soil dries out the stored water is released over an extended period of time. Remember too, that the bigger the hanging basket or planter then the more soil it will have and so the better it will fare in the very hot weather.
Ivy geranium baskets are more forgiving and should only be watered every two days.
New Guinea Impatiens and Begonia baskets in the shade are also forgiving when it comes to watering. Because of the shade and their fleshy stems that retain moisture you can easily get away with watering less. Over watering these will lead to stem rot.
FERTILIZER & GENERAL CARE
Grab your morning cup of coffee and take a walk around, you can dead head all of the dried-up flowers and sip – it is very relaxing. Dead heading as we call it, is very important. If you don’t remove the spent flowers then the plant thinks its season is over, and it doesn’t have to carry on blooming, but if you take those spent flowers off then they will always continue to bloom. If you have Petunias in your basket, they can do with a trim if and when they start to look ragged. Don’t be afraid of cutting them back hard, even to the bottom of the pot, within a week they will be fine.
Next up, fertilizer, it is so important! All new plants are heavy feeders so we recommend fertilizing with Art Knapp 12-36-12 or 20-20-20 every seven to ten days. These are water soluble fertilizers. A lot can be said about controlled release fertilizer, 14-14-14 and this can be used in conjunction with your other fertilizer. If you are making your own basket or planter then mix the 14-14-14 in the soil prior to planting.
If your yard is prone to a hot dry wind, it may be best to slip your basket out of its pot and pop it into a nice large ceramic pot. We have some gorgeous ceramics in a variety of shapes and sizes. The ceramic pot supplies extra protection and more soil. This method has the added bonus of viewing the whole arrangement and not just the sides that hang down.
Hanging baskets are one of my favourites. They quickly enhance any space and they are really affordable. The vibrant colours and easy care makes them a great gift idea.