How to Care for Your Hanging Basket

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your basket through the summer:

Keep your basket watered well and remember as the plants grow they will require more   water.  During the summer months, try watering during the evening as less evaporation will take place at night.  Always remember that during the very hot summer months you will probably have to water 2-3 times a day.  The hotter it is, the quicker the basket will dry out.

When watering, ensure you give enough water to wet the volume of the soil in the basket all the way through and not just the surface.  Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s raining and that you won’t have to water.  As the plants grow, their leaves form a canopy over the soil and this keeps the rain off where it is needed most.  So even if it is raining, you have to water your baskets.  This also applies to baskets in sheltered or shady places.

Choose a sturdy hook to hang your basket.  Baskets are heavy when wet and become    heavier as the plants grow.  Ensure that the bracket for your basket is adequate and securely fastened to the wall and the bracket is the correct size for your basket.  Check yearly on your bracket, as it will weather and age with time.

To ensure your basket is at its best all the time, remember to dead-head regularly.  Regular grooming keeps the basket looking picture perfect.  Remove faded blossoms and yellowing leaves.  Consistently removing old flowers allows the plant to continue producing flowers   instead of seeds.

Fertilize every time you water with a water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer.  Check the soil moisture daily.  When the soil is dry to the touch, add water until it pours out of the      drainage holes.  As the plants mature, the basket will need to be watered with increasing frequency.

If the water immediately runs out of the drain holes, chances are that it is not soaking into the soil, but running around the soil mass and out the drain hole.  This commonly occurs when the soil gets too dry and shrinks like a sponge, pulling away from the sides of the   container.  To re-saturate the soil, you must disturb the surface of the soil by scratching it.  Then slowly run water into the basket.  Repeat the watering again in 30 minutes.  Repeat again.  The next time the basket requires water, run the water slowly, saturating the soil.

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