Hanging Basket and Annual Container Care
Hanging baskets are beautiful, make a fantastic statement and the possibilities for combinations are endless, making them an excellent choice for seasoned gardeners and those who are just starting out. They add visual impact by bringing plants up to eye level, you can move them around, and add interest in unexpected places. It's nice to have the flexibility to change things up from time to time - like moving your furniture around! You can purchase them ready-made and just hang 'em up - but It's also fun to design your own, or have one of Ebert's designers give you some ideas to put a beautiful basket together. Soon you'll be ready to show them off to everyone! As an added bonus, they don't require digging or weeding! Here are some tips to keep your baskets beautiful and happy!
Location, location, location - Always take into consideration where they go. Sun-loving plants like geraniums and petunias need a minimum of 6 hours of sun to thrive and provide prolific blooms. Impatiens and Fuschia require mostly shade to perform well.
Watering and monitoring your basket - It is important to know the needs of your hanging basket with regards to watering practices. If the weather is wet and cool, you may not need to water as frequently – when you do water, be sure to do so thoroughly and water down into the basket and not on top of the foliage to reduce the chances of powdery mildew becoming a problem. Do not water your basket if it is still wet, as it may cause root damage - place your index finger a few inches down into the soil, if it comes out dry to the touch, water thoroughly. Also, keep in mind that plants in baskets should not be allowed to dry to the point of withering. Even though wilted plants seem to perk up after a thorough watering, it puts too much stress on the plant, and will eventually weaken otherwise healthy plants. Be on alert for wilting and discoloration. Wilting can indicate a watering issue - either too much or too little. When the heat of summer kicks into high gear, you may need to water twice a day, and during a rainy cool period, you will want to water conservatively. Yellowing often can indicate the need to feed, but can also mean too much water as well. Brown spots, sticky residue, or chewed leaves could indicate uninvited insect "guests".
Food for thought - Fertilizing is extremely important to keep your plants healthy and blooming. We recommend Jack’s Classic All Purpose water-soluble fertilizer (20-20-20) alternating with Jack’s Bloom Booster (10-30-20) every other feeding for most hanging baskets and annuals. For Million Bells and Petunias, Jack’s Petunia Feed (20-6-22) is recommended with an alternate feeding of Bloom Booster as well. Always apply fertilizer when the soil and roots are moist and mix your fertilizer according to package directions. You may burn the root system if you fertilize at higher strength or concentration than directed. Using a lower concentration strength will be more beneficial. All Jack's Products for fertilizing your baskets are always available at Ebert's!
Keep things trimmed and tidy. Trimming back long, overgrown plants (especially in a combination basket) helps to encourage new growth and revitalize your basket.
Following these guidelines will assure that your basket will continue looking as beautiful as the day you took it home from Ebert's all season long!
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