Updated: Dec 10, 2020
A spring time stroll through our greenhouse aisles will undoubtedly have you reaching for a overflowing hanging basket to adorn your porch or dangle from a shepherd's hook. I have a few tips for basket selection that will ensure that you are setting yourself up for a successful growing season. Then it's onto caring for your basket through the gentle spring and the heat of the summer!
Location - Where are you hanging your basket?
Before you head to our garden shop consider the amount of sun your basket will receive and when your basket will bask in that sun. Generally, northern exposure will provide morning sun and southern exposure the afternoon sun. Take in consideration any obstruction...trees or an overhang? Step outside and see for yourself so that you are not left guessing!
Some baskets prefer partial sun, some prefer full sun. To be successful with a sun loving basket you want to have at least 6 hours of direct sun. Our most colorful and popular baskets are full sun...Geraniums, Million Bells, Petunias. Begonias do wonderfully in partial to shady locations. We are here to help you select a basket that will work well with your sun level!
Water - How much and when?
To decide if your hanging basket needs watering, simply lift it up with one hand from underneath. You can tell by the weight of the basket whether it needs watering or not. On cool days, or weeks, your hanging baskets may not need watering every day. Don't add water to wet soil. It is so important that plant roots dry before their next watering. During the hot stretches of summer, you may need to water your baskets once (or twice!) a day.
We recommend using a water wand, so you don’t need to pull down your baskets every time you water. Stick the end of the wand deep inside the basket, rather than watering on top of the leaves or blooms. Keep going until you see the water come out of the bottom of the basket consistently.
If your basket has dried out completely, and the soil is crumbly and cracked, you will have to water several times in order to saturate the soil so that the plants can again suck up moisture.
Fertilize - A must!
Your plants need nutrients to grow and bloom during the growing season. There are many kinds of fertilizers including water soluble and slow release. Water soluble fertilizer is a powder that you mix into your watering can and then feed your plants when you water. Slow release fertilizer is added on top of the soil, then some of the nutrients are released whenever you water.
Deadheading and Pruning - How to keep your baskets looking great?
Some flowers need a bit of deadheading to continue blooming and all plants benefit from a bit of a summer pruning. Be sure to weigh your gardening ambitions with your hanging basket selection in the spring! Lucky for us, many flowering plants found in hanging baskets are self cleaning (you don't have to pick off dead flowers).