From the garden of David Christopher, Agway of Cape Cod, Orleans
Hanging baskets are an easy and effective way to add “wow” to your landscape and they make excellent gifts during the spring and summer seasons. Did you know that a properly cared for basket can look beautiful all season long? Below is a list of our TOP hanging basket care tips!
Go Big or Go Home!
Purchasing a large hanging basket is better than purchasing a small one for a few notable reasons. Hanging baskets tend to have a larger plant material ratio over soil compared to garden plants. Less soil means less water-holding capacity, and therefore plants can dry out quickly. The smaller the pot size, the less soil and water retention, making for a less sustainable basket. The larger the pot size, the more soil and greater water retention.
This means that if you purchase a smaller hanging basket, you will need to water that basket more frequently than you would have to water a larger one. In many cases, smaller plants are more manageable, but in the case of a hanging basket, it’s actually easier to care for a bigger basket. Your plants will be able to enjoy more soil, nutrients, and water retention, with the extra space. Bigger baskets also just happen to look better hanging from your front porch. It’s a win win situation!
Plants in a hanging basket typically get little to no nutrient value from the soil they are planted in. Having a good fertilizer on hand is crucial to keeping them healthy and full. Put a granular, slow release, fertilizer that feeds for three to four months in each basket, such as Osmocote, when you first bring it home. Supplement the slow release fertilizer with a liquid instant feed once every two weeks. We are proud to carry Espoma plant mixes and fertilizers at Agway! Ask about our Espoma fertilizer options on your next visit.
Remove Dead or Dying Flowers Regularly
Plants produce flowers for the sole reason of making seeds for reproduction. When the flower dries up, seeds are generated and the life cycle of the plant is over. By removing spent flowers regularly before they can go to seed, the plant is forced into making new flowers and therefore, your basket will remain lush.
Keep an eye on the life stages of your hanging basket flowers and remove the ones that seem to be wilting as soon as you can! This is a great insider tip from one of our in-house gardening experts to keep your flowers growing and blooming!
The number one and quickest reason that hanging baskets die out is due to a lack of water. It is crucial to water them whenever the top soil layer is dry to the touch. Water the basket until that water is flowing out from the bottom of the pot. During hot summer months, we recommend that you water your baskets once a day, and twice a day for smaller baskets. A simple drip irrigation system for those of you with less time on your hands can handle this daily task nicely.
Hanging baskets are a stunning and natural home decoration that will bloom with vibrant colors all summer long with the proper care. If you don’t have a hanging basket yet, maybe this post inspired you to pick one up! Until next time!