This is the number one question we get from customers when they are trying to decide if they want to ‘try’ and hanging basket again this year…

For many,  growing Hanging Baskets, Planters, or even annuals in landscape design is a task they just don’t know if they want to take on again this year. Last season their annuals just did not ‘last’ all summer. They looked good for a month or so after they got home but then went down hill from there. Many people will say ” but I watered every day”!

If the above statement sounds like something that you may have running through your head, let me give you a few simple steps to succeeding at growing annual baskets and planter.

#1 “But I water every day” to that statement I would first ask you, ” When you are watering do you water enough that you see the water running freely from the bottom of your basket/planter?” If not, I dare say that you are under watering your plants. If the water is not reaching the bottom of the pot your roots are not able to evenly drink up the water that they require.

#2 My question to you is ” How often do your fertilize? Have you fertilized at all?” At Garden Crossings we recommend fertilizing your baskets/planters at least every other week, although weekly would be great with a low concentrate water soluble fertilizer. We recommend and personally use Proven Winners Water Soluble Fertilizer.  The reason you need to fertilize your plants is because every time you water you are flushing a little bit of the nutrients/fertilizer from the pot. Like humans, plants need nutrients to perform to their highest standards. The fertilizer will help keep your flowers flowering and your foliage nice and green. You may even feel like you have a plant on steroids if you keep up on the fertilizing. If you do start to feel like you have ‘too much’ growth we recommend giving your plants a ‘haircut’ or a trim to keep them nice and full. Don’t cut back on the fertilizer because this is keeping your plant healthy.

Now if you are thinking there is no way I am going to fertilize every one to two weeks we do have another option for you. That option is a continuous release fertilizer. Generally we recommend Continuous Release for ground planting as it will not flush away in the ground as fast as in a basket. But if you are feeling like “I will fertilize, but I am only going to do it one time” , This option is better than nothing.

And Lastly #3 if watering is a problem for you and you feel like you just can’t keep up or are always forgetting to do it, we recommend installing an inexpensive self watering system. We have found a system that is easy to use, and does a great job, it is the Waterwise System from Proven Winner. Basically all you need is the kit and a scissors. Here is a link to show how simple and easy it is to install the Waterwise System. You can go away on vacation for a week and come home to beautiful flowers.

If you have any questions on watering or fertilization of annuals please feel free to contact us at sales@gardencrossings.com

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