Here's how to keep your hanging baskets blooming all summer long
Summer is my favorite time of the year in Nanaimo. One of the things I love most about summer, are the flowers. I love to garden and as a result I have bright, colourful annuals blooming in pots and baskets on our deck and throughout the garden.
Through trial and error and through asking many questions at the local nurseries, I have learnt how to keep these baskets and planters blooming all season long.
Here's what I have learnt:
Fertilize: I fertilize my baskets every time I water or at least every second watering. That is probably excessive, but it seems to work for me. I use a soluble fertilizer for flowering plants. The way to tell if you have the right fertilizer is to check the numbers on the container. The middle number should be higher than the other two. For example: the one I am using is 12-36-12.
Water: Overwatering is a bad thing, but so is under watering. I've learnt the hard way, that you should never let your plants dry out to the point that they start to wilt. If you do, they could take weeks to rebound. That might mean watering more than once a day during hot spells, particularly if the basket is small or in a windy or sunny spot.
Rotate. Often hanging baskets are hung on a porch or other site where they’re exposed to sunlight on only one side. In that case, I've learnt that it’s important to rotate the baskets for even growth.
Protect plants: On very windy days, if possible, take your hanging baskets down and put them in a sheltered place. I find that high winds toss the baskets around and cause the plants to throw off petals and also cause hanging baskets to dry out more quickly.
Dead head and pinch back: I usually like to buy Supertunias for my baskets because they don't need deadheading. However, many other annuals do need to be deadheaded when the flowers die, so that they will continue to bloom. Another thing you can do, is pinch off some new growth . Now is probably a good time to pinch or cut back your plants. Pinching them back will encourage them to become more bushy and less leggy.