Okay, I just got a break and I am gonna sit down here and ramble on a little bit…
Today at The Bayside we are doing “The first big checkup/cleanup on the hanging baskets” project. So, what does that mean? Well, just like when you go to the dentist for a checkup, these baskets get a checkup and cleaning from us: deadheading, trimming for balance, clean out the yucky leaves (and there are some of those with this extended damp weather!!) and well and a general check for any problems with disease or insects. Luckily, we are finding almost no problems at all – really overall, my heart skips a beat looking at all the beautiful plants in lovely combinations that are just “hanging around” – I try not to become blasé or immune to the beauty that they offer on a daily basis.
So, are you a candidate for a hanging basket? If you want one, you need to decide where to hang it: sun or shade? Are you good to water? (You can certainly get some tips from us regarding watering as there are no “hard and fast” rules) – I always say: “well, it depends on… wind, sun, rain, types of plants, size of basket, etc.” Do you like to deadhead (if not, choose a combination that doesn’t need to be deadheaded); however, some of the most beautiful plants in a basket are petunia and they just simply demand your attention.
Regular maintenance after you purchase your basket will certainly help extend the life. Although all our baskets do have slow release fertilizer in them, the flowers will certainly benefit from a supplementary feeding every two weeks or so.
If you need to be away for a few days, put your basket in a protected area (basement, garage, under the deck) out of the sun and wind. A basket will life for days and days without sun – it will not live past one day in a hot and sunny location without water.
And don’t be afraid to give your basket a “haircut” – if branches become leggy or out of shape just cut it off. Trim off any old branches that have “ bloomed out” – these little trims can revive the look of a basket.
If you are planning on making your own basket from plants that you purchase, make sure that the plants are suited to each other and the location where you will hang the basket. And DO NOT make a “Walmart” basket – this means one that looks beautiful and full when you make it but will choke itself out in no time. Been there, done that!! My first year of business, I made 150 baskets from a supplier’s design book only to be advised that they were overcrowded. So, I had to take them all apart and re-do!! Hard lesson learned.
Yes, a hanging basket does take a bit of work to keep looking good but the reward is certainly worth it.