To get the most out of your summer bedding plants and long lasting flowering its important to look after your hanging baskets and window boxes.
With the ever changing weather conditions it is important to regularly check your summer bedding on a daily basis. Here’s what you should be keeping an eye out for:
Simple lift your hanging basket and weigh it in your hand, too light water, too hesvy don’t water.
Little and often is the key here. Watering first thing in the morning is important. There no point going out one day and giving them loads of water i.e. were they are basically swimming in it and then none for a couple of days. This can lead to two problems
A) It will cause all the nutrients to be washed down to the very bottom of the hanging thebasket or window box and more than likely out of reach of the shallow roots summer bedding.
B) Causes stress, where the plant either becomes waterlogged or suffering from the lack of water. This will cause the onset of stress and see the plant begin to suffer. A tell tale sign is seeing is the flowers shriveling up or the yellowing of the leaves. At this stage it could be too late though to revive the plant so don’t let them get this far!!
All that energy that the summer bedding plants put into producing a magnificent show of colour, they are bound to get hungry. It is important to regularly feed the summer bedding. A clear indication that they require feeding is that the either stop producing flowers or a discolourng in the leaves.
There is many options whenever it comes to suitable feeds and a lot of them are diluted with water. The reason for this is that it is quick acting and short lasting fertiliser, remember summer bedding=summer so they are not there for the year..
- Tomato feed- one common problem with tomato feed I have heard is that it tends to be very high in nitrogen. This can cause the summer bedding to produce more shoots rather than flowers. Perhaps it would be better at the start to encourage the plants to establish in the hanging basket or window boxes.
- Specalised hanging basket/window box feeds – From my own experiences I find these the most effective to encourage a good flowering habit.
- Home grown feed – Comfrey is another one that has been suggested, were you steep it in a lot of water over a number of days and then pour on the solution.
It is important to regularly go along and pinch off growth along the tips of the plant. This will encourage a bushier habit and to fill out the hanging basket or window box more.
You don’t take all that much just the very tip of it unless it has gotten out of control and in this case cutting it back a little bit can be done to bring back under control once again.
It prevents the flowers getting out of control and becoming straggly. It will also encourage a better growing formation and leading to a less problems with the base of the plant becoming bare.
This is one of the most important jobs you can do to ensure you have continuous long lasting window box or hanging basket.
When you are carrying out this it is important not to just pull of the flowers but to pinch behind the flowers and removing the seed as well. The flower will continue putting its energy into producing non viable seeds so don’t be thinking great seeds for next year. Not going to work!!!
Dead heading does a few things. It encourages the summer bedding to reflower again and therefore longer lasting a flowering period. Removes the ugly appearance of the hanging basket or window boxes. It also helps to prevent the occurrence of disease or pests being attracted to you summer bedding.
In days of particular bad weather (heavy rainfall) try to protect your summer bedding plants. Be it either taken down your hanging baskets or removing the window boxes from the wall and putting them in doors for the day.
This will help to prevent them from getting damaged from the weather. It also prevent too many of the flowers dying back due to rain or wind and having to start from almost scratch again.
If the care is put in the summer bedding is a true delight in any garden. It offer that essential bit of colour throughout the summer in places where they are no flowers are between different flowering periods.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in contact and hope you enjoyed my latest blog.