Keeping Your Plants Alive
Alright, let’s face it when we get hungry we go get food, and when we get thirsty we take a drink. If only life was this easy for all living things, plants included…
Buying the plants is the easy part, we go to our Local Garden Center or shop online and find the perfect plants for our gardens, containers, and landscape. But once we get them home we have to help keep them alive and looking great. Really that is not a hard thing to do as long as you follow a few simple tips…Water, Feed, Water! Like all living things plants need water and feed to keep them alive and looking great. Imagine what you would be like after working in the hot summer sun with nothing to drink, by the end of the day you would feel spent, just like plants. We recommend that you water your hanging baskets and planters at least once a day, preferably in the morning, during the heat of the summer. You may find that on really hot and windy days that they will need an extra splash of water at the end of the day also. When watering your plants it is best to get a feel for how dry their soil is. Simply put your finger down in the dirt to see how moist or dry the soil is, or you can lift the basket and judge how heavy or light it feels. When watering your basket or container we recommend that you water slowly until you see a stream of water flowing from the bottom of the pot. The slower/lighter you water the more time this will allow for your plants soil and roots to absorb the water. If you have plants in the ground, you may find that they can go a bit longer between watering. With ground plantings I would still check them daily but you may find that you can go a day or two in between watering once they are established.
Water is a great start to keeping your plants alive but they also require food. There are a couple different options for plant food, one being water soluble and the other being slow release. We recommend applying a slow release granular plant food to your containers and baskets either when you are planting them or once you bring them home. The slow release fertilizer generally stays with the plant for up to 3 months, (depending on how much they get watered). Slow release is a good back ground food for the plant, but it still requires a more concentrated weekly feeding. For this we recommend using a water soluble fertilizer every 1 – 2 weeks depending on where you are at in the season. The plant needs water to live but the water is also flushing the nutrients out of the pot. So when you find yourself needing to water more this is also the time that you will need to be applying the water soluble fertilizer more often, generally midsummer when it is the hottest. During the spring and fall when you can skip watering every few days, you probably only need to apply water soluble fertilizer every 2-3 weeks.
Your plants are an investment be it long or short term, but either way you want to keep them looking the best from the day you get them until the day you or mother nature decides the season is over.
Here are a few products we recommend for your planting success: