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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you want to have great looking flower pots and hanging baskets with annuals that bloom all summer long and into the fall? The secret is in what you are feeding, fertilizer wise. Here is a recipe that I use for great looking colorful hanging baskets and pots that will have your baskets and container pots looking great.

Fertilizing

I use 2 different water-soluble fertilizers made by Fertilome. The first is a basic well-balanced fertilizer labeled as Geranium, Hanging Basket and Pansy Fertilizer. This is an all-purpose 20-20-20. The second fertilizer product is the Fertilome Blooming and Rooting 9-58-8.

Using these 2 products together will keep your baskets looking great all summer long. I fertilize every other time I water my hanging baskets or pots with annuals. Every time we (its a family affair) fertilize we alternate between the 2 different products. The recommended dosage is 1 teaspoon of fertilizer per every gallon of water. DO NOT FOLLOW LABEL INSTRUCTIONS. I like to mix this up in 5 gallon buckets to dissolve the fertilizer before I pour them into the baskets or container pots.

Example for fertilizing baskets and containers:

Monday: Clear Water
Tuesday:20-20-20
Wednesday: Clear Water
Thursday: 9-58-8
Friday: Clear Water
Saturday: 20-20-20
Sunday: Clear Water
Monday: 9-58-8
Continue this cycle throughout the summer and your containers and baskets will be the envy of your neighborhood.

Watering

Watering is tricky, especially in the spring and early summer when temperatures can fluctuate quickly. It is important to check your baskets or containers prior to watering to see if they actually need water. Stick your finger in the soil up to the second knuckle and if the soil is dry at the tip of your finger then it is time to water. If it is still wet then wait a while and check before watering. In the heat of the summer baskets or containers may need to be watered more than once per day. This is especially true on windy says. It is best to see drainage out of the bottom of the basket or container.





 

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Wow, those planters looks great. I think I would get lazy with the watering and fail, but seeing those gives me some motivations. We have two big half barrels full of plants in the back yard. I just hit them with milo every once in a while and they seem to do alright. I'm sure with your plan they would be doing much better though.
 

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What a great post and... WOW! Those baskets and lawn!

I'm hooked. These are great ideas and so easy to implement. I can hardly wait until next year!

I'm betting you start from seed given the number of plants you are putting down. Do you have a greenhouse?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wish I had a green house and grew my own annuals from seed. I buy them from a local green house and pot them up myself. It costs a bit but I feel it's worth it. It really adds a lot to the overall landscape.

The fertilizer program really works well.
 

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I agree... I'm not happy without flowers and veggies growing. It suits my Cape-Cod style cottage quite well. I want more flowers but buying transplants breaks my sensibilities knowing I could probably start from seed with a little effort. This is going to get time-consuming real quick...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
@Rackhouse Mayor
@ABC123

Yes. I definitely plan on doing the pots and hanging baskets again this year. It adds so much color and beauty. I love the annuals. They are definitely some work but I think the look is incredible.

I paid a guy for 2 years to plant and decide what to put in my pots. He did the arrangement and did the planting. He chose some nice stuff. He included the flower tags with the pots so I know what he planted and this year I just plan to replicate what he did according to the tags that I saved.

If you are wondering how to arrange them I suggest going to a greenhouse or nursery that sells annuals and ask them how to arrange them. They will give you some good ideas. I used this tip last year for some other pots he did not plant up for me.

My wife is pretty good at arranging them as well. I plant them according to what she says. This is what I'm planning on this year. I will be changing it up a little bit this year but still plan on doing the baskets and pots.

I use regular potting soil that you can can buy anywhere. The miracle grow stuff is good because it has fert in the soil mixture.

A tip if you have very large deep pots is to put wood chips, bark, or old milk cartons in the bottom of the pot to take up space. This helps so you don't have to add sooooo much potting soil.

A general rule is to have something tall in the center then something shorter and then something that hangs down over the rim of the pot.

I have a late last frost date. I won't be able to put my pots outside for good until around memorial day. Kind of sucks in that regard. I will however plant everything up early may in my garage where it will not freeze. This will give them a jump start.

I want to see what you guys do.
 

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Thanks @wardconnor. I googled it yesterday afternoon and stole some ideas from this gallery. I noticed the pattern of "tall in the middle, short around the sides, and hanging off the pot".

Fistertondeluxe said:
Anything that you recommend that I could put in some hanging baskets that will drape down over the sides? I plan on 4 hanging baskets on the front porch this year.
Looks like the internet says potato vines and various types of ivy work well. Check that link out above for some ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wave petunias hang down. Potato vines hang down. Creeping Jenny hangs down. Alyssum hangs down, get the one on steroids.

I buy all my stuff from green house. I don't have a green house so I do not grow from seed. Some day I will get there.

Pre mix the fert? It's not too much work. I mix mine in 5 gallon buckets with the hose right before I dump it on. Sooooo worth the effort. If you want awesome you've got to put in the time. Just like anything in life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I use several buckets. I mix up five gallons and then I pour about 2 or so gallons of mixed water fert solution into an empty bucket so it is easier to pour and it is lighter in weight.

Side note. On days that I only water using clear water, I have a drip irrigation set up that waters automatically according to my timer clock for my underground sprinkling system.
 
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