Baskets should be checked daily, in a sunny location a basket will dry out quickly. To check, place your hand underneath and lift, if it is heavy do not water, if it’s light it needs water. Baskets should need water every second or third day.
Vegetation growth is very important to fill out your basket during the early stages. To achieve this use a weakened solution (approx. 1/2 strength) water soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer every time you water.
To maintain and encourage new colourful blossoms after your basket has filled out, switch your feeding program to one which utilizes a fertilizer with less nitrogen (the first number on the label).
During high winds bring your basket in or set on the grown to prevent damage.
For best results, do not use scissors to cut flowers. Generally use a sharp knife and cut at a 45-degree angle.
Some flowers require more detail:
Stems of Chrysanthemum are best broken off rather than cut. For best results place in luke-warm water with a little sugar.
Gerberas should only be picked or purchased when the flower is fully open. Add fresh water to the vase every day for best results.
To help Irises last longer, cut their stems under water.
Never place Snapdragons with other cut flowers as they produce damaging gas.
To help Pansies last longer, pick when the flowers are open and place in ice-cold water.
Never place cut flowers near fresh fruit, as the gases released from the fruit will damage the flowers.
If you want to place cut tulips and daffodils together in a vase of water, first let the daffodils spend 24 hours in their own water before letting them join the tulips.
Some home gardeners use tender hybrid tea roses as they do annuals, replacing them each spring. Price conscious gardeners keep them coming back – like old friends – year after year. Roses with long unpruned roots get you off to a good start, and are best obtained from a good nursery specialist.
Plant with the graft union 10 cm below the soil surface and with the plant on a 45-degree slant so the roots are within 30 cm of the surface. Water in and mound the tops with peat moss for 10 days to prevent drying while the roots take hold. All season follow general recommendations for fertilizing, pruning and pest control – as described in most books on rose growing.
When the soil starts to freeze in late fall mound up the tops to about 20 cm with soil or dry peat most. Spare soil is often found in the vegetable garden, and can be wheeled back the following April or May. If you use processed peat moss, cover the mound with a thin layer of soil to hold it down. By following these procedures, most of your old friends will be back blooming next year – and saving you money.