How to Keep Your Baskets Beautiful All Summer
Now that it’s the middle of the summer, it is time to keep a close eye on your hanging baskets and flowerpots around your house because pests are really starting to take hold. What you’re looking for is that you’ll start to see little holes emerge in the blossoms. If there are holes, this is a sure-fire sign that there are cutworms in our baskets and these little boogers are the larvae from butterflies and moths. They will lay their eggs in the baskets, and after they hatch, these bugs will start to eat every single blossom off your entire basket. You can end up with this big green basket with no flowers on it. So, at the first sign of these little holes, you will want to take care of these little guys right away.
Watch as Brian Bauman from Bauman’s Farm & Garden shares tips on making your hanging baskets healthy and beautiful.
Pests & Thrips
Another pest that you should look out for in your basket is thrips. On your leaves, you’ll almost start to see a little pitting in the leaves, little brown spots which almost look like little worms. These are thrips, and with all the grass seeds starting to be combined and swapped out in the fields, these guys are everywhere, and they are a menace. They’ll start sucking your hanging baskets dry, but luckily for us, we have Captain Jacks to the rescue! We love this stuff. It’s a fantastic organic option to get rid of these pests. It is made up of bacteria found in a rum distillery. You will spray this stuff on your basket, and anything that eats the actual foliage or flowers will ingest the bacteria, and the bacteria takes care of them.
So, when you have a basket or two with these little critters, we have these easy and quick spray bottles with a little nozzle on the top. Just give it a quick shake. We prefer to spray first thing in the morning, so it stays on there all day, and there are no other bugs or anything around that will get into it. You want to make sure to cover all of the blossoms and get all around the entire basket. You’ll want to do this about once a week for a couple of weeks because those larvae are going to continue to hatch, and if you kill the ones today, they will be back in a week. So, treat it early and be consistent.
Types of Spray Bottles
We have lots of different bottles to treat your baskets. We have a bottle that connects directly to your hose and is ready to spray. It is excellent for on-the-go needs. We also have a concentrate which you can mix into a backpack sprayer. Make sure to be persistent and keep an eye out, because before you know it, these little critters will be back!
Water Your Hanging Baskets
With hot weather, it is important to water 12-inch baskets twice a day. They don’t hold enough water to make it as we start to see 90-to-100-degree temperatures. We always tell people that it is easier for a plant to grow new growth than it is to fix old growth. When certain flowers burn in your basket, feel free to clean them up. Take out a lot of the big stems because you want to get rid of the damaged growth, and this will help it start growing some new growth. Just give it a nice healthy trim and cut off a lot of those brown pieces.
Next, your hanging baskets need lots of water. One of the things people always ask is how often do you water a basket? We always tell people to water it until the water starts coming out of the bottom. In the case of a partially burnt basket, the dry soil will have the water come along the side, so when you start to water it, the water will instantly start running out of the bottom of the pot. That is not enough water, so you have two options. One, you can stand there, hold the hose in the pot, and count to 30 or 40 seconds. The other option is to fill a large tub or bucket with water and have the basket soak in. Put it in a bucket of water for a couple of minutes to get it soaked up, then hang it back up. Believe it or not, petunias calibrachoas are pretty resistant even though they might not look like it right away. Once they really soak up a lot of that water, they’ll start to improve in no time.
The most important thing to really make sure your summer hanging baskets are thriving throughout the summer is to fertilize them at least once a week. It’s a good Sunday morning chore to do when you get up, and it is nice then since it’s usually quiet and peaceful.
To start off, you can grab a rubber tub, but you can do it in just a garden watering can as well. Next, you’ll want to use Jack’s Petunia Feed. At Bauman Farms, our containers do not need any help blooming. They need help getting as much new growth and the best roots possible. This is what Jack’s Petunia Feed helps do throughout the summer.
It takes one tablespoon of solution per gallon of water. If you use a tub that is about five gallons, you will put in five tablespoons and then fill it with water. When filling up the tub, move the hose around to mix it up. The solution is water-soluble, so it will break down as the water goes in, but it can always help to mix it up. Once it’s all mixed up, you can use a plastic jug watering can and fill it up to one gallon, and then fill up your basket with the water. Make sure to water the whole thing. That’s all there is to it, but you really have to do this once a week with all your hanging baskets and pots.