Hanging Baskets Plant Care Tips

by Bob the Gardener

Hanging baskets are a beautiful and versatile way to plant mixed blooms. They also make a great gift idea and, once planted, are relatively low maintenance. To keep your plants looking fresh all season, here are some of my care tips for hanging baskets:

Hanging Basket Maintenance
  1. Water often and thoroughly.
  2. Deadhead blooming plants (here is a useful article on deadheading flowers).
  3. In a mixed basket, replace plants as needed.
  4. Fertilize (see below).
  5. Cut back leggy plants.
Fertilization

Second to watering, fertilizer is the most important thing to keep your baskets looking great all season. By constantly feeding, you are ensuring that your plants maintain all the nutrition necessary to grow large and produce blooms. You should find your basket weekly with a water soluble fertilizer. I recommend using a 20-20-20 fertilizer (20% nitrogen, 20% phosphorus, and 20% potassium – the remaining 40% is chemically inert).

Learn more care tips and join Bob on a garden tour, held as part of our spring and summer recreation schedules.

 


How to Grow Basil Indoors

by Bob the Gardener

Basil is an annual herb that can be found in dishes all around the world. This is an easy plant to grow indoors and it will thrive in a sunny location with regular watering. The following steps will help you grow your own basil indoors.

Growing Basil Indoors

  1. Start seeds a few weeks before the last frost.
  2. Fill your pots with a good quality potting soil.
  3. Pre-soak the soil and sow the seeds 1/4″ deep.
  4. Place the plant pots in a sunny location.
  5. Keep the soil moist at all times; if the soil dries out, it will kill the seeds or seedling germination.
  6. Basil seedlings will take approximately 5-12 days to grow.
Transplanting Seedlings

Seedlings can be transplanted in a 4″ pot after they have two (2) sets of leaves.

Watering

As a general rule, whenever the soil starts to look dry it can be watered. Soil should always be moist, but never soggy.

Companion Planting

When basil is planted near tomatoes, this will repel flies and mosquitoes and will enhance the flavour.

Basil Varieties

Sweet Basil: Medium sized aromatic leaves.

Thai Basil: Used in Thai cooking, the leaves are anise flower. It holds flavour well when cooked.

Cinnamon Basil: The leaves retain the spicy sweet flavour of cinnamon.

Italian Large Leaf Basil: The leaves grow 4″ long and the flavour is sweet and mild.

Purple Basil: Dark opal basil is a beautiful plant with purple leaves and a sweet flavour.


Bob can often be found maintaining the Viamede gardens during the summer and enjoys leading garden tours for guests. He will be holding Planting Classes as part of our March Break activity schedule.