How do I keep my summer bedding plants In hanging baskets, containers and troughs looking good until autumn?
Summer bedding plants need plenty of water, food and deadheading
Summer bedding plants are hungry and thirsty, so to keep them looking good well into autumn make sure you keep them well watered and fed. The other essential to looking great is deadheading.
You will need:
- flower snips or sharp secateurs
Make sure you keep your bedding plants well watered as letting them dry out can lead to them getting powdery mildew and looking unsightly. Once you have powdery mildew the only remedy is to cut away the infected stems and spray with a fungicide to prevent any re-infection. On a hot day it will be necessary to water in the morning and again in the evening. Incorporating water retention gel into the compost when you plant will ensure the plants have some moisture to draw on in a dry period; but this is not a replacement for regular watering. If you have several baskets and containers in the same area it could be worthwhile investing in an automatic drip irrigation system.
Don't forget hanging baskets and window troughs in the lee of the house will probably need watering even though it is raining.
It is essential that you keep deadheading, at least 2 – 3 times a week; letting the plants set seed will stop them producing more flowers.
If any plants have become long and straggly with bare stems cut them back to encourage them to branch out and produce more flowering stems.
If you haven’t put any controlled-release fertiliser into the compost, feed every week with a high potash feed, such as Tomorite. Even if you have used the controlled-release feed; when it gets towards the end of summer start with the Tomorite and that will keep your baskets and containers flowering into the beginning of autumn.