In rainy years, we often see containers suffering from lack of fertilization. It is very easy to forget to feed your plants when you don’t water them very often. During extended periods of rain, feeding is extremely important to replace the nutrients that the rain is leaching from the soil in your pots and hanging baskets. When you are in control of water, the rule of thumb is to fertilize every seventh watering. When you’re not, you should still try to get some feed into your pots about once a week.
One easy way to keep your plants well fed is to use Osmocote, which is available in granular form and as Pot Shots. Both are time-release formulations which dissolve slowly, providing a steady source of food. Here at the greenhouse we use a very dilute fertilizer solution every time we water in addition to applying granular Osmocote to many of our hanging baskets and mixed containers. You can do this, too. Just follow the directions on both packages. Think of the Osmocote as the protein in our diet and the dilute liquid food as the carbs. One digests (dissolves) slowly, providing a continuous source of energy, and the other is absorbed quickly for instant vigor. If your water soluble fertilizer doesn’t list an application rate for continual feeding, we suggest you mix it one-quarter strength. When you provide your plants a constant source of nutrients, they will provide you a constant supply of beauty.