Wouldn’t it be great if only it would obey!   Continual rainy weather changes the care you need to give your potted containers and hanging baskets.   While in a typical year you need to water almost daily, this year you need to regularly drain the excess water that accumulates in the trays and saucers of your containers.  For hanging baskets, lift them down and tip them on their side for a few minutes.  This will allow water that has accumulated in the bottom of the basket to drain.  For containers that are in saucers, lift the pot out and empty the saucer.  Allow to drain for a few minutes before putting back in the saucer.

In addition to saving your plants from drowning, it’s very important to fertilize them regularly.  The constant flow of rain water through your pots is leaching nutrients from the soil.  That combined with the fact that you haven’t needed to water them using fertilizer water, is creating a pretty bleak diet for your plants.  To combat this, mix some liquid fertilizer a bit stronger than normal and carefully pour small amounts onto the wet soil, avoiding direct contact with the leaves, or you can add Osmocote time-released fertilizer to the top of your soil.  If you haven’t fed in a while, you might want to do both. The liquid fertilizer is absorbed quickly while the Osmocote dissolves slowly over time.  Even if you can still see the Osmocote you applied earlier, the rain will have leached the nutrients from it, so it is time to add more.

The heavy rain is especially hard on petunia and calibrachoa baskets.  These heavy feeders need a fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants, like Miracid.  If their leaves are turning yellow, try to get them out of the rain for a couple of days and then water thoroughly with a full-strength solution.  Repeat at least once a week until they’ve greened up again. 

Happy 50th Anniversary to the Sun Prairie Garden Club!
Join the Sun Prairie Garden Club as they celebrate their 50th anniversary at America’s Best Flowers on Monday, July 8.  Light refreshments will be served at 5:30 with a Miniature Garden demonstration following at 6:00.  This is a good opportunity to discover the benefits of joining a garden club, as well as how to create a fun garden in a container.