Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lost in the Petunias by Arlene Wheeler

If you drop into Jensen’s these evenings, you will find me cleaning up the beautiful hanging baskets we have left. I’m lost in the petunias and supertunias! Many baskets are still so beautiful and are ready to drop into a container or enjoy hanging in your favorite spot.

One of the secrets to keeping your annual flowers continually blooming is deadheading (removing the spent blooms). I am often approached by customers wanting to know what I am doing. I take a little pair of scissors and snip off the dead blooms, not just the petals. When you are removing the blooms from plants like petunias, supertunias and million bells, make sure you snip it right back to the stem to remove the seed head at the base of the flower. If you just remove the petals, the plant will soon be going to seed. Deadheading encourages more bloom!

The next thing you want to do is fertilize. I like to use an ultra bloom (high phosphorous or high middle number) water soluble fertilizer like 15-30-15 every week. I mix a half strength solution and fertilize every week right through until frost. Never fertilize when the plant is dry as it may burn the tips of the leaves, water the plant the day before you fertilize.

Try to water your gardens and containers in the morning to allow any water to dry before the end of the day. That way you won’t be encouraging any insects to collect under the leaves or any fungus to start forming during the cooler temperatures at night. Give your containers the finger test before watering to ensure you’re not over-watering. The first sign of over-watering is a yellowing of the leaves. If you follow these directions, you will have beautiful hanging baskets and containers right through until the snow flies!

Drop in to see us with any of your gardening problems and to pick up another beautiful hanging basket to enjoy. We have beautiful red and white supertunia baskets on sale for Canada Day!

*Arlene Wheeler is an experienced gardener and garden coordinator of theChildren’s Blue Box Program for Winnipeg Harvest. We are happy to have her working with us at Jensen Nursery!

petunia baskets, Jensen Nursery and Landscaping, Winnipeg
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 12:00 AM