Here are several tips for creating a wonderful hanging basket or container this summer:
The first is to use an artificial soil composed mostly of peat moss. Thanks to good soils such as Fafard or Pro-Mix use perlite, peat, and other ingredients to produce a soil that will not compact over the summer. Real garden soil compacts and turns into concrete under the pressure of regular watering. And also when it does, plant roots stop growing because they require good open spaces to move into and absorb nutrients. Hard compacted soils don’t grow good plants so don’t use real soil in your containers.
I re-use my artificial potting soil from year to year. I dump it out of the pot. Chew it up with a shovel to cut up all last year’s roots and add approximately 10 % by volume of compost. That compost increases air spaces and gives plants a boost in healthy nutrition.
Feed your plants weekly. Nitrogen, the engine of plant growth, is water soluble and as you water your containers from the top the dissolved nitrogen is leaving from the bottom. I use a fish-emulsion liquid feed with seaweed to provide all the trace nutrients my plants require and recommend it highly. And also, you can use any liquid plant food (like Miracle Grow or Shultz) to promote growth.
Finally, no matter the size of the container, it is important to soak it all the way to the bottom at each watering. And then, continue watering until water emerges from the pot bottom. For ensures the roots can reach all parts of the container and grow properly.