Parmesan crusted potatoes
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Hanging Baskets – What A Great Idea
Hanging baskets can be as plain or as ornate as you choose. Full, ornate hanging baskets are absolutely lovely when found hanging from lamp posts, porches and patio rafters. Of course there are other places to show off your baskets, including Shepard hooks and strategically placed brackets attached to outdoor structures. Such brackets made for this purpose can be found in your garden and hardware stores.
The thing to keep in mind when planting your hanging baskets is you are going to want to fill them with lots of trailing, flowering plants. Then you can add an upright plant or two in the center of the baskets for a more balanced overall appearance.
The ideal hanging baskets are created from those peat-lined wire baskets you can find in the nursery department of your favorite home improvement store. The reason these work so well is due to the fact that once they are filled with soil, you can place your plants not only inside the basket, but also poke them through the sides and bottom of the baskets, as well. Once the plants are going well, the overall effect is an entire globe-like display of beautiful, blooming flowers.
There are many different kinds of trailing flowering plants. Some of my favorites include trailing petunias, verbena, lipstick plants, trillium, and bridal veil. And, an absolute must have addition to a hanging basket is alyssum. While alyssum isn’t a trailing plant per se, it’s great for adding solid patches of color that bloom the entire summer. Alyssum comes in pure white, yellow and variegated shades of purple.
It’s quite permissible to add some plants to your hanging baskets that may not bloom during the summer season. This would include Creeping Charlie and various herbs. Really, the whole idea is to just stuff your basket with a variety of small plants keeping in mind they are definitely going to grow! In other words, it’s best to plant your young plants no closer than 3-4 inches apart.
As with any other container plantings, you will need to feed those in your hanging baskets. You can choose a compost which has already had sufficient nutrients added to last the entire growing season. This is a grat start for annuals. You can also buy slow-release pellets which you mix into the compost in the dosage recommended by the manufacturer. The alternative is to apply a liquid feed once or twice every two weeks throughout the growing season.
You will also need to make sure your hanging baskets are kept well watered. If you aren’t sure that you will have time to water your baskets every day during the summer, think about investing in a drip system and a water timer. Again, both can easily be found at your local home improvement store beginning in early spring.
Lastly, give due consideration as to where you will be placing your hanging baskets. Most annuals mentioned herein love full sun and will reward you with bloom after bloom all summer long with little deadheading involved. However, if your basket will need to be placed in a shaded area, go for trailing fuchsias which come in all sorts of gorgeous colors.