Hanging baskets dry too fast

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Every year my hanging baskets dry out way too fast and the plants end up dying.
Any suggestions for what kind of potting mix to use in them? Or what to add to the mix to make them stay wet longer?
Has anyone had any luck with water crystals made for retaining water? (Such as the Miracle Gro brand)
Would love to hear how you plant yours.
 
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The water gel crystals are great for holding water in them, not so great at releasing it to the plants. You might try using a more compost/organic potting soil with less sand and perlite. It will hold more water and dry out slower.
 
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The missus does the hanging basket, she puts an inch or so of leaf mould in on the lining first, plus mixing it in with the filling. We just have the one by the front door which faces East, so not full noonday sun on it.
 
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Hello Kelly, in the ''olden days'' when I was younger, I planted a few hundred baskets while I had a small nursery from home. I discovered a way of getting water to the middle of the basket with the watering to correct this problem. As I filled and planted the basket through the sides I placed a polystyrene cup with holes in it right in the middle, and put water retaining crystals inside. Each cup then had a little cheap funnel in it which was able to protrude from the surface, which I then planted around so it was hidden. As well as using ''all purpose'' compost I incorporated 5 slow release feed tablets ''Osmocote'' is best - anything with ''miracle grow'' in the title is rubbish - ask @Chuck ! Water daily into the crystals , through the funnel, and it will filter through to the plants (twice a day is better than once) With so many plants in a small amount of compost, they have to fight for space, food and water. When the roots become tangled and matted any water is quickly lost if only applied from the outside.
I hope this idea helps you to achieve a stunning display. Good luck and have fun :)
 
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The missus does the hanging basket, she puts an inch or so of leaf mould in on the lining first, plus mixing it in with the filling. We just have the one by the front door which faces East, so not full noonday sun on it.
Hello Oliver, you beat me to it by two minutes! Leaf mould is ''pure gold'' in all applications isn't it. We make bags of it here. Zigs is well into the composting corner. It takes patience to make, but is so well worth it to wait for the leaves to break down. (y)
 
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Hi, good to see you back. I use about six or eight feet of chicken wire, join the ends, stand it up, and just ram it full of leaves. I pour a watering can in the top every so often, and keep adding more leaves as it goes down, but that's about it. The outside stays a bit dry, but it makes a good start for the next lot and stops the wire getting blown over.
 
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I'll show you our composting corner - a place to find Ziggy in if he ''goes missing'':rolleyes:
as you will see, we use builder's bags.

PS...sorry Kelly, I seem to have hi jacked your thread :sorry:
 

Logan

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I always use a plastic liner with holes in the bottom,I put a circular piece of plastic without holes on top of it but it's only on the bottom not around the sides, then i put the compost on top of that, that way it keeps some of the water in. In very hot weather still have to water twice a day.
 
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The water gel crystals are great for holding water in them, not so great at releasing it to the plants. You might try using a more compost/organic potting soil with less sand and perlite. It will hold more water and dry out slower.
I wondered that about the crystals. I don’t feel like buying something because it looks like a good idea on the packaging.
I’ll have to try adding some compost.
Thanks!
 
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Hello Kelly, in the ''olden days'' when I was younger, I planted a few hundred baskets while I had a small nursery from home. I discovered a way of getting water to the middle of the basket with the watering to correct this problem. As I filled and planted the basket through the sides I placed a polystyrene cup with holes in it right in the middle, and put water retaining crystals inside. Each cup then had a little cheap funnel in it which was able to protrude from the surface, which I then planted around so it was hidden. As well as using ''all purpose'' compost I incorporated 5 slow release feed tablets ''Osmocote'' is best - anything with ''miracle grow'' in the title is rubbish - ask @Chuck ! Water daily into the crystals , through the funnel, and it will filter through to the plants (twice a day is better than once) With so many plants in a small amount of compost, they have to fight for space, food and water. When the roots become tangled and matted any water is quickly lost if only applied from the outside.
I hope this idea helps you to achieve a stunning display. Good luck and have fun :)
This sounds very interesting. Thanks for explaining! I might try it or a similar idea.

I am getting frustrated with Miracle Gro products as well.
 
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The missus does the hanging basket, she puts an inch or so of leaf mould in on the lining first, plus mixing it in with the filling. We just have the one by the front door which faces East, so not full noonday sun on it.
Sounds great. I don’t have leaf mould. I did save all the leaves from the yard but just piled them on the garden bed and it’s only been about 5 months so far.
Maybe I will have to try to make lead mould next fall. Appreciate the response
 
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I'll show you our composting corner - a place to find Ziggy in if he ''goes missing'':rolleyes:
as you will see, we use builder's bags.

PS...sorry Kelly, I seem to have hi jacked your thread :sorry:
No problem. It’s all so interesting.
Thanks for the interest.
 
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I always use a plastic liner with holes in the bottom,I put a circular piece of plastic without holes on top of it but it's only on the bottom not around the sides, then i put the compost on top of that, that way it keeps some of the water in. In very hot weather still have to water twice a day.
Good idea. I’ve put a plastic liner in but never a piece on the bottom without holes. I think that would help. Thanks for the reply.
 
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I always use a plastic liner with holes in the bottom,I put a circular piece of plastic without holes on top of it but it's only on the bottom not around the sides, then i put the compost on top of that, that way it keeps some of the water in. In very hot weather still have to water twice a day.
Have you considered @Logan that all the water that drains would come out through the bottom. I've never known it to shoot off sideways, unless, of course it builds up when it can't escape at all. I think drainage is important, and use grit or similar for the purpose.
 

Logan

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Have you considered @Logan that all the water that drains would come out through the bottom. I've never known it to shoot off sideways, unless, of course it builds up when it can't escape at all. I think drainage is important, and use grit or similar for the purpose.
It would drain a bit but there would be some water left at the bottom. Drainage isn't a problem, there's just some at the bottom and I've been doing that for years and it works.
 

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