Tuesday, June 9, 2015

WATERING HANGING BASKETS

We have wanted to have some ferns for the porch and I was in just the right place at the right time.  Found these on sale (2 for $10.00!) at the local garden center.  I couldn't resist that deal...

Hanging Boston Ferns
...so we took them to the farm, they fit perfectly and look great on the porch (isn't it amazing how plants bring a space to life?).  Anyway, we are asking for suggestions for keeping these watered during the week.  Now that the weather is heating up quickly, it will be 100 before we know it and they'll need water more often.  Since we aren't there during the week, we were wondering if anyone has ever used one of those things you add water and stick in the soil?  

Or anyone else have a DIY idea?

We don't really want any sort of drip/tube type system because we only have these two plants and don't need any sort of semi-permanent solution.  

Any suggestions or thoughts?


27 comments:

  1. I don't think the small glass ones would be big enough for those temps.
    Two thoughts - one would be to repot in a larger pot with one of the 30 oz size soda bottles in the pot. A few holes in the bottom to allow liquid out and then refill before you leave each weekend.
    Second, look for one of the self watering pegs that can attach to a soda bottle and use those. Adjust the size of the bottle as needed to keep them going.

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    1. Thanks for this info. I think the glass ones would be kinda small but I forgot about those pegs that go onto soda bottles, thanks! And yes, a larger pot is better. Cool!

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    2. I tend to kill my outdoor potted plants for just this reason, but Kim's suggestion seems right on point! May even help this poor sap if I can just do it! ;-)

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  2. I am sorry but I am no help at all. I accidentally kill ALL patio plants. Looking forward to hearing others solutions though.

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    1. Ha, I understand. I want to have some more porch plants but we'll see how these do first, LOL! ;-)

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  3. I would repot them into hanging baskets that have saucers attached. These are self watering in that the water pools in the saucer which allows the plant to take the water back up as it needs it. It defeats the bargain buy unfortunately. I have used the water crystals and they work though I never really had great faith in them, preferring the above method with the baskets.

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    1. OH yeah! The ones with the saucers, forgot about those too. Thanks. I don't mind the investment if they will stay living. And bigger would be nicer anyway. Thank you!

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  4. I found a solution that so far has worked for me. It is to use disposable diaper fill, soaked in water and mixed with your soil. The gel fill holds onto moisture and slowly releases it over time. I am terrible at watering. I love flowers, but don't have a gardening gene. This allows me to keep flowers in hanging baskets alive. There's a video on youtube which shows you what to do. You can use the diaper fill in the garden as well, not just in pots. It's environmentally friendly and non-toxic. Here's a link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNcV9XfHzWM

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    1. Really? That's fascinating. I will check out this video, thank you so much for the tip!! It makes perfect sense to me.

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  5. The baskets I have self water with a reservoir at the bottom and use a wicking system I only have to water once a week to fill up the reservoir I also have planters and troughs with the same system its great been using them for two years now.

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    1. I think I've seen those too. I kind of forgot about them until now, I need to check them out.

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  6. We have used water crystals (with variable success). Mulch and big pots with saucers have worked best for us. And we have kept some of our hanging pots going for over a decade... Probably a good idea to get in the habit of watering them as the last job before you leave too.

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    1. I've seen those and wondered if they worked. Watering IS the last thing we do when we leave, so we have that part down. ha.

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  7. I love ferns inside and out, however since they are a woodland plant primarily, they like shade, so my main concern would be that they will not thrive in the sun, unless of course, they have been raised in bright sunshine, but I've never kept any that were not in shade.

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    1. These were in bright sun at the garden center and most are kept that way. I'm not sure if that makes a difference. On the porch though, they aren't really in direct sun, so hopefully they will be ok. They are so pretty huh?

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  8. if they can live without much sun take them in when you leave and set them in the bathtub with a couple of inches of water in it or in the tub in deep saucers of water. if second family check on them the first week it may be found to be a good solution, esp. as you live in deep heat.

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    1. Hmm, that's not a bad idea either. Never thought about that but that could work. Thanks!!

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  9. I have used the "things you add water and stick in the soil" and they do work. Problem is they are normally pretty small. I've started using wine bottles instead. They look "quirky" and hold more water. ;-)

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    1. Yeah, I thought that they might be a bit small. Will have to check that out further. thanks!

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  10. Unfortunately, most premade hanging baskets are planted to look lush and full are potbound when you purchase them which makes them difficult to maintain. I'd repot them asap, chopping out some of the roots and use the fluff containing polymers from diapers mixed with potting soil. Or the moisture controll potting soil which also contains polymers. I've only used the glass balls on indoor plants but I'm not sure how effective they would be in Texas heat. I was lucky enough to score 4 large ones for a dollar at a resale shop cause they didn't know what they were. Perhaps two in each pot?

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    1. I think repotting is a good idea. Will find some bigger ones this week and plan on that for next weekend. Lucky you for those large ones, I'llahve to keep my eye out for them when I hit the thrift stores/garage sales. Maybe I'll be lucky. Those could come in handy inside later on too.

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  11. 1st Man,

    How about using what I call the http://oklahomatransient.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-simple-okie-drip-system.html

    I would use larger bottles!!!

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    1. I just checked it out, great idea. Is it still working? Of course you've had about 5 feet of rain too so maybe it's hard to tell, ha. Thanks!!!

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  12. I was just going to suggest the same idea as Sandy had. It's the easiest way and you just have to refill once a week.

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    1. That's a great idea, thank you too!!

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  13. Take them down and set in the sink with about 1/2 inch of water if you will not be there all week. They will have wet feet for just the first cpl of days as the water will evaporate in the heat. Saves them from drying all the way out and from too much sun.

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    1. Well the sink is a great idea too. I think they both might fit in there. I'll check that out. Sink or tub, great ideas!

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