Sheila Schmidt is owner and designer at Sheila’s Country Gardens and Gift Shop 87930 Highway 57, three miles south of Hartington, NE 68739. (402) 254-6379. She’s celebrating thirty years in her plant business. Schmidt shares tips for taking care of hanging baskets and planters throughout the summer.

• Plants always grow better in a larger pot rather than a smaller one. They don’t dry out so quickly and it gives the roots more room to spread out and grow.

• When the temps are rising and the wind is blowing, water your hanging baskets and planter frequently if not daily. Go by how heavy the hanging basket or planter is. If you have to use some muscle to lift it, then it’s wet enough. If it’s easy to pick up; water well.

• Fertilize with a well-balanced fertilizer such as Jacks Classic All Purpose 20-20-20 fertilizer every one to two weeks. The warmer and the more frequently you have to water, the more fertilizer they need. I also like to use a slow release fertilizer called Jacks ClassiCote Slow Release fertilizer. I sprinkle it on top of the soil in the hanging baskets and planters and it gives them a little boost if you don’t get around to fertilize as often.

• Trim back plants if they are looking a little leggy or straggly. Cutting back doesn’t hurt them and revitalizes them. Cut 1/4 or more of the plants back and fertilize them. They will be back to blooming in no time.

• Take time to enjoy your flowers! Walking around and seeing how they’ve changed since the last time you looked at them is rewarding. Take your children or grandchildren around with you and point out the different flowers and colors and get them interested in a fun and enjoyable hobby that can last a lifetime!

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