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How to Keep Hanging Baskets Moist

10in-Hanging-Basket-Drip-PanHanging baskets are notoriously difficult to keep moist especially if you live in a climate that is very hot or windy. Although it may take some effort on your part, you can make sure that your plants thrive. One thing you can do is attach hanging basket drip pans to your baskets. These devices catch the water overflow and help your plants stay moist, but there are other things that you can do as well.

Choose the Largest Basket

The largest hanging baskets can hold the greatest amount of soil, so this is the best choice for every type of plant. A basket with a lot of soil can hold moisture for a longer period of time, but it can also retain more nutrients for your plants or vegetables. Keep in mind that it must not be so large that it cannot be safely secured to your home.

Apply a Lining

After you have the perfect basket, the next step is to line it with plastic, such as a simple grocery bag or a garbage bag. To make sure that it does not show, cut it so that it comfortably fits inside the basket. Then, place it beneath the basket’s rim. Also, cut several holes in the bottom of the bag to reduce the amount of moisture that evaporates along the sides. If your plants like a drier climate, only line the basket’s sides. This allows moisture to freely drain to the bottom.

Select the Appropriate Soil Mix

Some soil mixes retain moisture more efficiently than others. Two options are substances that are made from volcanic rock called “vermiculite” and “perlite.” Experts suggest that you add between 20 and 40 percent of these special substances to your soil to help your compost retain its water. The downside is that these substances are a little expensive, but there is an alternative. Worm compost also serves as an excellent moisture retainer, and it is something that you can make yourself.

Add Mulch to the Soil

You can slow down the evaporation process by placing a substance that is known as “mulch” on top of the soil. Mulch can be anything, including pebbles, pieces of plastic, old leaves, grass clippings or cardboard.

Water with a Plastic Water Bottle

You can slow down the watering process by fashioning an altered plastic water bottle to the compost. Take a half-liter plastic bottle and then remove the bottom. Drill a few 1/8-inch holes in the bottle’s lid. Place the bottle in the compost with the lid facing downward. When it comes time to water your plants, use your watering can to fill the bottle. The water will slowly drip out of the plastic bottle through the holes in the lid.

Feed Your Plants Frequently

Even if you have a big hanging basket, it will not be able to hold a large amount of food. Therefore, you will have to feed your plants on a frequent basis. A liquid tomato feed works well on fruiting crops, but other types perform well with worm tea or liquid seaweed.

Other Accessories

Hanging baskets will lose water whether you follow the advice listed above or not. Therefore, you would benefit from other products that will prevent water damage in your home. For example, you can place cork plant mats beneath your hanging baskets to keep water from touching the furniture or the floor. You can also use plant saucers for this purpose. Clear plant saucers are unassuming and can fit in with the décor of any room. These and other useful accessories are available through local florists and garden stores to help you create a joyful and satisfying planting experience.

Proper Drainage Is Critical For Potted Plants

SQDSMoisture is essential for healthy growth of decorative greenery, but standing in stagnant water is usually fatal for most plants. Wet soil promotes root rot in a container, taking up space that provides air to healthy plants. Proper plant care allows moisture to nurture feeder roots, using drainage holes to direct excess water into plant saucers. Choosing a container for potted plants requires consideration of stability and floor protection in addition to drainage considerations.

Ensuring Proper Drainage

Outdoor and indoor container plants require proper drainage, although many pots do not include a drainage hole in the bottom. Removing plants from containers that cannot provide proper drainage and re-potting them is essential. Pots that have only a single drainage hole are likely to create root rot as well when the opening clogs with compost.

Experts advise against placing gravel in a pot to improve drainage, citing the tendency of water to “perch” above the layer of gravel. A better alternative is to place gravel in a saucer below the pot to increase humidity in the area of the plant’s roots. Water that evaporates from the gravel escapes upward into the bottom of the container.

Choosing an Appropriate Container

Decorative pots can enhance the appearance of a garden or patio, and the ambiance that they create in a home’s décor is unique. Pot selection is a matter of personal preference, and it can reflect the architectural style of a home. Terracotta or glazed, stone pots are suitable for outdoor settings, and their weight usually ensures a solid environment for a plant.

Plants such as camellias and Japanese maples can grow to heights that can cause a pot to tip over, however. Using a compost that is heavy can help resist tipping over. Pots that accent a patio can achieve a desirable level of drainage by resting on bricks or the pot’s feet instead of sitting on a solid surface.

Making sure that indoor plants have solid footing prevents spills and accidents that can damage tender growth and blooms. Anticipating the full height that a plant may reach can prevent the tendency to overload a pot with a top heavy plant. Clear plant saucers in heavy, vinyl gauge plastic are ideal for use indoors or outdoors. Serving a functional purpose while not attracting attention, they hold excess water and prevent it from creating a potential problem. Water that escapes from plants on a patio can make a surface slippery, and any moisture that leaks from pots in a home can cause damage to expensive furniture, carpets and floors.

Accenting with Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets in garden shops appeal to anyone who wants to create an array of flourishing greenery at eye level. Hanging baskets may require more care than plants that live in pots or in the ground, but they provide a unique beauty that is a welcome reward. Regular watering is essential for hanging baskets that are exposed to direct sunlight and wind.

Hanging basket drip pans that have four hooks instead of three provide stability that reduces the opportunity for spills and drips to occur. Clear plastic plant trays enhance the appearance of hanging baskets without the distraction of unnecessary color. The elevation of hanging baskets usually puts them at a height that allows them to drip on someone soon after they are watered if a hanging basket drip pan is not used..

Technologically designed drip pans that are easy to snap on to a basket can prevent unwanted accidents. Drip pans that feature built in, molded hooks are effective for indoor or outdoor use. By catching water overflow and keeping plants moist, they allow hanging baskets to provide an accent of colorful blossoms and greenery.

Five Tips for Faster Clean-Up After Your Next Painting Project

paint-trayHome painting projects can give new life to tired interior décor and can create a fresh new look for every room of your house. By choosing complementary shades and colors, you can achieve an exciting interior design plan that suits your lifestyle and your aesthetic preferences perfectly. Managing the clean-up process after the job is done, however, can be significantly less exciting than the initial transformation process. Here are five expert tips and tricks designed to help you clean up plastic paint trays and brushes more quickly after your home improvement project.

Look for a Silver Lining

Many interior design specialists recommend lining your plastic paint trays with aluminum foil before filling them with paint and beginning the application process. This can prevent paint from sticking to trays and can allow you simply to lift and toss the lining after your project is done. For decorating schemes that require more than one color, using a tinfoil lining can allow more rapid paint changes and can ensure faster completion of your project.

Stick to Latex and Acrylic

Oil-based paints can damage plastic paint trays and should generally be avoided for most painting applications. Sticking with acrylic and latex paints can ensure that plastic trays stay pristine and ready for use time after time. Allowing these paints to dry completely in the plastic tray can result in faster cleaning. In most cases, the layer of dried paint can simply be peeled off and discarded, leaving the plastic paint tray ready for further use. If any remnants of latex or acrylic paint remain on the tray, they can usually be removed quickly and easily with a small amount of dish soap and a few swipes with a scrub sponge.

Dispose of the Evidence

Disposable paint trays are a low-cost way to streamline clean-up for your remodeling and home improvement activities. Although these trays are less sturdy and durable than their non-disposable counterparts, they cost less and require no storage or cleaning after use; instead, you can simply toss these inexpensive paint trays in the trash after your painting project is complete. By investing a small amount in these disposable items, you can save a considerable amount of time and effort during your clean-up efforts.

Choose the Right Tools

Double-well paint trays are ideal for edging and trim painting projects. One well can be used to hold paint, and the other can serve as a convenient resting spot for the brush when it is not in use. This can reduce the likelihood of paint spatters and unexpected spills. Plastic paint roller trays, drip mats and other tools can protect your flooring and furniture while ensuring faster clean-up for you and your family.

Repurpose Plastic Products

Pet place mats can sometimes be used as a substitute for paint mats and can catch any errant drips or spills. After use, the paint spots can be scrubbed away or scraped off to restore the mat to its former pristine condition. Clear plant saucers can be used to blend two or more paint colors and to provide convenient containers for smaller amounts of paint. Smaller saucers are ideal for younger members of the family work crew and can allow them to participate in the painting process more effectively. Be sure to choose appropriately sized brushes for these small containers to minimize the risk of accidental spills and other mishaps.

By incorporating these five strategies into your next home redecorating project, you can enjoy added convenience and reduced paint clean-up time. Choosing complementary colors and integrating a common theme throughout your home can help you achieve the most striking results and can ensure the success of your ongoing painting, remodeling and renovation efforts.