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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.

Enhancing Everyday Consistency and Convenience with Pet Place Mats

HR-1218CThe right place mat can provide added protection for hardwood floors, carpeting and tile when feeding your household pets. Pet place mats are available in a wide range of styles, materials and patterns to complement your décor and to provide dogs, cats and other pets with a comfortable and consistent feeding area inside your home. The right pet place mats can provide a number of benefits for pet owners, including the following:

• Cleaner and more controlled feeding areas for pets
• Improved health and hygiene
• Reduced risk of slip-and-fall accidents in pet feeding areas
• A more consistent approach to food and water presentation for improved behavior before, during and after the meal
• Stylish additions to your home’s décor

By choosing an appropriately sized and configured place mat, you can create a pleasant and instantly recognizable spot for feeding your dog, cat or other household pet. These affordable accessories can also provide increased comfort for your animals after a move or home remodeling project.

Keeping Your Home Clean

Pet place mats can keep your carpeting, linoleum, tile or hardwood floors clear of food debris and spilled water during meal times. These items are designed to stay in place and to catch any debris or food particles during your pet’s meal times. By making pet place mats a regular part of the feeding process, you can reduce cleaning chores and ensure that your valuable flooring stays intact and unspoiled by wet and dry pet food and water and that any spillage is confined to the area of the mat. Absorbent place mats composed of plastic and fabric materials often feature a waterproof backing to provide even greater protection for kitchens, living rooms and dens.

Improved Hygiene for Pet Areas

Place mats can be easily removed and cleaned between meal times to provide a fresh, odor-free area that reduces health risks for you and your pets. Some place mats can be sanitized in your dishwasher or washing machine; others may require hand washing to ensure the cleanest and most hygienic environment inside your home.

Reduced Risk of Falls and Slips

Pet food debris and spilled water on the floor can result in slips, falls and injuries for you and your family. Place mats can reduce this risk and can confine water and food to a small area. Constructed of durable materials, pet place mats can provide added safety and convenience for your pet feeding activities. Although it may be tempting to use cork plant mats as convenient place mats for pet food and water dishes, these items can be attractive targets for chewing or scratching and are best suited for their original intended use.

Improved Training and Control

By using a mat to define the area in which your pets are fed, you can establish consistency and help to set the stage for better behavior at meal times. For homes with multiple pets, separate place mats can define areas assigned to each dog or cat. This can reduce squabbling at mealtimes and can ensure that each pet feels confident in their own space. Confident and well-adjusted pets are less likely to behave aggressively or to demonstrate insecurity, allowing you to enjoy a more harmonious relationship with your beloved animal companions.

A Wide Range of Colors and Configurations

Place mats for pets are available in numerous sizes, shapes and colors to suit your home’s décor and your pet’s requirements. Larger dogs require more food and may need a larger pet place mat to hold water and food. Smaller dogs and cats typically consume less food, allowing you to choose smaller place mats for these animal companions. Choosing place mats in colors and styles that complement your current interior design can ensure a cohesive and integrated look for your home and an attractive appearance for pet feeding areas.

Pet place mats can provide added consistency for dogs and cats and can reduce your clean-up time to a considerable degree. Adding these accessories to your pet feeding routine can ensure a safer, healthier and happier environment for you and your animal friends.

Many manufacturers of plastic pet place mats also offer other useful products for the home, including clear plant saucers, paint trays and hanging basket drip pans. These useful products are inexpensive and help keep your home clean and protect furniture and floors.