In this age of convenience, demand for ready-planted baskets and containers grows steadily year on year. If customers are impressed with the performance of these premium products many go out of their way to repeat purchase from the same outlet the following season.
Before deciding on your hanging basket mix, take some time to consider your customers expectations. Often with minimal intervention, they expect plenty of flowering colour with attractive green foliage right through to the autumn. This can be a tall order particularly as during this long season these baskets and containers will probably be subjected to several wet and dry cycles.
So how can you make your baskets and containers stand out from the crowd and keep customers coming back to buy more?
It is vital that the plants have the correct nutrients to optimise their performance. Controlled release fertilizers providing programmed release of nutrients are the ideal solution. To help ensure customer satisfaction right through into the autumn, and to make your baskets and containers stand out from the crowd, the latest generation of controlled release fertilizers are ideal for use in greenhouses and tunnels with elevated temperatures. By dual coating 25% of the granules, nutrient release from these granules is postponed. This delivers lower EC values in the beginning, plus a nutrient booster effect later on. This can be timed to coincide with when baskets and containers may have used up their nutrient supply, after higher temperatures and regular watering in the summer.
Assisting water management
Water management is another key factor regarding the performance of baskets and containers. The addition of a good quality granular wetting agent not only helps with initial wetting up, but also with long term wetting. This is really useful through the wetting and drying cycles baskets and containers may be subjected to when they leave the nursery. Re-wetting is made considerably easier, should customers forget to water sufficiently in a dry spell.
A clean start
Last but not least, to give your baskets or containers a clean start, and to help them remain at their best through the season, there is the option to include Exemptor (thiacloprid) to the growing media mix. For further information specifically on vine weevil control, click on the adjacent piece by my colleague Wendy Robinson
I hope this has given you a few things to think about before you enjoy those chocolate Easter eggs.
Want to know more?
Ask your Everris technical area sales manager about Osmocote Exact Hi.End for season long nutrition, H2Gro for its long-term water conservation properties and recent changes to label recommendations for Exemptor.
Mike Humphries, technical area sales manager for the Eastern region