Keep baskets and pots going

With a bit of care, you can enjoy their colorful beauty into October.

Hanging baskets and containers planted with a selection of annuals and tender perennials are a great way to add extra colour to your garden for the summer months. The secret to success with seasonal containers is to make sure the plants never dry out and the compost has plenty of nutrients to keep the plants growing and flowering. Combined with regular deadheading it should be possible to keep the plants looking good and flowering all through the summer.

Some annuals such as lobelia may have already gone past their best, but the majority of container plants such as pelargoniums, begonias, fuchsias, surfinia petunias and trailing foliage plants are perennials and will respond to a little extra care. First thing is pick over the plants and remove all the faded flowers and any yellow or dead foliage. Long, straggly growth can also be trimmed back to tidy up the plants and encourage a flush of new growth. You then need to give the compost a really good watering with a liquid feed, which can be repeated in a week.

Providing the weather is fair and not too cold and wet, the plants will usually respond and make some new growth and lots of flower buds so that you can enjoy them for just a little longer into early October.