Advice Needed - Flower Soil For Pots & Baskets

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    I am having a terrible time growing flowering annuals. I have large clay planters and haning baskets with a drip system.

    The problem is, sooner or later things get too wet and stay too wet and then the fungus strikes. I am thinking the problem is drainage. The water isn't draining properly. The reason I say this is because of the 13 hanging baskets I have, several are healthy and several are sick or dead. They all get the same amount of water from the drip system. The drip system runs once a day. In the summer it ran daily and now it is running every other day. Fungus has killed my vinca all year long...one at a time.

    Here is a picture of one of the hanging baskets. As you can see, there are no problems with this vinca.

    Healthy Vinca Basket.JPG
     
  2. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Here is another basket just one fence post away. Same amount of water each day. Same amount of sunlight. The vinca is sick because of fungus. I bring in hanging baskets of vinca every year and in the fall I plant pansies. This year was the worst. I bought the baskets with the Vinca already in them at Home Depot Landscape supply. My theory is that this year they must have used a soil that didn't drain as well and that is why I'm having so many fungus problems.

    Sick Vinca Basket.JPG
     
  3. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    I think the drainage would be the first place I would check.
     
  4. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Here is one of the planters. I have always had fungus problems with the planters since I put them in. The first 2/3's of the planter, on bottom, is pea gravel. The top 1/3 is Scott's potting soil. It is holding too much water and the flowers are getting fungus. You can see a plant in the back that is showing signs of fungus damage. These flowers looked a lot better before my 3 year old boy played in them a few weeks ago.

    Healthy & Sick Planter.JPG
     
  5. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Here is another planter just like it only a few feet away. Same amount of water each day and same amount of sunlight. But these plants have all been dead since August.

    Sick Planter.JPG
     
  6. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    I think the solution is to remove the potting soil and replace it with a mixture of sphagnum peat moss and perlite. I think the potting soil has too much top soil in it and it's holding moisture too well.

    Anyone else have any other suggestions? Do you think peat & perlite will cause the flowers to dry out too bad in the heat of the summer?

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  7. huh

    huh LawnSite Senior Member
    from Lubbock
    Posts: 251

    periwinkles can run VERY dry to the point of wilting and still look good after a water

    I believe you are running them too wet.....scotts metromix is decent soil (except the asinine starter charge that now makes them a non-professional mix)

    and peat and perlite are both moisture holders....sand would aid dainage or ground bark

    I believe they are too wet from too much water....next time it starts hit them with some Banrot and it will do wonders.....it is probably too late in the year for periwinkles anyway they love HOT and dry...it is pansy time now....or mums

    I would be glad to offer more if necessary :)

    nice grasses by the way
     
  8. lucyjack

    lucyjack LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    on your planter you need to have a more porus material on top so that the roots can get the oxygen they need. your dense soil mix (home depot is bad about this) is keeping your roots too wet in your hanging pots because some $6/hr worker didn't mix it up well enough. hope this helps a year after the fact.
     

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