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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Pat Sullivan on care and feeding of summer plants

Once you buy, hang and plant your garden flowers and vegetables, you aren't done. They need care and feeding.

INDIANAPOLIS — In the spring, you may buy new flowers and plants and, maybe, a hanging basket or two to decorate your porch, patio or garden. 

But now it's time to care for those plants to keep them thriving through the summer.

Pat from Sullivan Hardware and Garden shared some basic tips Sunday on 13Sunrise for the care and feeding of your plants throughout the growing season.

First, just because you used a potting mix that claims to feed your plants for up to six months, don't assume that it will perform for that long. Every time you water, you wash away some of the nutrients that were in that soil when it came in the bag. 

So you need to continue to fertilize on a regular basis, especially if your plants are in hanging baskets and not in the ground where nutrients tend to remain in the soil longer.

Pat said he and his staff at the garden centers mix a liquid fertilizer every week and apply to their stock of plants. Some fertilizers contain higher concentrations of phosphorus to encourage blooming. 

If you don't like to lug around a heavy bucket of liquid fertilizer, dry granules are also an option. You just need to make sure those granules settle into the soil around your plant so they dissolve and feed its roots.

To help plants keep creating more blooms, they may need to be trimmed back occasionally. Don't worry about cutting off long stems. Most plants will grow back even more densely than before.

Watch Pat's full segment from 13Sunrise in the video player.