Ok. We had to get at it, rain or no rain, cold or not, because Call Day is this coming Wednesday and the campus will see many visitors who come to learn where their son, daughter, or friend will be sent on their first Call. The Call is easier understood by saying, they'll learn where their first congregation or parish will be. So Dale and I have been planting like madmen in order to help make the seminary look at its best. It hasn't been easy with this weather, the second coldest start of spring in US history.
In any event, I want to share a trick we have been using the past couple of years to keep pots and flower boxes and ground flowers hydrated beyond what they'd get from rain or hoses. This was especially helpful last summer when it was constantly in the upper 90's with no rain.
If your outdoor plantings and filled containers droop and shrivel you might want to look into this. We use hydrogels which come in a package and look like large sugar crystals.
Then you add these to your potting soil. I've seen this done any number of ways, probably doesn't make any difference. Mix it into the soil mix or add some a couple inches under the soil. Swell them or sprinkle in dry. I swell ours up and so does Gayle, our campus grounds director. But you can also leave them dry, sprinkle in and either wait for rain or give them a watering. The science behind this is that the crystals swell up with water and slowly release that moisture into the soil or potting mix. Then rain or watering will swell them up again. It worked wonders for the big pots we have on our front stoop last year.
Now, here's the planting project we're undertaking as fast as we can.
We have window boxes outside each of our front windows (5). The easterly window received double impatiens because that spot isn't in direct sunlight most of the day.
The other boxes received Americana Pink Geraniums and Denim blue verbena. They're still pretty small.