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- June 4, 2020
- by Eliza Mark
- Care Tips, Noontime Kiwanis Basket Program, Red Wing Moss Baskets,
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Moss Basket Program Background
The tradition of the Red Wing Moss Basket began in 1989 and has grown into an icon for our beautiful City. Sargent’s Nursery currently grows all of the Red Wing Moss Baskets you see around town, along with many more we sell to the public. While they represent the City of Red Wing, the basket program is actually fully paid for by Red Wing’s Noontime Kiwanis Club (since 2004); no tax dollars are used for flower basket expenses. Kiwanians have full responsibility for raising funds for everything from the seeds to the fertilizer and the seasonal City employees who water the baskets.
The Red Wing Noontime Kiwanis invite you to help keep the tradition blooming. Tax-deductible donations may be made to the Red Wing Kiwanis Foundation-Flower Basket Trust. You can contact the Red Wing Chamber of Commerce with questions or to make a donation.
For the Public
With the increased interest in gardening this year, we sold out of our Red Wing Moss Baskets in record time. We sincerely wish we had more to go around and apologize if you weren’t able to purchase one this time around. We are very excited to have lots of new interest in gardening, plants, and baskets, though and if you have questions, we are here to answer them! We’ve received several questions about the special care these baskets need and thought we’d share our care tips with you where you can always refer back to them if you get stumped!
Red Wing Moss Basket Care Tips
The Red Wing Moss Baskets are designed to be hung in a sunny location. The trademarks of these baskets are the volume of foliage and the number of flowers. If your basket doesn’t receive at least of 6 hours of bright sun each day it just won’t maintain the classic full look and may have fewer blossoms.
A location sheltered from the hot wind can help prevent wilting and breakage.
Deadheading is not necessary, these petunias—when properly cared for—will continue to produce new blooms.
Your ability to water the basket properly will dictate the success you will have with it. In May, the days and nights are still relatively cool and the plants are small, so you may only need to water every few days. In the heat of the summer you will likely need to water your basket daily. Check the basket daily to determine its water needs.
A few techniques to determine wateting needs:
• Lift it slightly from the bottom to determine the weight. (If it feels lighter than when you bought it, it’s time for water!)
• If the moss on the outside is dry, the basket may also be dry inside.
• Touch the Soil. If it’s dry, it’s time for more water.
How to Water
With a watering can, thoroughly drench the base of the plants in the basket until water pours out the bottom. If the basket is quite dry and light feeling, the water may pour out immediately, don’t mistake this for being watered properly. The soil just needs time to absorb, so take your time with it until it is fully saturated. Never count on the rain to water your basket properly; despite the rain, continue to check on your basket’s water needs. Remember to flush any solar heated water from the hose fully before you fill your watering can.
Fertilizing is crucial to the success of your basket! Even if you’ve never used fertilizer before, this is the time to start! We recommend using two products Miracle Gro and Miracid throughout the season to achieve the best results.
We recommend one of the following options:
• Once a Week: With watering can, water your basket one week with full strength Miracle Gro (1 Tablespoon/ gallon water) and the next week with Miracid at full strength (1 Tablespoon/gal.) Alternate all season long.
• Fertilize Daily when watering at ¼ strength (1 teaspoon/gal.) Use Miracle Gro regularly and substitute with Miracid every 3rd watering.
Enjoy the tradition!