How to plant a hanging basket

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To give you some inspiration to rediscover your green fingers this spring we have put together a how-to video on making the perfect hanging basket. Simply click on the link below and one of our knowledgeable staff members will guide you through the steps.

All the products featured in this video can be purchased in the Nursery.

1. Choosing your plants

  • Choose a plant with several stems as it will give more prolific growth.
  • There are many varieties of plants which grow well in baskets, from central feature plants to trailing plants.
  • Rather than planting randomly, it can be a good idea to opt for a colour scheme to make your basket more striking.
  • Or add a delicious element to the mix- strawberries and tumbling tomatoes are ideal for hanging baskets.

2. Choosing your basket type

Choose from three main types of basket: wire mire, plastic and rattan.

  • Wire mesh can be planted in both sides and top.
  • Rattan baskets look great and have a plastic liner for retaining water.
  • Plastic and rattan hanging baskets insulate against the wind and sun so they retain water better. Ideal for trailing petunias. You cannot plant in the sides of them.

3. Preparing the hanging basket

  • Use a wood fibre liner or moss to line your basket if needed.
  • Place the basket on a special wire frame or bucket to keep it steady while you plant.
  • Prepare your compost: mix a handful of controlled-release fertilizer granules and some water-retaining crystals into multi-purpose compost.
  • Add your compost to the basket and pat it down until it reaches 8cm below the rim.
  • If you’ve used moss to line the basket, push some compost up at the edges and pull some moss over the top of it. This gives the plants a soft edge to trail over.
  • Soak the plants thoroughly and remove them from their containers.
  • If the root ball is very large you may have to tease away some of the compost to get in through the side of the basket.
  • You can wrap the root balls in small plastic bags or tubes of paper to make insertion into the basket easier.
  • From inside the basket, pull the root balls through. Remove the bags or paper and firm the root ball in place.
  • When you’ve put in all the side plants, add more compost to within 2cm of the rim.
  • Place your centre plants on the top, then put plants for colour around them, 2cm or so from the edge.
  • Firm the soil around the base of each plant. Sprinkle another tablespoon of controlled-release fertilizer granules over the soil.

4. Watering and feeding the basket

  • Put the basket outside in frost-free conditions, or in a greenhouse.
  • In hot, dry weather, water the basket immediately and hang it in the shade for a few days. Water is regularly to make it doesn’t dry out, this might mean as often as once or twice a day.
  • If the weather is cool and damp, wait until it warms up before watering the basket thoroughly.
  • Even if you’ve mixed controlled-release fertilizer granules with your compost, your plant will benefit from extra feeding- particularly during the growing season in spring and summer.

Ideal plants for your Summer basket

Geranium, Impatiens, Fuchsia (bush), Lobelia (trailing), Petunia, Euonymus, Petunia Surfina, Marguerite, Fuchsia (trailing), New Guinea impatiens, Petunia Tumbelina, Verbena, Dwarf Hebes, Bacopa, White Lobelia (bush), Begonia, Geranium (ivy leaf), Nepeta, Helichrysum Silver, Begonia (hanging), Portulaca

Top Tips

  • Check baskets daily in hot or windy weather. They can lose a lot of water through evaporation and are difficult to moisten if they dry out.
  • When you’re planting a wire mesh basket, temporarily protect the root ball of each plan in newspaper or plastic bags while you pull them through the basket sides.
  • Deadhead plants regularly to encourage repeat flowering.
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