How to plant hanging baskets

How to plant hanging baskets

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Difficulty rating: Low

This task should be fairly straightforward regardless of your gardening experience.

There are many advantages to growing in hanging baskets - especially if you have a smaller garden or you would like to brighten up a doorway, wall or patio. Not least, it can mean a complete re-invention of your chosen space every time you plant.

What You'll Need:

Step 1: Select a hanging basket type

There are 3 different types of hanging basket to choose from:

  • Rattan baskets

    These look great and have a plastic liner which is great for water retention.

  • Plastic baskets

    Great for insulation, helping to protect your plants from strong winds and sunshine.

  • Wire-mesh baskets

    A traditional design that allows for planting in both the top and sides of the basket.

Step 2: Line the hanging basket & add potting compost

  • Supporting your hanging basket in a bucket or stand while you work, line it with a wood fibre liner or moss.
  • Once lined, fill the basket with multi-purpose or bedding plant compost that has been mixed with water gel crystals and slow release fertiliser granules, leaving approximately 2cm at top.

Step 3: Build up your basket with plants

  • Rattan & plastic baskets:

    For rattan baskets and plastic baskets with solid sides you will need fewer plants.

    • Up to 3 x centre plants
    • 3 x plants for colour
    • 6 x trailing plants 

    Put the trailing plants a few centimetres from the edge of the basket and fill any gaps with the compost mix, then firm the soil around the base of each plant.

  • Standard wire-mesh baskets:

    In a standard wire-mesh 35cm basket you can add lots of plants.

    • Up to 3 x centre plants
    • 5 x plants for colour
    • Between 7-9 plants trailing plants (to trail down the outside of the basket)

Step 4: Add more fertiliser

  • Sprinkle a further tablespoon of controlled-release fertiliser granules over the compost and water well. Fertiliser should be applied throughout the growing season, or alternatively you can use a liquid feed alongside watering the compost weekly.

Top tips:

  • For the best results, ensure that the plant size suits your basket of choice. Good trailing plants are: Petunia Surfina, trailing Fuchsia and Lobelias. For colour add Nemesia and Pansies along with Fuchsias and Geranium.
  • Remove dead flower heads. Not only does it make your basket look tidier, it encourages more flowers.
  • Remember that you don't have to plant flowers in your hanging basket. Strawberries and tomatoes grow extremely well in hanging baskets and are easy to pick.
  • Generally the basket should be watered once or twice a day, but on hot, dry days water the basket early and hang it in the shade. On cold days, wait until it warms up before watering.
  • Ensure your hanging basket bracket is strong enough to hold the weight of a watered basket.

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