Use young plants for stunning displays this spring and summer
Hanging baskets are a stunning way to display plants, and are a great way to utilise available space. They offer protection from slugs and can accommodate a variety of different plants. Make sure you select varieties of plants that will cascade well to put around the edge. For long lasting displays, include small evergreen shrubs such as ferns, ivy, dwarf conifers and box.
When should I plant?
Plant in early spring (April onwards) but note that your basket will need protection during colder weather. If you do not have the means to protect your plants from frost, it is best to plant up your basket in late May or early June.
What will I need?
• Hanging basket (the bigger the better) and liner .
• Compost – we’d recommend Westland’s Gro Sure.
• A selection of plants.
• Plant food – we’d recommend Miracle-Gro Outdoor.
• Fertiliser granuals and water retaining gel.
Planting your basket
1. Place your basket on a bucket to keep it steady whilst you plant.
2. You will need to line your basket. Some baskets have a ready made liner or if you need to line, you can do so with materials such as plastic or moss.
3. Once lined, snip a few drainage holes into the lining if plastic. Then fill the basket two-thirds full with compost.
4. It is advisable to add a handful of controlled release fertiliser granules and water-retaining gel to your mix.
5. Use one plant for every 2.5-3cm of basket diameter when constructing your hanging basket.
6. Start with a central plant, such as fuchsia or geranium. This will create structure and impact.
7. Plant trailing plants around the edge: angle them slightly but ensure that their roots are still covered by the compost.
8. Fill spaces with flowering plants. A nice touch is to plant some ivy near the chain and weave it around – this will make it look like the ivy is supporting the basket.
9. Fill with compost and firm gently.
10. Hang in a sunny spot sheltered from the wind and water well.
• Water every day (unless the compost is moist) and feed once a week with a liquid fertiliser such as Miracle-Gro outdoor plant food. This will need diluting but is perfect for plants in pots and containers.
• Plants will require regular deadheading: remove any ‘scruffy’ looking flowers. Some can be done with finger and thumb, others will require secateurs.
• Watch your hanging basket blossom and grow.