How to plant a hanging basket

Fantastic hanging basketIf you are using a traditional basket shape basket then sit it in bucket or tub to keep it steady whilst you fill it.

Line it with your preferred choice of liner. Traditional spgagnum moss is most replaced by liners these days - either fibre matting or green fabric. You can use black polythene or carpet underlay if you like. It's just got to be something pourous to let water through and to stop the soil coming out of the holes in the tub.

Make holes in the liner where you want plants coming out.

Put some hanging basket compost in the bottom. Push through the plants from the outside of the basket being careful not to damage them. Put some compost on top to firm them down. Layer round the plants so you have plenty in the basket. Put some trailing plants in the top of the basket as well as some more upright or climbing plants.

Water the basket well and keep the basket somewhere warm and out of the wind for a few days - hung in the greenhouse with the door open duriong the day - or hang outside but bring in at night for a couple of days until the plants have settled in. A sudden shock of putting plants out can stop them growing. You don't need to do this if you have been hardening off the plants properly but they might benefit from it as it's a shock to their roots to be transplanted.

You can also sprinkle a handful of water retaining crystals in with the compost! This is very good for baskets as they dry out quickly and the crystals help to hold on to the water when you water them.

You can also buy slow release plant food sticks. These are simple to use - just pop one in the basket as you're filling it with compost.

Pink flowers in hanging basketHanging baskets are usually at eye level so you want to have plants that will trail down as well as go up. Having central upright plants in the basket make it appear talled too and if you have a climber in there it might climb up the chains holding the basket up.

Plamts like impatiens, begonias, geraniums, lobelia and petunias are all lovely plants to have. You could use any bedding plants but use a mixture of trailing and tall ones.

For an autumn hanging basket use ivy and pansies or other hardy autumn bedding plants.

When you water check if plants need deadheading as this encourages them more to continue to flower.

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