How to Make a Hanging Basket
Get the Fully Loaded look in 4 Easy Steps!
The best hanging baskets seem to just burst with colour, packed with so many flowers filling every available space that you can’t see the basket. So how do you achieve this professional look? Follow these four easy steps to a fuller looking hanging basket display that will really turn heads this summer.
Choose a large hanging basket with planting holes in the sides, and make sure your basket liner will fit completely. If it doesn’t, just overlap two liners. You’re aiming to provide your plants with the maximum amount of nutrients to help them grow, so pick a potting mix specially formulated for containers, or make your own mix of potting compost, slow release plant fertilizer and water retaining granules.
To maximise your use of space in a hanging basket, choose plants of three different types: trailing plants for the edges (Lobelia, Calibrachoa, Bacopa, Surfinia), Upright plants for the centre (Gazania, Geranium, Osteospermum) and Bushy plants to fill in the remaining space (Petunia, Antirrhinum, Begonia).
You will need approximately twelve plants for a 30cm wide basket, or eight for a 22cm basket. If you’re using only vigorous growing plants like Fuchsia and Geraniums, you may need to halve these quantities, or if you’re using more trailing plants, increase the number. If in doubt, go with more rather than fewer.
Space your plants evenly in the basket, planting in layers. Begin with the upright plants in the centre, positioning them on a layer of compost and filling in with more around the roots. Then for the Trailing plants, fill the basket with compost up to the level of the first hole, then gently lie the roots of the plants on the compost with their leaves out of the hole. Cover, firm down and continue. Plant your Bushy plants last, filling in any spaces. Top up with compost, water well and hang your basket in a sunny position where it will get 6-8 hours of light each day.
To keep your plants flowering all summer, you will need to deadhead them regularly. If any flowers die, remove them immediately and the plant will produce more. Water your baskets well in hot, dry weather - up to twice a day - and feed with a general purpose fertilizer once a week.
With a little preparation and care, your baskets should flourish, rewarding you with professional looking displays overflowing with colour all summer long!
Written by Ally North.