Growing plants in hanging baskets is one of the best garden projects, and they are very popular these days. Begin by buying a large hanging basket, into which you can pack plenty of plants. Sit the basket firmly on a large pot or bucket, and then line the inside of the bottom half of the basket with one of the many types of liners available, such as sphagnum moss, and half fill with potting compost (soil mix). Then carefully insert the roots of the chosen plants from the outside, in.
When the bottom half has been planted, firm in the root balls with more compost, and then add sphagnum around the top inner half of the basket. Continue planting up in this way.
Water well after planting, and sprinkle the soil surface with a coated steady-release fertilizer to last for the growing season, before covering any bare surface with moss, and, finally, hanging the basket where needed, on a securely fixed hook.
Impatiens, geraniums and petunias
Hanging baskets are always a problem to water. To help you water hanging baskets suspended above head-height, you can now buy plastic water bottles which work by pump action, or long curve-ended ‘lances’ which fit on to hosepipes. It is also possible to buy elaborate pulley systems by which hanging baskets can be lowered and raised for easy access.
Excellent plants in hanging baskets include trailing, small-leaved, variegated ivies to hang down, bright pansies around the sides, hyacinths and small, highly-scented narcissi like Jonquils (especially when the hanging baskets are at head height so that you can smell them), tulips and wallflowers.
For a smart vertical focal point, try a young thin conifer that can later be planted out in the garden. When hanging up the basket remember that after it has been watered it will be very heavy, and that strong ‘fixings’ are required to make sure it does not crash down.
Late spring is the earliest that a hanging basket containing tender summer bedding plants can safely be put outside. Either plant it up then, or plant two to three weeks earlier, and keep it in a greenhouse until ready to be hardened off and put out.
Herbs in the hanging basket
Succulents in the hanging basket
Chlorophytum & pansies
Petunias & ivy
Colorful flowering plants mixed with fern