hanging basket

Hanging Baskets

No matter how big or small your garden; hanging baskets are the perfect accessory to add a splash of colour. With such an array of plants to choose from this is the perfect project for gardeners of all abilities.

Plants for your hanging basket

  • Decide where your basket will be situated in the garden, north or south facing, shade or full sun, these options will determine the type of plants you will need.
  • Consider how well the flowers you choose for your basket will go with those already nearby in your garden.
  • Consider the length of flowering for the plants so your basket will look its best for longer.
  • You might want to mix foliage with seasonal flowers for a textured display.
  • You could choose from trailing succulents or annuals with their array of colours.
  • Herbs and fruits also make a good choice. If considering this option you may wish to position your basket close to the back door for easy access when cooking.
  • Choosing a colour scheme for your basket may make all these choices easier to make.
  • Ensure the wall fixings are safe and secure and can withstand the added weight after a good watering.

Planting your hanging basket

  • Prepare the compost; mix a handful of controlled-release fertiliser granules and some water-retaining gel into peat-free multi-purpose compost.
  • Stand the basket on a pot to keep it steady.
  • Cover the inside of the basket with the necessary liner.
  • Lay a plastic bag on top of your liner to prevent too much water escaping, making sure the edges are trimmed to keep it neat and tidy.
  • Put a 2.5cm layer of compost inside the basket, at the top of the soil make 3 small incisions through the plastic bag and the basket liner, no more than 2 cm long.
  • Wrap the stems and roots of the plants chosen for the sides of the basket in paper to minimise damage.
  • From the inside of the basket push these into the slits you’ve made until the root firmly touches the liner.
  • Unwrap the paper and do the same for the rest of the side plants.
  • Add more soil until the basket is two thirds full.
  • Add another layer of plants in the same way as before.
  • Fill the rest of the basket with soil, leaving a 3cm gap from the rim of the basket.
  • Plant the remaining plants as normal at the top of the basket.
  • Water thoroughly.

Basket types and maintenance

  • There are also many different types of hanging basket available. Plastic models can be flimsy when full, so steel is a better choice.
  • If you go away a lot, particularly over the summer months, an aqua lock hanging basket may be ideal as these baskets have a water reservoir in the base to help reduce the amount of watering needed. Alternatively, if feasible, install a drip irrigation system.
  • Only leave your basket hanging outside at night when the frosty mornings have passed.
  • Water every day, particularly in warmer weather.
  • Remove dead heads regularly to encourage flowers to re-bloom.
  • Give plants a helping hand with a weekly liquid feed.

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