With the Great British weather slowly improving, now’s the perfect time to brighten up the garden with a few hanging baskets. These are also great for sprucing up the front of your house. Simply pick up a bracket and hang near the front door for some instant colour! Hanging baskets are also great for when you’re short on space as they take up hardly any room. Why not attach a few along your garden fence?

Hanging baskets on fence

And it’s not just all about flowers! Have you considered planting some of your favourite herbs and creating your own mini herb garden? Hang the basket near your kitchen door and that fresh sprig of rosemary is ready and waiting to add to the roast lamb dinner! You can really get creative with hanging baskets and with so many varieties and colours of flower to choose from the possibilities really are endless. So get creating! We’ve put together a handy how-to guide to help you along the way but before you start you’ll need:

Picking the right plants for your hanging basket

There is so much choice when it comes to choosing plants for your hanging baskets. You should start by thinking about which month you’re planting them in and whether you want colourful or trailing varieties. You could try creating a colour theme by grouping plants of the same flower colour or choosing a variety with different colours to create an eye catching display. Or why not try using edible plants such as strawberries or tumbling tomatoes for a mini “Grow Your Own” basket? Whatever you decide, always choose healthy green plants with plenty of side shoots to create the best displays. Our handy guide below gives you some ideas to help make your mind up.

For a spring hanging basket

 

Colour Centre plants Trailing plants
Pansies Conifers Ivy
Viola Hebes Trailing Viola
Primrose Euonymus  
Bellis Grasses  
Cineraria Cordylines  
Dianthus (Pinks) Herbs (Rosemary / Lavender)  

For a summer hanging basket

Colour Centre plants Trailing plants
Petunia Conifer Lobelia
Impatiens Hebe Ivy
Surfinia Euonymus Petunia Surfinia
Fuchsia Grasses Bacopa
New Guinea Impatiens Cordyline Geranium (Ivy leaf)
Marigold Herbs (Rosemary / Lavender) Nepeta
Begonia Geranium Begonia (Hanging)
  Fuchsia Bush Portaluca
    Lamium
    Lysimachia

For an autumn/winter hanging basket

Colour Centre plants Trailing plants
Pansy Conifer Ivy
Viola Euonymus Trailing Viola
Cyclamen Hebe  
Primrose Grasses  
Dianthus Cordyline  
Dwarf bulbs (Narcissus / Tulip / Iris)    
Chrysanthemum    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now you’ve chosen which plants you’re going to include, it’s time to start preparing your hanging baskets.

1. Keep your basket steady by placing it on a wire frame or bucket

2. If your basket is wire-framed, use a liner to line it.

3. Next, pop a water saucer or piece of plastic bin liner in the bottom of the basket as this will help keep water from escaping.

4. Most specialist tub and basket compost comes with added moisture retainer but if you are using ordinary compost you will need to add a palm-full of water retaining gel and slow release fertiliser mixed together.

5. Add your compost to the basket and pat down. If using a wire basket make sure you leave an 8cm gap below the rim of the basket for side planting.

Planting a wire-framed hanging basket

1. If you want to create a trailing effect in your hanging basket, evenly plant the plants into the side of the basket as well as the top. For the best results, go for 2 layers of side planting.

2. Stand your plants in a tray of water for five minutes before planting to prepare them.

3. Take your plants out of their containers and start to plant them into the sides of the basket making sure they are spread evenly (use trailing plants for the best results but bush plants will work just as well).

4. Once the side planting is complete, top the compost up so it reaches 2cm below the rim of the basket and then start to plant into the top of the basket. You could try planting conifers or evergreen shrubs into the centre to add a bit of height.

5. Pat the compost tightly around the plants and then add a few final sprinkles of slow release fertiliser to the top of the compost if needed.

Planting a rattan or plastic hanging basket

1. You won’t be able to plant into the sides of these types of hanging baskets so the best way of creating a trailing effect is by choosing trailing plants and placing these at the top of the basket (see tables above for varieties).

2. Stand your plants in a tray of water for five minutes before planting to prepare them.

3. Take your plants out of their containers and plant into the compost. You can get creative with the displays by planting a mix of varieties and colours; small plug plants and larger pot plants are both ideal for these baskets.

4. Pat the compost tightly around the plants and then add a final sprinkle of slow release fertiliser to the top of the compost if needed.

Aftercare

  • Make sure your baskets are kept well watered as they can dry out easily. In warmer weather they should be watered twice a day but not in the heat of the day.
  • Try to plant winter baskets before frost arrives. These will grow quite happily if kept in a bright, sunny position and watered in dry weather.
  • Try to remove dead flower heads regularly so your hanging basket carries on flowering throughout the season
  • Using a general purpose liquid feed will also boost your hanging basket’s chances of thriving.

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