Getting hanging baskets right doesn’t have to be a great effort. All too often I see such poor, forgotten hanging baskets outside people’s homes, which probably started off looking good, but then quickly went downhill, as people found them too much effort to care for. It doesn’t have to be this way. Start your baskets in the right way, and they’ll be easier to maintain and will dazzle passers-by!
Firstly, choose a basket large enough for the purpose. Small baskets dry out quicker, so need watering numerous times a day. GO LARGE, and you will cut down on watering, as the moisture stays in the compost for longer. Easy Fill baskets are ideal, they have a diameter of 14 inches, and as the name suggests, they’re ‘easy to fill’. The flat bottom means you don’t have to do a balancing act when you plant them up. And, as you plant around the sides too, your trail can get a head-start! The innovative gates around the side of the basket mean that you can now plant up larger specimens into your hanging baskets. This will give you more confidence, and speed up your summer displays. You’ll also have fresher, healthier plants from the moment you plant up, as you aren’t pushing chunky plants through small holes!
It’s important to use high quality compost; this will make all the difference, and help water retention. So, buy as good a quality soil as you can afford. At the very beginning, mix in Thompson & Morgan’s new fertiliser ‘Incredibloom®’; this controlled fertilizer only activates when the compost is warmed, so is only given to your plants when they need it, reducing scorch. What’s even better is, you only use it twice in the season, not every week like some brands. Mix in 1 scoop per 2 litres of compost.
Next, plant up your hanging basket, either with all one variety, or a mixture of your favourites! Water your basket well, and ensure it’s placed into a frost-free position until the last of the frosts. You can pinch out the tips of some plants after a few weeks, to make them more bushy and flower-covered too! Once you hang your basket out, sit and enjoy, but remember to water every day, and remove any dead flowers, as this means more will come!
I agree…I LOVE these easy-fill baskets. It literally takes me about ten minutes to plant one up and after a few weeks you get a giant ball of colour. I have tried mixed varieties but have found that just petunias create the best effect in summer and pansies and ivy mixed in the winter. This year I am also trying strawberries and it seems to be working just fine (only three plants per basket though). I am no gardening expert but these make me look skillful! Also they are hardwearing and save you money as you don’t have to keep reinvesting in linings etc every year.