How to plant a hanging basket
Whether you have a palace or tiny terrace hanging baskets can really add colour to your outside space and provide a welcoming vibe to visitors. Here's some advice from the experts at Homebase on how to plant a beautiful basket
This summer, use hanging baskets to add a pop of colour and personality to your garden. Whether you prefer a rattan basket or one with a plastic finish, we spoke to the experts at Homebase to find out how to choose, hang and maintain hanging baskets. Read on to discover how to add this stunning finishing touch to your green space, in four easy steps!
Pick your basket
Depending on your garden, you may prefer a hand-woven rattan hanging basket that not only looks great but comes with a liner that keeps in water and helps your plants stay fed. Rattan garden furniture is huge this year – so you could even match your hanging baskets to your outdoor seating. Not your kind of look? There are lots of other designs to choose from. You might like to try a metal hanging basket if you like a more traditional cottage-garden look, they come complete with coir liners that can be cut into to allow for planting in both the top and sides of the basket.
Also consider the display you want to create as this will determine the size you choose - and remember, plants grow!
Choose your location
Your basket should be situated where it gets plenty of sun, as well as shelter from wind and rain. But don't panic if you just have a shady garden, as there are plenty of shade-loving plants like ferns or a tuberous begonias which will thrive with little sunlight. Although it might sound obvious, make sure you don't pick a spot where it's at risk of being bumped - you might have to ask the tallest member of your household to test your chosen location first! Once you've settled on a location, hang your basket securely and safely according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Line and add potting compost
You can line your basket with all sorts of materials. The experts at Homebase recommend coco fibre liner or moss to keep your plants well fed by trapping in moisture. Once lined, fill the basket up to 2cm from the top with peat free-purpose or moisture control compost that has been mixed with water gel crystals and slow release fertiliser granules. This extra step will help your plants to stay healthy all year round as they battle the great British weather!
Fill your basket with plants
Next you need to consider the plants that suit your style of basket and fit nicely into it. Do you want to go for a particular colour scheme or style? Do you want to replant it each year for a new look or do you want it to come back year after year? Or perhaps a hybrid of both. This will dictate whether you choose perennials or annuals.
You also need to decide how much height you want in the basket and what the central focal point will be and then work out from there. Colourful petunias and geraniums are great choices for the centre of your hanging basket, while trailing plants can add really enhance a basket. Good trailing plants include trailing fuchsia, lobelias and bacopa. These should be planted at the edge of your basket ready to bloom into a cascade of loveliness
But remember, you don’t have to stick to planting flowers in your hanging basket! Mix things up by growing strawberries and tomatoes, too.
Then all that's left to do is sit back and enjoy the view – just be sure to water and feed your baskets regularly!
Tristan Sissons oversees everything you need to keep you garden in tip top shape all year round. Whether you're looking at pansies for your patio, or how to use outdoor lighting to illuminate your space, he is the expert on all things garden.