Thursday 29 May 2014

The Hanging Baskets

I've planted up two hanging baskets this year.  It's the first year we've had them for a while and the first time I've done them on my own - I normally draft in mum to help me.

There is a massive selection of small plants available for using in hanging baskets in nurseries and garden centres.  It's definitely worth shopping around as prices vary considerably.  I got a real bargain with my plants this year.  I bought 10 for £5 on the local market.  Originally I was only going to do one basket, but 10 plants seemed a few too many, so I bought a couple more odd plants to make it up to 12 and decided to split the lot between two baskets.

As I bought the plants as, just a bit bigger than, plugs, I re-potted them into small pots as soon as I got them home and kept them in the greenhouse until I was ready to make up my baskets.

I decided to opt for a mixture of purple and pinks in my baskets and the plants I have included are:
  • Fuschia, Trailing, Royal Mosaic
  • Fuschia, Bush, Gillian
  • Fuschia, Upright, General Monk
  • Verbena, Trailing, Midnight Purple
  • Verbena, Trailing, Lanai
  • Bacopa, Scopia, Trailing, Pink
  • Bacopa, Baja, Trailing, White
  • Petunia, Trailing, Plush
  • Petunia, Trailing, Picobella
  • Isotomar, Trailing, Tristar Rose

I started off by gathering all my bits and pieces together - the basket, the plants, the compost and the moisture retaining gel.

I filled each basket about half full with a multi-purpose compost for baskets and pots.  Then I sprinkled in a handful of moisture retaining gel, and topped up to about two thirds of the way up the basket with more compost.
I planted an upright fushia in the centre of the basket and planted a selection of 5 other plants, evenly spaced, around the edge of the basket.  I pretty much laid the outside plants horizontally in the basket, to encourage them to grow over the side.
 I then topped off the basket with compost, firmed all of the plants in, and gave a good watering.

When I'd finished, I decided that there was still a little too much space in my baskets.  The earth needs to be pretty much fully covered in plants.  I have now bought a tray of mixed trailing lobelia, which I will use to fill the gaps.

I will keep the baskets on the ground in buckets until the wind and rain have eased up and then I will hang them in their final positions.  It's important that they are kept well watered and fed right through the summer, to ensure the best show.

I am looking forward to sharing my pictures of them in full bloom later in the summer.

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