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How-to: Create & Maintain Beautiful Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets are a welcomed addition to any front or back garden as they provide vibrant and valuable colour at eye level. They are a great, cost-effective way to add colour to small spaces or against drab walls and fences.

They are relatively easy to create and maintain and they are perfect for both the summer and winter seasons - you will just plant different flowers accordingly.

Firstly, you need to decide what type of hanging basket you want to use.

There are three main types:

• Rattan Baskets – attractive and normally have a plastic liner which helps water retention

• Plastic Baskets – provides good protection for plants from strong sunshine

• Wire-Mesh Baskets – traditional and enables planting from both the top and sides

Next, you need to decide on the type of compost that you want to use. Multipurpose compost is more than adequate, unless you want your display to last longer than one year. To help with the frequent chore of watering, you could perhaps opt for water-retaining granules. Leave around 2cm at the top.

(Summer – April/June & Winter - September /Oct)

We would suggest choosing between 12-16 plants, depending on the size of your hanging basket and always choose a mixture of centre, trailing and colourful plants.

When you begin arranging your chosen plants in the basket, we would advise starting with one ‘central’ plant. Not only will it be easier for you to plant around but also it will help to create structure to your hanging basket.

Once you have planted them, sprinkle extra controlled-release fertiliser granules over the compost (around 1 tablespoon) and water well. You should continue to apply throughout the growing season.

Maintenance & Common Problems

- Aim to keep your compost moist but not soggy. We would recommend watering daily in the height of summer

- During early spring and the summer months we would advise applying a liquid fertiliser

- Deadheading regularly is imperative

Make sure you are vigilant of common garden pests such as slugs and snails, which could ruin all of your hard work. You could use a non-chemical pesticide or physically remove them each evening yourself.

Possible diseases to look out for are:

- Powdery Mildew

- Pelargonium rust

- Fuchsia rust

- Impatiens downy mildew

What to plant?

• Fuchsia

• Petunia

• Verbena

• Geranium (Pelargonium)

• Impatiens

• Lobelia

• Tuberous Begonia

• Bidens

Of course, you can also plant edibles such as strawberries, chive, thyme and tomatoes!

If you follow our hanging basket guide & tips we are sure that you’ll have visually stunning arrangements around your garden in no time!