Hanging Baskets

A hanging basket is a simple but extremely picturesque way of decorating a porch with summer-flowering plants.

Remember, though, to hang baskets where they will not obscure the light, and make sure they are high enough to prevent them from being knocked.

SIZE AND MATERIALS

Hanging baskets should be 12 to 18 in. in diameter and 6 to 9 in. deep.

The larger the basket, the better the effect; avoid designs with a diameter of less than 12 in. as they are too small to hold sufficient soil.

Baskets are generally made of stout galvanized wire in an open-weave design and lined with black polythene through which several holes have been punched. It is also possible to obtain baskets made entirely of Alkathene and fitted with a special drainage device.

FILLING THE BASKET

Place the basket on top of a large flower pot or bucket to hold it steady, and line it thickly with fresh, damp moss. If available, add a very small quantity of turves and peat, which will help to retain moisture. Then fill with John Innes potting compost No. 2.

Insert the plants before the basket is full of compost, and firm well round the roots with the fingers.

A 12-in. basket will hold three plants from 5-in. pots, together with three or more smaller trailing plants between these and round the edge of the basket. Seeds of nasturtiums or small, rooted lobelias or coleus can be tucked through the sides of the basket.

Leave a shallow depression in the centre of each basket to collect water, and when planting is completed, soak the basket thoroughly by immersing it in a bath or tub of water. Allow surplus water to drain off before hanging up the basket.

Do not hang baskets out-of-doors until all fear of frost is past, usually by the beginning of June.

MAINTENANCE

When the basket needs watering, always immerse it rather than water overhead with a can. Add a teaspoonful of liquid manure to each gallon of water once a fortnight during the growing season, and remove any withered flowers at the same time. Spray or wipe the foliage occasionally to keep it clean.

SUGGESTED PLANTS FOR A HANGING BASKET

Begonia

Calceolaria

Campanula isophylla

Coleus. Invaluable for foliage effects.

Fuchsia, especially the pendulous varieties such as F. Cascade and F. Marinka.

Heliotrope

Lobelia (trailing varieties) Marguerite

Nasturtium

Petunia

Pelargonium (geranium). Use the ivy-leaved varieties for draping the sides of the basket, and the upright zonal kinds for filling the top.

Verbena (dwarf and trailing varieties)

Zebrina pendula (syn. Tradescantia zebrina) (wandering jew)

16. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Featured Articles, Garden Management, Gardening Calendar | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Hanging Baskets

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