Well after that crazy weathered April, we were holding off doing anything in the garden lest a glacier move on in and undo all our hard work! Now that the warmer days are here (phew!) we think it’s safe to get going on some of the garden jobs we’ve been putting off and what could be better than getting our hanging baskets established for a good summer-long bloom! Here’s how to get the best from your baskets...
Think carefully about where you’re going to put your baskets. Make sure it’s not in a place that you’re going to keep knocking your head on!
Strong & Secure
Be sure to use the correct bracket and fixings for the size and weight of your filled basket. Compost isn’t that heavy but when it’s fully watered it can weigh a whole heap more so be sure to stay safe and that the basket won’t come down... when you bang your head on it... see the first step again! Also, make sure that the bricks and mortar are strong enough to fix to.
Choose your flowers according to whether the baskets will be in sun or shade. A sun loving basket in the shade will remain sad looking for the whole summer.
Keep your baskets watered according to their requirements. On cool, calm, sunless days plants require less water. On hot, windy, sunny days always water, possibly even twice a day (especially in the heat and humidity of July and August).
Don’t let your hanging baskets dry out completely or it will stress the plant. No one needs a stressy petunia.
Fertilize every 2 weeks with half-strength plant food or a feed designed specifically for hanging baskets. A granular slow-release fertilizer will last up to 4 months after application.
To keep your basket looking fresh, remove dead blooms as soon as you see them. This encourages the plant to make more flowers. Gardening hint: Million Bells, Fushia and Santa Cruz Sunset Begonias self dead-head.
Try your hand at making your own variation on a basket. Some plant pots with holes can be threaded with chain to create a contemporary version or shabby-chic birdcages can look beautiful brimming with flowers and a rusty patina.