Gardening: How to Create Perfect Hanging Baskets – 11 Steps

When it comes to summer displays, you really can’t beat hanging baskets. There are many plants to choose from, some may be more permanent with the use of shrubs and perennials, or why not try making a houseplant hanging basket, but most of us use summer bedding plants for months of color. I would point out, however, that to make your perfect hanging baskets, it pays to plan. Try not to be deceived by all the wonderful photos and descriptions in catalogs or online. I inevitably end up ordering way too many plants and often forget about them until they suddenly pop up outside the front door. A welcome surprise or gardening shock!

Before I share my 11 steps to the perfect hanging baskets, I thought a bit of history would be interesting.

The idea of ​​hanging baskets and trailing plants in a garden is not a new concept. It dates back 3000 years. Queen Semiranis designed the famous Babylon Gardens on stepped terraces to remind her of her old mountainous home.

Some stories indicate that the Hanging Gardens rose hundreds of meters into the air, but archaeological explorations point to a more modest, but still impressive height. Accounts state that the garden was built by King Nebuchadnezzar, who ruled the city for 43 years from 605 BC.

According to stories, the gardens were built to cheer up Nebuchadnezzar’s homesick wife, Amyitis. Amyitis, daughter of the king of the Medes, was married to Nebuchadnezzar to create an alliance between the nations.

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The land she came from, however, was green, rugged and mountainous, and she found the flat, sunny terrain of Mesopotamia depressing. The king decided to recreate his homeland by building an artificial mountain with rooftop gardens.

Hanging gardens probably weren’t really “hanging” in the sense that they hung from cables or ropes.

The name comes from the Greek word kremastos or the Latin word pensilis, which means not only “suspended”, but “overhanging”, as in the case of a terrace or a balcony.

Whatever the story, hanging baskets have adorned gardens for years and as fashions change and different plants appear on the market, there are a few basic steps to creating the perfect baskets.

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11 steps to create the perfect hanging basket

The first step: Before going to the garden center and leaving with too many or not the right plants or materials, it’s good to take some notes and a shopping list.

Second step : Think about the type of hanging basket you want. Will it be a metal frame basket with a liner, a plastic basket with removable slots for plant positioning? Maybe you like a natural willow basket, a half basket or a full circular basket, a self-watering basket or a basket with a water reservoir.

Third step: Consider where the hanging basket(s) will be placed. You need a sturdy hook that’s securely fastened, and ideally you want the basket to be sheltered from strong winds, in full sun to partial shade, and sheltered from house rain.

Fourth step: For best results, you want the hanging basket hung at or just below eye level so you can enjoy the flowers. If you intend to have a lot of cascading plants, you may want to place it higher, so that you look down on it.

Fifth step: For all hanging baskets, you need the following: basket, liner, compost, water-retaining granules, plants, and slow-release fertilizer. Additionally, you may need a strong chain, hooks, raw pegs, or a metal bracket. Also consider a hi-lo mechanism, which makes watering easier. Also opting for a basket with a self-watering tank means that you are not there morning and evening having to water it or worry about it if you go away for a few days during the summer.

Sixth step: When it comes to filling the basket, you have several options. Traditionally sphagnum moss was used, but ready made liners are available and all you have to do is fill the basket, drill holes to fit some plants in, clip it in and you’re done. play.

If you’re on a budget, why not cut up a bag of compost with the black inside facing out. An old wool sweater works just as well as foam. Whatever you decide to choose, place a saucer in the bottom to prevent water from flowing straight through.

Seventh step: Use a good all-purpose peat-free compost and mix in some water-holding pellets (please follow directions – many gardeners put too much in thinking it will save on watering, but it will just add weight and dirt). unnecessary moisture) which will swell up, and finally add a slow release fertilizer. Prepare this mixture before you start, not as you go.

Eighth step: It’s time to plant it. Fads come and go, but I think good reliable plants such as Fuchsia, Pelargonium, Petunia, Surfinia, Calibrachoa and trailing plants such as Hedera, Lobelia, Bacopa, Dichondra and Helichrysum work best. Herbs also make excellent specimens in hanging baskets. For a modern touch, why not plant succulents, such as Echeveria, Dischidia and Sedum.

Step 9: Start by adding the hanging plants through the slots on the side of the hanging basket. Continue to fill the basket as you go. The goal is to create a large ball of color, texture and fragrance.

Upright plants can go in the middle of the basket at the top, surrounded by several cascading plants. The more you can fit in, the better the display. Use small plug plants or 9cm pot plants. Gently flatten and spread the root ball so you can add more plants. Compost closes around the plants as it goes. Fill your basket leaving about 3cm from the top of the rim of the basket.

Step 10: Water abundantly using a fine rose. Hanging baskets can dry out quickly, so water at least once a day, early in the morning or late in the evening. Take the time to rotate the basket, unless you have a rotating device attached, so that all sides receive sunlight.

Step 11: Finally, six weeks after planting, start a weekly liquid food such as tomato or seaweed food and regularly remove dead flowers to prolong flowering.

Terri S. Tomasini