Planting Hanging baskets and tubs
We've finally had some rain and the chances of frost are disappearing, so May is a good time to start planting up hanging baskets and tubs ready for colourful summer displays.
Many plants will grow in baskets and tubs and the Garden Centre is bursting with ideas and colours - from cheerful annuals for colour to small evergreen shrubs for structure and year round interest. Plants can be any colour you can imagine - so let your inner imagination go wild!
Mix multipurpose compost with a handful of controlled-release fertiliser granules and water retaining gel. We suggest Miracle Gro All Purpose Slow Release Plant Food.
Place hanging baskets on top of an old upturned pot to keep it steady while planting. You can either take the chain off until you have finished or keep it out of the way. There are a number of liners to use in baskets - coco or jute liner is most common and are shaped to fit. Spagnum moss looks good and retains water. Placing a small plastic sheet at the bottom of the basket will help with water retention.
If you wish to plant in the side of the basket, make a cut where you would like the plant to be, then fill the basket up to this point. Keep the roots safe while pushing the plant through the side of the liner. Then fill the basket to the top with compost, leaving a 3cm gap between the top of the compost and the basket lip. If you have a particularly large basket, it may be possible to plant more than one layer in the side. Plant up the top as desired. We suggest and average basket would have a taller upright plant in the midde and trailing plants around the edge, using more lower growing upright plants (eg begonias) to fill any gaps.
Don't just use flowering plants - strawberries and tumbling tomatoes work very well in baskets. Strawberries will attract the birds so keep an eye on your fruit!
If you have a greenhouse, keep the baskets inside for a week or two to let the plants settle in and get established. However, if frosts are over, this is not strictly necessary.
Use an oversize bracket to gain maximum distance from the wall to the basket to avoid damage in windy weather. Water daily, especially during warm weather. Feed weekly with a liquid feed such as tomorite.
Remove spent blooms from your plants to encourage plants to produce a succession of flowers.
Place in the garden and enjoy.