When to plant hanging baskets

There are few more spectacular displays during an English summer than a wall of glorious hanging baskets.

Packed full of colourful blooms, they are visually stunning and make an announcement that summer is finally here.

May is the perfect time for planting out your baskets, now the risk of frost has gone and warmer days are here.

There are all sorts of attractive hanging baskets to choose from ranging from quirky colourful buckets which hang over the fence to traditional wicker baskets. A wire or steel basket with a liner are also popular choices and they look beautiful on the wall or hanging from a hook or bracket.

Choosing a hanging basket with a liner allows you to poke plants through the sides to create a dazzling display. Natural liners such as coconut fibre or jute liner are excellent and you can add a plastic base to help keep the water in.

A top tip when planting your hanging basket is to use specialist compost which better retains water. Adding garden compost will also improve the soil’s structure and water-holding capacity. A slow release fertiliser will pay dividends in nourishing your plants and you can give them a further boost with a liquid fertiliser to make the blooms last longer.

Once you have your basket, liner and compost, it is time to choose your plants and get ready to create your basket. Good trailing plants include lobelia, bacopa, verbena or million bells (calibrachoa). More upright fuchsias and semi-trailing ivy-leaf geraniums are good choices to go in the top, as are begonias, trailing busy lizzies, and brachyscome. For foliage, helichrysum or dichondra are enduring favourites and provide a stunning backdrop to your plants.

With your hanging basket lined, fill about a third of the basket with compost and put the first ring of trailing plants in the sides, poking them through the liner for maximum impact. Then add some more compost to the basket and plant a second ring of trailing plants to cascade over the first. Add the final third of compost for the plants which will go on the top. For a 35cm diameter basket, you can use about 20 plants in all to create a really strong impact.

Hanging baskets tend to dry out more quickly than other types of container which means they require regular watering throughout the summer, especially if placed in full sunlight. This can become quite onerous if you have a lot of baskets so you might consider using an automated watering system. Drip irrigation systems or automatic watering systems deliver water slowly and directly to the roots and some can be used with timers. Whatever you choose, make sure your plants are well watered, ideally every day. Regular deadheading of your plants will also encourage more flowers and prevent the plants’ energy going into seed production.

Hanging baskets are certainly not for the laid back gardener. They do require daily attention but the rewards are blooming marvellous

For more advice and information, contact our experts at https://www.poplarnurseries.co.uk/ who will be happy to help. We also create stunning baskets for you to take away..