|Think Big – More is Better
Modest hanging baskets do not exist. While you might opt for a subtle combination of flower and foliage colours, they will still work best packed to the brim to make a big, bold display. The fact that baskets are temporary allows you to experiment with different colour schemes and themes from season to season and to suit your home. And being movable feasts you can also grow plants just where you want them. If your growing area is limited – perhaps just a balcony, small courtyard or patio area – think vertical and make the most of any under-exploited space. On a larger scale, treat hanging baskets as living ornaments, using them to add focal points in the garden, to decorate outdoor living areas, and to add a personal touch at the entrance to your home.
|Choose a Better Basket
Never use a basket less than 35 cm (14in) diameter – anything smaller simply dries out too quickly – and snap up any you find with flat bottoms as they sit on any surface and make planting very simple. Most hanging baskets fall into 2 types – the traditional wire or plastic type and what are better described as hanging planters. True hanging baskets need a liner to hold the compost and are planted round the sides, base and top for an all-round massed effect. Check out complete Gardman Basket Range
|Quality Liner = A Quality Finish
Coir is still often held up as king when it comes to lining a basket. There are several reasons for using coconut fibre liners including they can hold a great deal of water, releasing it slowly to allow plant roots to better take it up. These water saving coconut liners also provide good drainage. They’re porous too, allowing for good aeration. These liners are very absorbent, so if hanging baskets or planters should become too dry, they will quickly re-absorb water. Visit our Co-co Liners section for more information.
|Compost is Critical
Hanging baskets dry out very quickly as they are exposed on all sides to sun and wind. Use special potting mix developed for hanging baskets; this contains water crystals and controlled-release fertiliser. Whereas in the heat of the summer you would usually need to water baskets twice a day, water crystals soak up water and then slowly release it into the soil as it dries out, meaning plants can often go two to three days without a watering. We recommend using a quality compost such Coir Power Potting Mix.
|Size Up Your Plants
When choosing plants, keep in mind your climatic conditions and colour schemes. The first step is determining where you want to hang your basket and how much light you have: is it in full sun, part sun, or full shade? Is it windy or sheltered? Not all plants grow well in baskets so check with your Bunnings representative before selecting those you like. Keep in mind that most baskets are viewed from below, so use the sides and bottom of your basket as well as the top. For more information on the best plants for your exterior conditions, check our our Difficult Conditions section.
|TLC For Your Basket
Ensure to hang your basket where it has the appropriate amount of sun or shade. Water every second day with a long-handled watering wand and drench the basket until it drips through. Make sure you soak the sides of the basket, too. It is important to pinch off dead or fading flowers regularly, to make room for new ones. If possible, hang basket from a turning hook then rotate every two weeks, so all sides get even exposure to light.
|A Good Support Act
Small details make all the difference when fixing your basket to its support. First, make sure the means of support is adequate in both size and strength. Use the correct size of bracket for the basket and fix it the right way up. The hook should curl under so the weight is taken by the metal crosspiece. Inevitably baskets swing about in wind, so attach wire or a strip of metal to the wall or fence and hook this to the basket to stabilise it. To keep the basket turning evenly, use a swivel. It means the basket won’t grow lopsided. The Gardman Hi-Lo system makes watering and caring for your hanging baskets easy.
|Drink to Success
Regular and thorough watering is vital for success. A watering can is fine for just a few baskets, but for a busy watering round nothing beats a trigger-operated lance fitted to the hose. For deluxe watering, try an automatic dripper system which pipes water directly to each basket. Get to know the weight of a basket just after watering by lifting it gently from beneath. You’ll soon start to feel the difference as it dries out and becomes lighter. In the height of summer, baskets need a daily soak until water just drips from the base. Evening and early morning, when it’s cooler and plants are under least stress, are the best times to water.
|Fertilise for More Flowers
’Plugs’ of slow-release fertiliser in the compost are vital to give a balanced flow of plant foods. ‘Top up’ with a high-potash liquid feed used at half the recommended strength every other day. Use just plain water on alternate days to give roots a break. For more flowers, pinch out the tips of young shoots when they reach 15cm (6in) long and nip off flowers.
|Know Your First Aid Drill
If your basket dries out and everything wilts, put it in the large container of water in the shade. Leave it overnight to revive, and only hang it up again when all the plants have recovered. Sprinkling a wetting agent on the compost should prevent further problems.