How To Make A Summer Hanging Basket
Rob Scott from Holland Park in London shows you how to make a summer hanging basket, which should be planted in spring.
Step 1: You will need
- A wire basket approximately 30 centimetres in diameter.
- Sphagnum moss
- Summer bedding plants such as trailing fushias
- A watering can with a rose attachment
- Slow release granular fertiliser
- Water retaining crystals
Step 2: Prepare the compost and moss
Holland Park recommend mixing the compost with slow release granular fertiliser and water retaining crystals, using the amount recommended on the instructions. This will nourish your plants and give them a better chance of survival. With the moss, soak it in water for an hour before planting.
Step 3: Line the basket
Place the hanging basket on a pot to keep it steady and line the bottom with a layer of moss. Make sure this is at least a few centimetres thick, and wring out any excess water beforehand. Alternately place the Surfina and Indian mint onto the moss, protruding from the sides of the basket. Continue to line the basket with a second ring of moss on top of the plants, leaving the centre clear. Fill the centre with your compost, up to the top of the moss ring.
Step 4: Repeat
Repeat the process of lining and filling, placing the plants in alternate holes to that of the previous layer to ensure an attractive pattern. Remember to make sure the roots come in contact with the soil in the baskets centre, otherwise they will struggle to survive. With your top ring of moss, ensure it is wrapped around the baskets rim so you get a polished finish.
Step 5: Planting
If you have used water retaining crystals in your compost, leave the basket for approximately three hours before planting into the soil. The crystals can cause the soil to expand dramatically, so this will give you the chance to remove any excess that may occur, and leave an even bed.
Start planting your summer plants, gently opening the roots before placing into the soil. Once you are happy with your arrangement, water the basket with an entire watering can.
Step 6: Upkeep
Hang your basket where it will get plenty of sun, but with periods of shade in case the weather turns particularly hot. During summer months, water your basket every day in the early morning or evening, when evaporation is less. Remember to add a liquid fertilizer such as miracle grow to the water once a week. This is an important step, as it has the potential to double the bloomage come summer.