Add height to your garden with baskets of color hung aloft on arbors, porches, fences, and walls.
The classic hanging basket is a wire basket, filled with sphagnum moss and a sphere of cascading blooms. Here's how to fill a wire basket, plus some suggestions on what to plant.
1. Select a wire basket at least 12 inches in diameter and 8 inches deep for best results. The larger the container you choose, the more types of plants you can combine, which makes for a showier and lusher bouquet. Soak long-fibered sphagnum moss in water for several minutes. Squeeze excess water from the moss and press it around the inside of the basket and just over the top to conceal the wire rim.
2. Poke holes in the moss at various spots inside the basket. Space plants closer together than you would in the garden. Tuck a plant into each hole (plant trailers such as ivy around the lower edges of the basket), then fill the basket to the rim with potting soil.
3. Set a cluster of plants in the top of the basket by pulling back some of the soil with your hands. Firm the soil; water well. Make sure the moss is holding in the soil all around the basket; add more if needed. Add a slow-release fertilizer in spike or tablet form to keep nutrients from leeching out with frequent watering. Water daily.
We see lots of stunning hanging baskets every spring. Planting your own is a fantastic way to add color and [unk] appeal and save some money too. The first step to a successful hanging basket is to choose the right plants. Concentrate on plants that have spilling or mounding habits. Plants that are very tall and upright tend to fill out of proportion. Resist the urge to overfill your basket. The more plants you have the more often you'll have to water. Most hanging baskets easily accommodate about 3 to 5 plants. Make sure the plants you pick are good neighbors too. If you have a vigorous variety like the sweet potato vines, make sure that you have a strong plant that can keep up such as [unk] potunia petunia. Otherwise, the bigger faster growers could cry out the small ones. Start by filling your basket with a high-quality potting mix. Don't use garden soil. It doesn't drain well. It gets heavy and it can contain pests or disease organisms. Once your basket is about filled with potting mix, carefully remove your plants from their nursery pots by gently squeezing the pot and pulling the root ball out. Try not to pull the plants out by the leaves or stems. This could damage the plants or break it off. After the root balls are out of the pot, gently massage them to spread the roots. Add more potting mix around plant's root balls, filling the basket to the top. Keep in mind that your potting mix will settle a bit. After the mix settles, you'll have some thing of a lip between the potting mix and the top of the basket so that when you water, the moisture pools there inside of running over the side and getting you wet.