Filling a hanging basket or patio planter.

Choose a basket type:

  • Wire mesh (as shown on the right9) with a slotted liner (made of coir fibre, plastic or foam). These baskets enable you to plant in the sides of the hanging basket.
  • Ratten lined with plastic. Although the sides can't be planted in the same way as the wire mesh basket, the inner plastic lining does reduce the loss of moisture from the soil caused by wind and sun.
  • Plastic hanging baskets with water reservoirs. These protect against the wind and sun, so have better water retention properties, however the sides of the baskets cannot be planted.

Fill a bucket with sufficient potting compost to fill the basket to within 5cm (2in) from the top (which creates a watering space).

Mix water retaining gel/balls with water, add this along with controlled release fertiliser (fertiliser sticks and blocks are also available) to the potting compost and mix well.

Putting a saucer or polythene at the bottom of the basket will reduce watering requirements.

Half fill the basket with the compost mixture.

Tip: Stand the basket on a bucket or large flowerpot to stop it falling over.

Starting at the bottom of the basket, plant a mixture of trailing plants around the sides of the basket.

When adding the plants, try to avoid breaking the roots too much. If buying plants in strips, gently tease the plants apart.

Fill the basket with additional compost, as you work up to the top of the basket.

Plant the top of the basket, place a larger plant, such as geranium, fuchsia or small conifer, into the centre and surround this with smaller plants.

Water the basket well and hang it up.

Remember to water your hanging basket regularly. When the plants begin to flower, start to feed with a specific hanging basket plant food or liquid tomato feed, every couple of weeks. These typically need diluting in water, prior to application.

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