a hanging basket
A hanging basket brimming with herbs, annual flowers, and even
vegetables like tiny, trailing tomatoes, gives you added planting
space and dresses up a porch, balcony or deck. There are many
kinds of hanging containers, but the moss-filled wire basket
is a classic.
1. Choose plants that are young and vigorous, and consider
both growing habit (trailing or upright) and mature size. If
the plant grows upright, as in the case of basil, it should grow
to no more than 1 1/2 times the height of the container or the
arrangement will look ungainly and top-heavy.
2. Use only a single type of plant if the bloom is profuse,
as with impatiens, or the form dramatic, as with ivy-leaved geraniums.
3. Line the wire basket with a 2 to 3 inch layer of sphagnum
moss, or a commercially available liner. If using moss add a
circle of polythene before you add the compost to help with water
4. Fill the basket with compost to within 2 inches of the
top. Adding water retention granules and slow release fertilizer
into the compost is a good idea but not essential as long as
you feed and water well.
5. Set the plants on top of the soil, and arrange them until
you like the effect. Feel free to crowd them more than you might
in the garden, but make sure the roots have room to grow.
6. Dig holes that are slightly larger than the rootballs,
set in each plant and cover the roots firmly but gently.
7. Fill the basket with more soil - to within 3/4 inch of
8. Plant on the sides and bottom of the basket, too, for
a fuller effect. Simply dig through the moss and set in the plants,
adding more soil with each one. (You'll want to hang the basket
in an easy-to-reach spot for this part of the process.)
9. Water slowly until water runs out the bottom of the container.
Water regularly, twice a day in very hot weather, and feed plants
every week or two.
10. Removing dead flower heads will encourage the plants to produce
even more flowers.