Hanging baskets add vertical interest and height to a patio. The most common mistake made is that gardeners use too small a basket which tends to dry out much faster and does not achieve the lavish look so desirable in hanging baskets.
Line wire hanging baskets with coir mats to conserve moisture. Then fill the basket with a good quality potting soil to which moisture-retaining granules have been added, as per instructions. Hanging baskets perform better placed in partially shaded to shady positions.
Tips for Container Success
- Make the most of your containers with sensible soil preparation and a regular maintenance programme.
- Make sure the container has drainage holes. Containers can be placed in specially made ‘saucers’ on wedges that lift them up to allow for drainage.
- Place a square of shade-cloth or similar material over the drainage holes in the container. This allows excess water to escape and at the same time holds back soil. Alternatively, cover the drainage holes with broken brick or pieces from clay pots.
- Position containers where they have some protection from cold or hot, drying winds.
- In the case of large containers, first position the container and then fill it with soil – transporting a soil-filled container can be a back-breaking experience!
- Use ready prepared sterilised soil for your container to ensure that it is free of disease and weed seeds.
- Add moisture-retaining granules as per instructions to the soil mix.
- Fill the container with the soil and firm it down to about 2,5cm from the rim, leaving enough space for holding water.
- Place the plants at the same depth as they were standing in their nursery containers.
- Add mulch – organic or inorganic – to the top of the soil to keep the roots cool and ensure that excessive water is not lost through evaporation.
- Regular watering is essential for most plants; in hot weather water daily, in the late afternoon.
- For best blooms, fertilise every two weeks with a liquid fertiliser.
- Remove dead flowers and yellowing foliage.
- Try not to allow plants to become leggy – rather trim lightly and regularly.
- Turn pots from time to time for even growth.
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