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The secret of success with hanging baskets

  21/05/2014 at 09:27 am

 

Eamonn Wall - Head of Horticulture

Hanging baskets are probably one of the easiest ways to add instant kerb appeal to any house or business. Remember you want your hanging basket to portray you in a positive light. I personally feel a good hanging basket is one of the best ways to make your house or business stand out from the crowd, but they must be for the right reasons. With a little careful planning and the right choice of plants, you can give hanging baskets the WOW effect. There are lots of plants that can be grown in baskets, including summer annuals and small evergreens shrubs that will give structure and all-year-round colour. There is nothing worse than dead or neglected hanging baskets crying out for attention. It’s really simple when it comes to hanging baskets, if you not willing to check them every day for water, they are not for you.

Traditionally hanging baskets were made of wire coated in pvc, and came in a range of sizes ranging from 30cm (12”) up to 60cm (24”), with 35cm (14”) being the most popular by far. These baskets were then lined with sphagnum moss, which was sold in local garden centres. Due to strict conservation regulations, sphagnum moss can no longer be sold and has since been replaced with synthetic basket liners. They are not as easy to work with, but with a little patience you can still achieve the same effect. The beauty about using wire baskets is that you are able to plant your basket from the bottom up, thus ensuring that the whole basket is hidden with flowers. These are now been superseded by baskets that are made from rattan and pre-lined with PVC liners. It doesn’t matter what the hanging basket is made from, because the litmus test for a good hanging basket is that you can’t see the basket.

It really is all in the mix! Add slow-release granules to the compost mix to guarantee a feed to last the whole growing season. Water retaining granules are one of the best inventions to hit the basket world. Basically they are small granules that look like course sugar, when water is added to them, they will swell many times their original size, thus helping the baskets to retain vital water reserves. Remember you must still water hanging baskets every day during dry and windy weather.

Our Container and Hanging Basket workshop is on this Saturday 24th May at 11:30am. Booking is essential.To book a place email info@arboretum.ie or call 0599721558

To do list:

1. Plant your hanging baskets now Tip: Less is more when planting hanging baskets. Choose colour themes to give maximum impact, three colours maximum. Fuchsia, geranium, begonia are the perfect choice for the centre of the basket, surrounded by three trailing plants and then fill the gaps with trailing lobelia for maximum fullness

2. Protect tender hanging baskets from frost. Tip: After planting up new hanging baskets, water well and allow settling in before hanging outside. Ideally allow them to grow on in a tunnel or glass house to gain maximum growth before hanging out. Keep an eye on the weather for late frost, which can easily kill tender baskets plants.

3. Feed and dead head hanging baskets on a weekly basis Tip: Tomato feed is the best liquid feed for hanging baskets to guarantee continuous blooms. Never water or feed in direct sun light, as this will scorch leaves, always water early in the morning. Regularly remove faded flowers (dead heading), as this allow plants to put all their energy in making new flowers.

By Eamonn Wall