7 tips for the best hanging baskets

Whether you’re desperate to become the envy of your neighbours for your succulent summer BBQ, or you want to gloat about your bustling summer baskets - get ahead of the gardening-game with 7 easy tips to boasting huge, healthy baskets this Summer!

1. When is the best time to plant hanging baskets?

sunSimple - Spring! Or is it? For the perfect time to plant you’ll need to ensure the frost is well-beaten and the sun is at least starting to conquer the clouds. May bank holiday is a great starting point; if your chosen spot is extra-shady, maybe leave it ‘til mid-May to make certain your Primulas prosper.

2. Which type of hanging basket?

Choose a wire basket with easy access to the sides, this way you can cut into your liner and allow your plants to peer through the sides as well as the top. Doing this with a trailing plant will maximise your chances of a bigger basket; Fuchsias are fantastic for this and will definitely give the neighbours something to think about.

3. Which is the best type of hanging basket compost?

flower bedPick peat-free, multipurpose compost, this provides around four weeks of essential feed straight out of the bag - making sure you’re off to a great start! You can get away with just 10l if you’re only planting one basket, but don’t worry about getting too much; you can always venture into the world of flower beds, pots or better still, more baskets!

4. Why use plant fertiliser?         

Sun, compost and lots of water is usually enough for your baskets, but if you really want to hang the healthiest basket, grab some fertiliser. As well as getting a head start by helping your flowers bloom earlier, they will also grow hardier, and last longer - aim for October! If you’re not keen on chemicals, choose an organic fertiliser like chicken manure pellets – you only need to add them once, so they also cut down on maintenance.

5. How many plants should I put in my hanging basket?

Don’t be tempted to pack your planter sparsely, as long as you’re watering regularly and your root balls have enough space, you can afford around one plant per inch. Top tip - When you take your plants from the tray, give them a firm squeeze, as well as loosening the roots ready for planting, you might find you have more than one plant!

6. How to maintain a hanging basket

positioningSo your basket is filled, and it’s bursting with opportunity; all that’s left is to deliver a routine fit to make your Fuschias flourish. It’s a given that your basket will need to get sunlight, so check the directions on your choice of plants to ensure that your basket is best positioned for shade, or if you need to find a sunnier spot. Didn’t come with any? Ask at your local garden centre, they’re usually really friendly!  

7. When should you water a hanging basket?

watering your basketsUntil your plants are more mature, and especially if you’ve planted in early Spring - you’ll only need to water every 2-3 days, but be sure to increase this to at least every other day as the sun becomes ever-present. If you’re boosting your chances with a liquid fertiliser, add some to your watering can once every two weeks, it’s usually one-capful, but best to follow the instructions on your chosen feed.