Here’s an article full of easy tips on creating your own hanging baskets for the summer from the fine people at All-America Selections
Article by Mark Dwyer of Landscape Prescriptions by MD
Baskets allow AAS winning annual flowers to “show their stuff” by putting them at eye-level or higher in containers suspended from above. Colorful baskets not only add beauty, but they can also provide scale and softness to taller structures. Baskets also provide welcome plants in areas where there may not be traditional planting space available such as over decks, patios, paths and in-ground plantings.
Success with hanging baskets certainly includes using appropriate plants but the selection, preparation and care of these baskets are equally vital for success! Here are six great tips on creating your own stunning hanging baskets.
12 All-America Selections for Hanging Baskets
1. Consider the size and material of the basket.
Size and material are two very important features that will affect soil volume and the number of plants that will fit into the basket. The width and depth of the container also factor into how much planting space will be available. Those factors will then impact the finished weight of the basket. Proper anchoring is important for baskets due to their weight, the potential for wind damage and overall safety.
2. Trailing, mounding, spreading and upright plants can all be added.
When selecting plants for a basket combination, you can use more than just trailing plants that cascade over the edges. Mounding, spreading and upright plants may have applications in larger baskets. However, you don’t want anything too tall that will exceed the “anchoring point” for the basket hook as that’s where wind and physical damage can occur. The amount of sunlight reaching the basket will impact your plant choices.
3. Achieve a fuller look by using baskets that let you plant along the sides and bottom.
While the majority of hanging baskets are planted traditionally with cascading plants just in the top, some modified baskets allow plants to be installed along the sides and bottom. This gives a very full, spherical look that obscures the container.
4. Don’t overplant the container.
Take into account the mature sizes of the installed plants and minimize the risk of overcrowding by not “shoehorning” in too many plants. Pruning or removing plants that are taking over or struggling is acceptable. Remember the old adage of “right plant, right place” when making your selections.
5. Hanging baskets get hungry too!
Hanging baskets are needier when it comes to fertilizer because of the smaller volume of soil. Incorporate slow-release fertilizer into the soil in advance of planting. Also, schedule half-strength all-purpose liquid fertilizer applications every two weeks over the basket’s lifespan.
6. Maintain uniform moisture throughout the season.
Maintaining uniform moisture in the container will likely require more watering during warmer months. Moisture retention products, when properly measured, prepared and incorporated into the planting soil, will help with potential moisture deficiencies. Read package labels on how to use these materials. Also, add additional drainage holes to prevent over saturation of your plants.