Paraic Horkan is the resident garden expert on the TV3’s Ireland:AM show. This week he gives some fantastic advice on how to plant and care for your hanging baskets for a beautiful display all through the summer and autumn months.
Paraic’s Top Tips for Success:
- Remember for thriving plants, you need to water your hanging basket daily and feed your plants weekly
- Always use at least a 14 inch hanging basket; this will make maintenance and watering easier while allowing plenty of room for compost and plants.
- Don’t be afraid to fill your hanging baskets with plants; remember the more plants you fit in, the more flowers your basket will have
Hanging baskets are a beautiful addition to any area in need of a splash of colour and now is the perfect time for planting them. They create eye-catching displays and brighten areas without using a lot of space. By planting your hanging baskets now, in less than 2 months time they will be over-flowing with flowers and foliage.
When choosing your hanging basket remember size matters; the basket has to be at least 14-16 inches. This is a good size for creating beautiful displays of flowers, but it also allows the space needed for the compost and the plants themselves.
This basket size helps to maintain your hanging basket and also makes it easier when you are watering your plants.
For best results, you need to use a high quality compost and plant food when planting your hanging basket. Paraic recommends Growise Compost and Gro-Sure Slow Release Plant Food. Growise Compost is packed full of all the nutrients your hanging basket needs to blossom and Gro-Sure Slow Release Plant Food is a slow release fertiliser to keep your plants healthier for longer. These should be mixed together well while filling your hanging basket. When planting your hanging basket it is best to begin planting around the edge of the basket.
You should use plenty of trailing plants as this will give a beautiful overhanging effect. Paraic recommends that Lobelia Trailing is a good option for beautiful over-flowing colour and foliage. You can place the Trailing Lobelia plant under the lid at the edge of the basket. Don’t be afraid to push the plant in well, even if you break a few shoots good placement will help with the overall effect of the basket. To hide the container completely from view, plant trailing plants all the way around the edge.
In the centre of your hanging plants, tall upright flowering plants look great. Geraniums or fuchsias are all good options for an eye-catching display. Remember to secure and cover the base of the plants with the compost and pack it in tightly around them. Fuchsia is a great flower for hanging baskets because it is in bloom from now until November. Paraic also explains that yellow goes beautifully with purple as a good option for your basket. He advises that if you are ever unsure of what plants you should have in your hanging baskets, you can always ask in your garden centre for a good selection of hanging basket plants.
Don’t hold back on filling your hanging baskets with flowers and foliage. A good basket will be strong and will have a durable bracket. It will hold the weight of your compost, plants and any weight from watering in the soil. Your hanging basket can have plenty of plants; on average you can have roughly 15 plants in a basket or in window boxes. A good tip is to remember the greater number of branches that are planted, the more flowers your hanging basket will have.