With the good weather upon us now is the perfect time to spruce up the garden and get your hanging baskets in top condition. Paraic Horkan demonstrates from Horkans Glen of the Downs store just how simple it is to create the perfect hanging basket!
May is the perfect time to add some colour to your garden and Paraic is going to tell us how to plant up the perfect hanging basket that will give you colour from now until late autumn and even into the winter.
Size is important when it comes to hanging baskets. Really you need to pick a basket that’s around 14 – 16 inches in size. A 14 inch basket will hold about 14 or 15 plants and they will flower from now until early October.
The compost Paraic recommends using is Growise from Bord Na Mona. The compost should be moist to touch but not too wet. To this you should add some slow release fertiliser and this fertiliser will feed the plants for up to six months, right up until early autumn. Simply mix two spoonfulls into the compost in the 14 inch container.
You can also add water retaining gel, this helps to conserve moisture and holds water in the compost and saves the need for constant watering. You will still need to water your baskets regularly but not as often. One spoonful of gel per basket is sufficient.
These are the perfect ingredients for a successful hanging basket. The gel will hold water during the summer and the fertiliser will feed the plant right up until autumn.
And now the flowers! A nice, flowering Geranium will add some instant colour. These are coming into flower now and will flower right up until early October. Place this right in the centre of the basket.
Trailing Petunias are great to add to baskets as they will cascade over the edge giving tons of colour. A great tip is to pinch back some of the side shoots. This will encourage the plant to produce new shoots which means more flowers, essentially doubling the size of the plant and increasing the number of flowers! Place these right at the edge of the basket. They are available in a range of colours and it is up you if you want to stick to just one colour or mix and match.
Verbena is another great choice. Pinch the side shoots just like with the petunia to increase the number of flowers. This should be placed right at the edge of the basket too, and just like the petunia it will cascade over the edge. These two plants will give you lots of beautiful colour by late June.
Other great trailing options are Diascia or Bacopa Snowflake. The Bacopa Snowflake is a beautiful choice with wonderful white flowers.
Trailing Lobelia is a beautiful mixture of flowers in a fantastic range of colours, again cascading right over the edge of the basket. Place the Trailing Lobelia in between the other plants in any gaps that are left at the edge.
For the 14 inch basket Paraic used for the demonstration he used 14 – 15 plants. This will give great colour all through the summer, right up until late October.
Remember to water well. And every two weeks take off any dead flowers. Simply snip them off as their colour begins to fade. This will encourage new growth and new flowers and extend the flowering period.
The other key tip is to feed your hanging baskets. Use a liquid feed every two weeks to keep the flowers fed and flowering well into October.
And that’s it! It is so simple to do and May is the perfect time to do it! Now is the time to add some colour to your hanging baskets, window boxes, pots and containers!
To watch Paraic’s demonstration from Horkan’s Glen of the Downs store click here.