Container Rules and Overview
Color and Design
Potting and Repotting
Planting Hanging Bags
Vegetables in Containers
Layering Bulbs and Plants
Vines and Roses in Containers
Planted on all sides, this kind of
container can create a lush ball of flowers or foliage, or keep
vegetables above the reach of many garden pests.
Traditionally, wire mesh baskets are
lined with sphagnum moss and filled with potting soil. Today you can
also use drop-in liners available from nurseries, garden centers, and
mail-order garden businesses. You'll find them in both plastic-lined
polyester (which cuts down on moisture loss) and such natural
materials as cocoa fiber. Or you can make a liner yourself from burlap
(to hold the soil in place) or other materials - one OGGer even uses
disposable diapers for liners!
Here's how to plant moss
lined baskets, followed with how to plant a lined one.
Planting a Basket
lined with Moss.
Select a wire basket 12 inches
or more in diameter, use lightweight potting mix, and plant cell-pack-size
Push soaking-wet green sphagnum moss through
the basket mesh from the inside to make a lining that's 1 inch
thick, extending 1 inch above the basket rim. (If you wish, you
can add a teaspoon of soil polymer at the bottom of the basket
to help retain moisture near roots.)
Starting from the bottom, poke planting
holes 2 to 6 inches apart in the moss. Then insert
cell-pack-size plants in the basket's bottom tier, pushing roots
through from outside while gently pulling from inside. Add
enough soil to cover the plant roots and gently tamp it down.
Continue planting and adding soil in tiers,
filling in the top of the basket with soil last and adding 1 or
more plants on top, depending on the size of the basket. Water
gently until it drains out the bottom.
a Basket with a Liner
assemble a hanging basket, follow the steps outlined here. For baskets
with trailing flowers (like petunias), skip Steps 3 and 6, and use only
the basket's rim with vinyl tubing to prevent trailing stems from
breaking. To do this, cut tubing into lengths to fit between the spaces
for the hangers. Slit the tubing lengthwise with scissors, then wrap it
around the rim.
soak the plants by submerging the pots in water until all air bubbles
disappear. This makes them more pliable for planting and helps them get
established more quickly.
Place a wood-fiber liner in
the basket with the dark side facing out. Fold any excess liner material
over the rim. Then, place the water saucer inside the basket. Don't use a
saucer for shade baskets in damp climates, since it may keep the basket
plants through slits in the liner. Remove plants from containers, holding
them by the root ball to protect the stems. Wrap root balls in small
plastic bags to make insertion easier from outside the basket. From
inside, pull root balls through so they rest on top of the soil. Remove
the bag and anchor the root ball with a handful of soil.
the liner for side-planting of short-trailing plants. To designate
planting positions, use a felt-tip pen to mark seven dots evenly spaced
around the basket about 3 inches from the rim. Cut a cross-shaped slit in
the liner about 2 inches by 2 inches at each dot.
Next, add soil to within an inch of
the rim. Place one plant in the center, and then space the
other seven around it, an inch or so from the edge. Firm the
soil around the base of each plant. Sprinkle one tablespoon
of slow-release fertilizer beads over the soil.
Prepare 20 quarts of
hanging-basket soil mix and moisten it with 4 quarts of water. Add soil
mix to the basket, patting it down firmly but gently until it reaches 3
inches below the rim.
hangers to the rim and hang the basket outside any time after your
region's frost-free date. In hot, dry weather, water it immediately and
hang in the shade for a few days. In cool, damp weather, wait until it
warms up before watering your basket thoroughly. Firm the soil around the
roots of plants on the top layer after the first watering.