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Hanging Baskets

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Moss-lined hanging baskets are the most impressive type of basket and are very simple to make. Follow the steps below for a beautiful and long-lasting display.

Items You Will Need

  • Wire hanging-basket
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Plastic - an old carrier bag is an excellent choice
  • Compost
  • One tray of trailing lobelia
  • Trailing plants (five for a 12" basket, more for larger baskets)
  • An upright plant for the middle
  • Time-release plant food granules (optional)

Making the Basket

If your basket has a round bottom it is a very good idea to stand it on a plant pot, as this will make it steadier.

  • The first stage is to put some moss into the bottom of the basket. Put a layer about an inch thick inside the basket, and stop about halfway up, making sure the moss is level all the way around.

  • Cut a circle of plastic and line the inside of the moss with it. This will help to conserve water and will stop compost coming through any small gaps in the moss. The plastic will not be visible when the basket is complete.

  • Put compost into the basket - this does not have to be specialist hanging basket compost. Fill it to the level of the moss and make sure it is pressed down firmly. If you are putting time-release fertiliser in your basket, add some of the granules now.

  • Insert the trailing lobelia horizontally around the basket - distributing them evenly will give the best results. You can also put Busy Lizzies1 here for varied effects.

  • Add some more moss around the edges of the basket on top of the lobelia. Make sure that it is pushed well down around the lobelia, otherwise you will have a black line around the middle. The moss should still only be about an inch thick, but you must also build it up above the rim by an inch.

  • When you are happy with the moss, fill the rest of the basket with compost to the top - again, make sure it is well pressed down - and add more time-release fertiliser if you want to include it.

  • Arrange the plants evenly around the rim of the basket. When you are happy with the way they are distributed, plant them into the compost at an angle.

  • Insert the upright plant into the middle of the basket and firm it in, adding more compost as necessary.

The only thing left to do is to give your basket a good watering. Give it a full watering-can with a commercial liquid feed for a head start. Ensure you water your basket every day, feed it at least once a week2, and you will have the biggest and best basket in the street!

1Impatiens spp, for example.2If you are using time-release fertiliser your basket will be fine if you don't feed at all. However, it will produce an even better display if you do feed weekly as well.

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