Hanging baskets, overflowing with colorful flowers, can be a beautiful addition to any garden, patio, or balcony. They are decorative and functional, adding a unique look to different spaces.
Need a burst of color in the garden? Sink a column into the soil and add brackets. You can hang 2 to 4 baskets to brighten the area. Do you want to fill an empty wall on the front porch? A hanging basket is the perfect solution for adding interest where it’s needed.
While trailing plants are often the choice for hanging baskets, planting along the side of the basket gives the same abundant, flowing appearance. Just follow these steps:
1. Pick your basket (size matters)
If you are going to plant the sides, an open-sided basket is your best choice. Larger volume baskets retain more water and save you the work of watering frequently. The open sides allow you to cut slits through the lining for easy planting.
2. Choose a liner
There are several choices in liner material: burlap, cocoa, and sphagnum moss are popular choices. But one relatively new option is Supamoss. Made of recycled cotton fibers that are dyed green and sewn to plastic sheeting, this material will allow some water to drain but retains most of it for the plants. It's attractive and perfect for planting through the side of the basket.
3. Add a base layer of soil
After you have lined the basket, add 4 to 5 inches of potting soil and press it against the sides and back. It needs to be firm since you'll be making slits for the plants that you'll be pushing in from the sides.
4. Insert a water reservoir
Add a length of slotted drainpipe (pictured above) on top of the base layer of soil. It should be long enough that 2 or 3 inches will be exposed above the final soil level. The pipe sends water to the bottom of the basket where it's needed most.
5. Add plants to the side
Use a knife or other sharp object and make small incisions through the liner just below the soil level. Press the plants through from the outside. Small plugs or annuals work well because they minimize the size of the openings. If the hole is too large, it will allow soil to spill out. It might even allow plants to wash out when you water.
6. Plant the top
As you add potting soil, continue cutting slits and adding plants through the side. When you reach the top, add some upright annuals or grasses. Cut the liner to 2"-3" above the soil above the soil level. This will prevent the potting soil from being washed out during watering. Finally, give your basket a thorough watering.