How to: Plant a summer hanging basket

Nothing beats a pretty hanging basket for an injection of summer colour. They’re just the things to brighten up a drab wall or fence, and perfect for hanging by your front door to welcome visitors. Hanging baskets also give your garden a ‘vertical’ element, which makes the most of space if you’ve only got a tiny plot. Colour theme your plants for display with impact, and include a mix of lush foliage, big blooms and delicate flowers. And use the chance to be creative – a hanging basket only lasts for a few months, and costs very little to create, so use the opportunity to experiment with plants and try something new. 

What you'll need:

  • Metal hanging basket
  • Hanging basket liner
  • Empty plant pot
  • Multi-purpose compost
  • Slow-release fertiliser
  • Water-retaining gel
  • Hanging-basket plants
  • Watering can
  • Liquid plant food 

How to do summer hanging baskets:

Step 1
Buy summer-bedding plants especially designed for hanging baskets. You will need 13 plants for a 30cm hanging basket.

Step 2
Sit your hanging basket on an empty pot (this will stop it rolling around when you come to plant it) and fill it with compost until it’s half full.

Step 3
Add slow-release fertiliser and water-retaining gel according to the packet instructions and mix it into the compost with your hands.

Step 4
Cut six evenly spaced holes in the liner just above the compost level and push one plant through each hole. Take care not to damage them.

Step 5
Add more compost to the basket, making sure you fill the gaps between the plants. Add the remaining seven plants to the top with one in the centre.

Step 6
Water the basket every day (twice is often necessary on very hot days) – never allow the compost to dry out.

Step 7
Remove blooms as they die to encourage the plants to produce more flowers and extend the overall life of the basket.

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