Create a beautiful and portable display of color this spring by planting annuals in baskets. Baskets are a terrific way to display flowers because they can be moved around to suit the climate or your outdoor decor. Hang baskets from a porch to welcome guests to your home with fragrant blooms, or place them around a cement patio to help define the border between that space and your yard. You can even hang baskets from tree branches or on a bracket attached to your home. Help your flowers last longer and protect your investment by properly planting them in the baskets.
Line the inside of the basket with burlap cut to fit the container. It should be as close to a perfect fit as possible, with little bunching. Let 2 to 3 inches hang over the rim. Hold the burlap in place with clothespins clipped onto the rim to prevent it from slipping when you add the soil.
Mix a handful of slow-release fertilizing granules (formulated for flowering annuals) into some potting soil. Add 1 cup of water-holding polymer to the mixture, which will aid in water retention. Containers lose water very quickly.
Put 2 inches of the planting medium into the basket. Unclip and re-adjust the burlap if necessary. If your basket is a wire basket and will be hanging, pause at this point and cut some slits into the burlap through the squares in the wire basket. Cut as many slits (1 inch is large enough) as you want plants. This will allow trailing plants to hang from the bottom of the basket rather than just over the top rim.
Plant your trailing plants that are going to trail through the slits. Carefully wrap them in plastic to make them small and slippery, twisting the tip to a point, then gently pull the plant through the slit using the point of the plastic and leaving the roots inside the basket. Remove the plastic. Skip this step if your basket is not wire or if it is not going to be a hanging basket.
Fill the basket two-thirds of the way with soil. Place annuals of your choice in the basket so that the top of the root balls are level with the rim of the basket. Fill with soil to cover the root balls, and tamp it down so the plants are firmly settled in place. A good pattern to follow is to plant three tall annuals in the middle in the shape of a triangle, and surround them with shorter annuals. Then, plant trailing annuals along the rim of the basket. Remove the clothespins holding the burlap in place and roll the excess burlap towards the pot, tucking it in neatly at the edge. Water the basket thoroughly.