When it comes to container flower gardening, baskets are a perfect match for a natural look, inside or out. Baskets made specifically for gardening are often made of bark or coconut shell because of their sturdy yet porous material; but with a little care, any basket can be used for planting at least for one season. Avoid baskets that are painted on the inside, however.
Choose a basket either made for planting or general use. Make sure that the basket is sturdy and will withstand its intended use. Some materials like willow or birch bark can withstand the elements outdoors better than others.
Line your basket with a plastic liner or sphagnum peat moss to help keep your soil in place. Be sure that the plastic liner, available in garden centers in different sizes for a less than a dollar for most sizes, has drainage holes. The liner will help prolong the life of your baskets. If using moss, wet it and wring out handfuls before putting them in place.
Fill the basket two-thirds of the way full with potting soil. Never recycle old potting soil or garden dirt because you run the risk of passing disease or insects to new plants.
Place seedlings in place. Choose plants like lobelia, petunia, sweet potato vine or sweet pea for their trailing properties. If planting a variety of plants, keep taller plants to the middle and leave trailers to tumble over the edges. When planting in containers, crowd seedlings in for a lush look instead of following planting suggestions on plant info spikes. Since containers need regular fertilizing, there is no need to be concerned about root crowding.
Fill potting soil in by the handful to continue covering the seedling roots to the crown. Water regularly.