Use hanging baskets to add color to outdoor seating areas or hang them from hooks or lamp posts along pathways in your garden. Choose a basket size and design to fit your desired look then fill it with your favorite plants. Most annual flowers as well as many perennials thrive in baskets if they are planted then maintained properly throughout the garden season. While baskets do require some work to look their best, they are no more labor intensive than any other potted outdoor plant.
Fill a bucket with warm water if your basket has a moss or coir-fiber liner. Soak the liner in the water for 30 minutes to one hour then squeeze out all the excess moisture. Form the moist liner to the inside of the basket.
Fill the basket with a quality potting soil to within one inch of the basket's rim. Use moist potting soil or water it lightly after filling so the soil is moist.
Plant each transplant to the same depth in the basket that it was planted at in its nursery pot. Space plants three to five inches apart in the basket, starting at the rim and working inward. If growing a single large size plant, plant only one plant in the center of the basket. Firm the soil gently around each plant with your hands.
Water the soil thoroughly after planting. Water until the excess moisture drains from the bottom of the basket. Add more soil to maintain planting depth if the soil compacts slightly after watering.
Hang the basket in an area that receives the recommended light for the types of plants in it. Hang baskets with young transplants in a sheltered area for two to three weeks before moving them to a more exposed, permanent location.
Check the soil moisture in the basket daily, especially during periods of hot, dry weather. Water until the excess moisture drains from the bottom of the basket if the soil surface feels dry.
Fertilize plants weekly with a soluble, balanced plant food. Follow label instructions for exact application amounts and methods. If the potting soil was treated with a slow-release fertilizer, as some commercial soils are, begin additional fertilization two month after planting the basket.
Remove spent flowers by pinch them off once they wither but before they begin forming seeds. This encourages further flowering. Pinch off any dead or damaged leaves when you are removing the spent blossoms.
Pinch off the top one-quarter inch of each growing stem to control the height of the plant and to encourage bushiness. If one or two stems become overgrown, pinch them back to the same height as the rest of the plant. Use small garden shears instead of pinching if you prefer.
About this Author
Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.