How to Use Cocoa Mats for Hanging Baskets


For gardeners who have limited space, hanging baskets are a decorative way to utilize available space to grow flowers and even plants such as cherry tomatoes. Hanging baskets may consist of any type of pot that you can suspend from a hook. They may be hung from a masonry hook under the eaves of a house or suspended from a shepherd's crook in the yard. One popular hanging basket is a wire basket that is lined with a fiber mat known as a cocoa mat. You can replace a worn mat with cocoa mats that you can purchase from a garden store.

Step 1

Place your wire hanging basket into the mouth of an upright bucket that is smaller than the basket to stabilize it and provide a work surface.

Step 2

Press the cocoa mat into the wire basket so that it conforms to the shape of the interior completely.

Step 3

Mix two parts sand, four parts compost, two parts peat moss and one part cow manure in a second bucket to form a potting soil for your hanging basket. Pour the soil into the hanging basket.

Step 4

Hollow out a planting hole in the potting soil with a trowel. Then free your plants from their seedling pots by supporting the stem in one hand and turning the plant on its side. Free the root ball from the plant by tapping on the pot with one hand. Place the root ball into the soil and push dirt over the root ball.

Step 5

Hang your basket by suspending the basket's chain from an anchoring hook.

Step 6

Check your container twice daily by inserting your finger into the soil up to your second finger joint and water as needed. The soil should remain as damp as a wrung out sponge. Soil planted in a hanging basket with cocoa lining will dry out faster than soil planted in a solid plastic hanging basket, or one lined in foil.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire hanging basket
  • Cocoa mat
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • Cow manure
  • Compost
  • 2 buckets
  • Gardening trowel
  • Plants


  • Louisiana State University Extension: Hanging Baskets
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Plants and Youth: Designing and Building a Hanging Basket
  • Texasn A&M University Extension: Growing Hanging Baskets

Who Can Help

  • The Tucson Gardener: Hanging Baskets Looking For a Better Way
Keywords: planting hanging baskets, selecting hanging baskets, using cocoa mats in hanging baskets

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."