Hanging flower baskets are evocative of small, quaint towns with their friendly nature and beauty. Baskets on porches remind us of a simpler life and a quieter time. You can capture this aesthetic beauty by planting your own hanging flower basket using flowers, potting soil, a wire hanging basket and coconut fiber liners. Coconut fiber, also called coir, provides a natural liner and makes for an easy planting project. With a little know-how, planting in coconut fiber hanging baskets is a snap.
Things You'll Need
- Coconut fiber (coir) liners or sheeting
- Wire basket
- Potting soil
- Optional: plastic sheeting, awl
Make sure your coconut fiber liners fit your existing wire baskets, or purchase wire baskets in a coordinating size. If using sheeting, cut a circle wide to fit into your wire basket and press into place.
Select and purchase healthy plants at a local nursery, or use your own seedlings. For eye-level baskets, select a mixture of trailing and standing plants. Baskets hung higher than eye level should contain trailing plants and shorter, rounded cultivars.
Use a knife or an awl to punch a few holes at the very base of your basket for easy drainage.
Cut between 12 to 24 slits--depending on the size of your plants and your basket--around the perimeter of your basket with a sharp knife. There should be three rows of slits, 3 to 4 inches apart. The top row should be no less than 3 inches from the top and the bottom row 2 to 4 inches from the bottom.
Fill your basket with potting soil up to the lowest row of slits.
Remove your plants from their original containers by gently tapping on pots or lightly squeezing flexible containers. Unwind and trim strangling roots.
Insert plants into the bottom row of slits that have been cut into the basket, taking care not to break the stems.
Fill your basket with potting soil to the next row of slits, lightly tamping down until all roots are covered.
Insert plants into the middle row of slits, allowing root balls to rest on the layer of potting soil. Add soil up to the next row. Do the same with the top row.
Place remaining plants at the top of the basket, filling in with potting soil. Tamp down lightly so the soil is firm, not compacted.
Hang your basket, and water thoroughly.
Tips & Warnings
- If your coconut fiber liner doesn't have a plastic layer built in, consider adding a layer of thin plastic sheeting on the interior of the basket.
- Fern Marshall Bradley, author of Projects for the Birder's Garden, suggests using coconut fiber baskets for strawberry plants.
- Once watered, these baskets become very heavy. Before hanging your baskets, securely install an eyelet bolt or some other hanging mechanism in a solid surface such as an overhanging rafter. Or install a solid wall bracket on a horizontal wall.
- Coconut fiber hanging baskets can lose water rapidly, even if lined with a layer of plastic, so keep the soil damp.
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