Tag Archives: flowers

Trailing petunias look great in a hanging basket.

A hanging basket how-to

A hanging basket how-to

Hanging baskets are a fail-safe way to bring bursts of colour to an otherwise dull wall, or a perfect way to incorporate flowers and greenery when you are pushed for space. With the help of a greenhouse, April is the best time to start planting a hanging basket so that it has reached full flower by the summer months for an optimal display. If you won’t be able to use a greenhouse, it may be best to hold off with your hanging basket until early summer, when you can then refer back to our simple guide!

  1. Chose your basket; we have a huge range of baskets in store, which range in shape, size, lining and price; ranging from as low as £2.70 for our simple 12” wire baskets with no lining. We also have window baskets which can be constructed in a similar way.
  2. Chose your plants (read ahead to get a feel for the right kind of plants), buy them and make sure that they are well watered before planting.
  3. Unhook the basket’s chain and line the basket. Lining is a personal preference; we have some amazing natural linings in store made from recycled plant fibres, alternatively a thick layer of moss would also work. Make sure the lining fits the basket nicely and cut off any material above the rim of the basket.
  4. Place a saucer at the bottom of the basket after lining all over; this will help to retain moisture.
  5. Before filling the basket with compost, if you have chosen a solid lining make sure to slash some holes /slits appropriately around the basket in order to push the trailing plants through to cover the sides of the basket (if the basket is deep enough you may be able to fit two layers of these). Once you have done this you can half fill the basket with compost (until the compost is level with the first set of slits, we recommend using John Innes no 2 which can be purchased from both of our stores.
  6. Next is to plant the trailing plants. These should be planted from the inside outwards to protect the roots, settling them so that the root ball is laying on top of the compost and the foliage is outside of the basket. Fior the trailing plants we recommend helichrysums.
  7. Once all of the slits have been filled, tease out the roots of the plants and add more compost to work around the roots, almost filling the basket. More trailing plants can be planted around the rim of the basket; maybe try geraniums or lobelias.
  8. Now that preparation for the sides of the basket is complete, you can move onto the centre. What you plant here is completely optional depending on the style and colours you are aiming for. Whichever flowers you chose, you should angle them outwards to create the effect of layering.
  9. Make sure any gaps left over are filled with compost.
  10. Water your basket thoroughly and stand it in your greenhouse to grow. Without a greenhouse either hold off, or ensure that you bring it under cover each evening to protect from frost.

If you are more of a perfectionist, looking for a special hanging basket or if creating your own hanging basket is out of your means, then we have a bespoke hanging basket service here in which we will create your perfect hanging basket from scratch, including your favourite flowers and colours.

Gardening Jobs for April – Trees, shrubs and flowers

TREES SHURBS AND FLOWERS

  • Prune bedding roses if you have not already done so; a tough pruning is good for them in the long run. Feed them generously after doing so.
  • Prune hydrangeas by first dead-heading them and then cutting out any dead branches. Prune the remaining stems back to the first healthy pair of buds nearest to the dead blooms.
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs such as Winter Jasmine, do so by pruning roughly a third of their growth and then feeding
  • Apply a rose fertiliser and a high potash feed to flowering shrubs
  • Divide any perennials that need it; this is only necessary once every 3-5 years. An indicator that it is necessary is when they become woody or there is significantly less growth in the centre. For best results uproot the plant and split it into a few sections with equal amounts of root. Then get rid of the woody part; usually the centre. Replant in well fertilised ground, mulch and water well.
  • Weed borders thoroughly and then mulch
  • Pot-marigolds and sunflowers can be directly sown
  • Look out for early aphids, remove by squashing first and if the problem continues look into other methods

FRUITS VEGETABLES AND HERBS

  • Prune shrubby herbs such as sage and thyme to keep them compact
  • Sow basil and coriander and plant out parsley plants if you managed to sow them earlier this year. Mesh over these to protect them from insects and frost.
  • Cut back lavender stalks to just below their old flowers
  • Directly sow vegetables such as cauliflower, peas, carrots, leeks, beetroots and radishes, being sure to protect these from any forecasted frost.
  • If any frost is expected, prepare young or small fruit trees with a fleece
  • Spray fruit with a protective fungicide and a systemic to help prevent pest and diseases
  • Plant second-early potato tubers at the beginning of April or main crop varieties at the end, read more about planting potatoes in our last year’s blog (https://www.stbridgetnurseries.co.uk/potatoes-earthingup/)
  • Tidy up last year’s strawberry bed; remove any flowers
  • Feed berries with a high-nitrogen feed; ask in store for our staff to point out our best ones
  • Sow tomatoes if you want to try growing them from seed this year. Once seedlings show their first true leaves they can be planted individually into pots. They should be planted deeply with their first leaves resting just above the compost.

LAWN

  • Feed the lawn and treat weeds and any moss that may have appeared
  • Do not feed if the grass is too wet; scorched grass may result
  • Repair lawn bald spots; minor damage can be combated by breaking up the surface with a fork and then adding seed
  • Larger areas of damage may require new turf to be laid