Creating beautiful bright displays in hanging baskets, pots or planters is a great way to add colour to any garden – even with a smaller space such as a window box or balcony, you can enjoy cheerful bedding plants, all summer long.
Container gardening is fun for all ages – there’s no digging required, and you can plant up your pots and baskets at the kitchen table if it’s raining, before choosing their final location.
Keep these points in mind and you're guaranteed a wonderful display...
Pick your pots
Smaller containers will limit root growth and dry out more quickly, whereas much larger planters will be too heavy to move once you’ve added the compost, so they’ll need planting up on site. Hanging baskets with pre-cut liners make for easy planting and better moisture retention or hanging pots can be a great alternative.
Miracle-Gro® Premium Moisture Control is enriched compost specifically designed for pots and baskets. It contains an exclusive formula that stores and releases water when plants need it. It absorbs twice as much water as ordinary multi-purpose compost, providing the optimum balance of air and water. It also has smart release feeding for up to 6 months thanks to its unique combination of 14 vital minerals, vital for maintaining plant health. Another great choice is Miracle Gro® Premium All Purpose Compost which offers your potted plants 6 months of feed alongside Waterlock™ technology to ensure the roots grow strong and to prevent them from drying out.
Containers need special care to ensure the plants don't become waterlogged. Check there are plenty of drainage holes in your pots or planters, and pop a double-handful of broken rocks or large gravel on the bottom of terracotta pots, before adding the compost, to ensure that excess water can get away from the roots.
If you want a riot of colourful flowers and abundant growth, you’ll need to feed! Miracle-Gro moisture control water storing gel is quick and easy to use, and is specifically made to feed pots and baskets. It contains water-storing crystals that absorb and release water when plants need it, reducing the need for watering. It works all season, saves time and reduces watering frequency throughout the season.
Keeping the roots damp is important, so that your pots and baskets look great all season long. Water in the early morning and evening, so you’re not getting the leaves wet when the sun is on them. using watering spikes with a reservoir at the top will slowly drip-feed moisture direct to the roots. Avoid over watering or allowing plants to dry out as this can cause damage to the roots.
It’s easy to get carried away with all the wonderful varieties available at the garden centre, so look for plants from two key groups. Around the edges of pots and lower down on hanging baskets, you’ll get great results with trailing varieties of lobelia, verbena or petunias. Pop a plant through each hole in the liner on the sides of your basket, or space them evenly around your pots, allowing for a little growing room. For the centrepiece, where you need height and spread with amazing flowers and continuous colour, pick a performer such as beautiful Begonias.