GET READY FOR SUMMER!
Hanging baskets and containers
Hanging baskets are brilliant for brightening up small spaces, and a great way to add colour to drab walls and fences. They provide extra space for growing plants whether they are flowers, vegetables, herbs, or just interesting foliage, without encroaching on your beds and borders.
Strictly speaking hanging baskets and containers shouldn’t be placed outside until all threat of frost has disappeared but you are generally safe in getting them ready for the last weekend in May. Still, remember the weather is increasingly unpredictable so always keep an eye on the forecasts for unseasonal frost warnings.
1. Line the basket. You can either use fresh moss or a ready-made liner from the garden centre, or perhaps use bubble wrap or your old knitwear. It will help protect the plants from frost and save you some money too!
2. A saucer placed in the bottom will stop the water from draining straight through.
3. Use a good quality potting compost to half fill in the basket.
4. Make holes in the sides of the liner and slip trailing plants through, making sure you cover the roots with more compost.
5. Use upright, bushy plants in the top of the basket and make sure you have plenty of trailing plants around the top edges.
6. Don’t be afraid to fill the basket with plants – being bold now will produce a dramatic display of flowers later on.
7. Don’t throw the remnants of last summer’s baskets away; either dig it into your garden or put it in your compost bin.
Good quality composts contain slow release plant foods and will feed your plants for up to six months. However, you will still need to water your baskets regularly – always check that they need it though as an over-watered basket is just as damaging to your plants as an under-watered one.
There are no hard and fast rules on plants to fill a summer basket or container, but popular choices include:
• Busy Lizzies
• Trailing Ivy
Again, baskets needn’t be only for flowers. Why not create a hanging herb garden outside your kitchen door? Generally, herbs like full sun and well-drained soil, so pick out some favourites:
• Sage Tarragon
Have fun with Containers
Your containers can be planted with all the same plants as your baskets, but here you get to have even more fun. If you have an old wooden step ladder, why not paint it up and stand clay pots filled with training varieties of geranium and lobelia to create a cascade of flowers in a very small space?
With a little imagination, just about anything could be used! Old milk churns, metal buckets, cast iron baths, porcelain sinks or even baskets on the front of old bicycles all make quirky outdoor planters.
Whatever you are growing in your garden this summer and whatever container you are growing it in, ensure you provide it plenty of food, water and tender loving care, and you will have a summer display to be proud of.
Now you’ve read this article, you will probably be wondering why is an letting agent writing about gardening and plants, well we believe that spending time outdoors is good for you and weather it’s a rented property or a property you own its always self gratifying to keep it pretty, plus its very cost effective hobby. This exercise will certainly help, specially if you are on the market to let or sell your property, First impressions count and you want the potential tenant or buyer to fall in love with the outside too, well that’s a whole different topic, I might do a write up on this soon.
If you have a property to rent in Brighton please call us to find out what cost effective measures you can use to increase the value and the chances of a speedy let.