Moss hanging baskets

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Moss hanging baskets
Moss planter liners range in colour from tan to deep brown. (Springtome planters image by Digital Photique from Fotolia.com)

Moss liners give hanging baskets an organic, natural look that complements the plants growing inside, especially flowers with colourful blooms. Sphagnum peat moss provides the moss mats found lining most wire frame baskets. Moss baskets have specific care requirements that differ from plastic and clay hanging plant containers.

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Moss Type

Moss baskets consist of a wire frame lined with a mat of moss. Coconut coir provides an alternative to sphagnum peat moss. The formed moss mats fit a specific basket size, though loose strands of moss also are available. Baskets usually come shaped as half-spheres but they may also be square or shaped like a traditional planter. If the baskets and liners sell separately, verifying that the liner shape matches that of the basket ensures a good fit.

Preparing the Basket

Moss and coir mat liners wick moisture from the soil within the hanging basket, which causes rapid moisture loss. Thoroughly hydrating the moss before planting and in the days immediately following planting helps prevent this. A six- to eight-hour soak in warm water sufficiently hydrates the moss. Coir mats only require a two-hour soak. Once soaked, the wrung-out mats fit into the wire basket. Loose moss also requires soaking before it's spread in a 1-inch thick layer inside the frame.

Planting

Pre-moistened potting soil ensures the soil remains evenly moist throughout once it's placed in a moss-lined basket. Seedlings and transplants require only half the spacing requirements listed on the label or seed packet when grown in moss hanging baskets. Side planting provides another growing option; the basket resembles a hanging globe of flowers. Planting the seedlings through holes punched through the moss mat provides planting holes for a globe planting.

Basket Care

Moss hanging baskets require frequent watering since moisture constantly wicks out of the soil. Outdoor baskets do best when gardeners water them daily, while indoor baskets do best with water every two to three days. The frequent watering also flushes nutrients from the soil quickly. Adding a soluble fertiliser every two to three weeks when the plants are actively growing will boost nutrients to the plants.

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