Hanging baskets can house a dazzling, colourful garden display, inside or outside, that catches your attention and draws the eye upward. Hanging baskets can also expand available gardening space for ornamental plants, herbs or even vegetables. There are many different types of hanging planters to choose from at gardening centres, or you can be creative and make your own.
Solid wall baskets are most commonly made out of lightweight plastic, but they are also sometimes made out of a clay material like terracotta. As the name suggests, a solid wall basket is just like a traditional flowerpot, with solid walls all around to hold in the growing medium. A drip tray, either fixed or attachable, is usually included.
Wire hanging baskets are popular because they are lightweight, decorative and durable. Wire baskets must be outfitted with some type of liner, such as plastic, moss or coconut husk, to hold in the growing medium so it does not escape through the open-weave design.
Fibre baskets have a more natural look than plastic or wire, and their breathability provides good aeration. They are made out of a resin-bonded fibre. The downside to fibre baskets is that they don't last as long as those made of sturdier materials.
Wood baskets are usually not made for direct planting, but can be with an appropriate liner. Stacked wooden slats in a "log cabin" style design create an attractive hanging basket for decorative purposes. A chain is attached to each corner to hang it by. You can insert an inexpensive plastic pot with a floral arrangement inside, or put in a sphagnum moss or plastic liner for direct planting. Never grow edible plants directly in treated wood.
For those who don't have a lot of time to care for plants, or who live in a particularly hot and dry region, a self-watering basket is a worthwhile investment than can save your precious greenery. The basket has a reservoir that can be kept full so that the plant will wick water up through the special liner. Self-watering planters must be hung from a very solidly placed hook, as the water reservoir creates a lot of extra weight.
A popular new way to grow herbs, tomatoes, strawberries and other foods that do well in hanging baskets is to grow them upside-down. Gravity allows the plant to hang naturally, with no need for staking or tying branches. The upside-down basket has a hole in the bottom. The seedling is planted by threading it through this hole before adding the growing medium.
As long as a container can hold soil, be drilled for drainage and hung on a hook, you can use it as a hanging basket. There are a number of containers you can convert to a hanging basket, such as wicker baskets, buckets, plastic bowls, colanders, salad spinner baskets, birdcages and old pots. Use your imagination when choosing a hanging basket.