With spring on our door step attention turns to well, our door step and how to add colour and interest to create a welcoming display over the summer months.
Hanging baskets and containers are a great way to add colour to a dull front door or to freshen up a tired old wall. But to really create the wow factor and to get the most out of your containers and baskets you will need to keep on top of watering and feeding.
We may all be aware of the wonderful floral displays on show in Dublin City Centre such as those hanging baskets outside the Jameson Distillery as well as those along the Liffey boardwalk, temple bar and Henry street. These baskets are filled with enormous amounts of blooms that flower over the summer and get so big that the display almost reaches the street floor.
So how is it that these hanging baskets look so good and are such prolific flowers? Well there are a number of reasons but nothing that you can’t do at home yourself to achieve the same results.
The first and most essential requirement for hanging baskets is water. Hanging baskets have been described as clothes on a clothesline, blowing in the wind. By that we mean they dry out very fast. If you want to ensure good blooms you need to keep the compost moist and that means watering every day in the summer.
The next crucial factor is heat. For good growth and flowering your plants will need high temperatures. Of course this is something that we can’t really change but there are ways to maximise heat for your baskets. Firstly be sure to position your baskets where they will receive the maximum amount of sunlight. An open lamp post or a sun facing wall is essential for good floral blooms. Dublin and the rest of the coastline of Ireland is about 3 degrees warmer in spring and the growing season starts about two weeks earlier than the midlands of Ireland.
That brings me to my third point; hanging baskets need a long growing season. You should start your baskets indoors in mid spring, keeping them in your greenhouse or a warm and well light place, allowing for stronger establishment and growth. Once the weather is sufficiently warm in early May you can move them into position.
Another thing you will notice about those wonderful hanging baskets around Dublin City Centre is that the baskets themselves are very large. They are at least 16 inches or 45cm in diameter, and this is how they manage to develop such large plants. The rooting space for your plants will really determine how big they can actually grow. The root space is the hanging basket, so if you use a large 16” basket you are providing your plants with larger amounts of soil, water and nutrients to grow.