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Planting and Growth Journal: Hanging Baskets in 2023

Our hanging basket journey in 2023 started with trying to find some inspiration for a new combination of plants and flowers.  Trying something new is always a fun and rewarding way to boost one's knowledge and get creative with the gardening hobby.  After searching the internet we came across the hanging basket gallery over at the Proven Winners website.  Here is that link: https://www.provenwinners.com/combination-style/hanging-basket

Proven Winners is a brand and company that caters to supplying starts directly to local nurseries across the United States.  With that in mind we knew we may be able to locate some of the flower and plant recommendations in the gallery from one of our local nurseries.  The gallery offered hundreds of examples.  After some careful review Anita choose the basket combination "Mocha Magic".  You can find that exact basket recipe here: https://www.provenwinners.com/combinations/mocha-magic

Using the Proven Winners website we could see some of the plants in the recipe "Mocha Magic" may be found for us locally at Vander Giessen Nursery https://www.vandergiessennursery.com/ .  Always up for an adventure I swung by the nursery and met Joe?  Joe quickly help me find the exact petunia in the basket we were looking to assemble.  That variety was the Supertuna Latte.  They didn't have the Supertunia Mini Vista White, but he suggested Superbells White would be a good alternative.  Additionally they didn't have the exact potato vine described in the basket, but they had another suitable alternative in the variety "Jet Black".  

With all of our starts procured we could focus on building our baskets!  We filled our baskets two thirds of the way up with a potting soil mix.  That allowed us to place the start pots into the basket itself and start to visualize the arrangement of the starts.  This was a fun way to alter the planting arrangement without the commitment of placing anything into the soil just yet.  We were planting in our 18" hanging basket.  We choose to plant a total of 10 starts per basket.  In hind sight I believe our arrangement may of been a bit too dense for this size of basket and we'll address that further in the article.

After identifying the arrangement we thought would work best we amended the soil.  First we sprinkled a layer of slow release fertilizer.  We like using Osmocote Plus and have had good results.  Additionally we also spread a layer of worm castings no more than a 1/2" thick.  Be careful to leave some room for more soil as you'll be digging holes to place your starts and that displaced soil needs a place to go.  It's best to leave some room and top dress the basket with a bit more potted soil mix after the starts are all planted.  This leads to less of a mess.

Prior to assembling our handing baskets a fair amount of time when in to measuring our display area as well.  It was important we were happy with how baskets could be viewed from the street, but also didn't want impede our use of the front entry door.  We ended up splitting our display area into even thirds.  This seems to best fit the visual aesthetic while not compromising functionality. Additionally finding robust mounting hardware was important for us too.  It's hard to find information online about the weight of a sopping wet hanging basket so we decided to go overkill.  We hoped this would ensure we only mount the hardware once. 

All that said we decided it'd be best to document for ourselves and our future customers what our sopping wet hanging basket weighs.  This information should allow those in the future to make more educated choices in their mounting hardware and location where one would hang a flower basket.  Remember these figures are going to change as everyone planting arrangement, soil choice and even time of year (more of less foliage) are going to be different.  However, this should establish a rough baseline that people may find useful.

Our freshly planted 18" hanging basket weighed just 26 Lbs.  After a thorough watering the basket weighed just under 41 lbs.  With that information we felt very secure in our choice of mounting hardware. 

From here forward the hanging baskets just required some basic maintenance.  Anita cared for the baskets from their planting in the second week in May till end of August.  I asked Anita to write this section as she did all of the watering and fertilizing:

I watered the baskets daily once temperatures reached above 70°F (21.111°C) if temperatures were below 70°F, I would push my finger into the soil to pro...

From planting onward we simply kept up with the basic maintenance routine described above.  We were able to capture a good transition of growth.  The first major update we did at the beginning of June which was just under one month from planting.  Here are the photos from June:



Two Equal Columns

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