I call it “coco mat” and it is one of the nicest innovations for planting wire hanging baskets to come along in a long time. Wire baskets are wonderful because they “breathe” and thereby form the base for more vigorous flowers. Wire baskets come in all shapes and sizes. I needed to plant eleven hand-crafted wrought-iron baskets the other day.
If you are planting in mass manufactured wire containers, your nursery will probably carry coco mat liners that are formed to fit. In my case, I had to custom cut each piece. So I bought a roll of the matting and I got a roll of painter’s paper with which to make patterns.
We didn’t want to waste any of the coco mat so we wrapped the basket with the paper and cut out around it.
I found that a carpenter’s pencil or a magic marker would work to trace the pattern onto the coco mat.
I thought about using a razor knife but found that scissors would do the job. Tip—use cheap scissors and throw them away afterwards. This will probably ruin your good scissors.
We cut a triangle out of the circle where a big fold would be and then we pushed the liner down into the basket and pressed moist potting soil in to hold it in place. A little extra trimming was necessary.
I always like to add a liberal sprinkling of time-release fertilizer on top of the potting soil so that it will mix in as I plant. I’m using Osmocote this time.
I decided to use Dragon Wing begonias for the center plant. These plants are very versatile and I really get good results from them.
I used two colors of calibrochoa (they look like miniature petunias), bachopa (trailing with small white flowers), and Wave petunias around the large begonia. I really enjoy making a royal mess and this time I succeeded.
The baskets will hang from the eaves of the house facing the pool and courtyard. In the picture below you will see that I am using chains to train a white mandevilla up and over a doorway.
The most important consideration in choosing plants for a mixed planting is that all of the varieties must have the same sun or shade preferences. You may wish to visit some articles I wrote about planting other mixtures, CLICK HERE for articles on mixed plantings.
As usual, I would just love for you click here to go to Amazon and purchase the ebook edition of my wonderful book, Requiem for a Redneck to go on your Kindle. I have also noticed that Amazon now has a free Kindle app for iphones and tablets. Is that cool or what?