Make a Beautiful Mixed Flower Creation With a Wire Basket and Coconut Fiber Matting.

Use coconut matting to line a wire hanging basket for mixed flowers. Read on

Use coconut matting to line a wire hanging basket for mixed flowers. Read on

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.

You can usually find pre-formed matting for your baskets but sometimes you just have to cut your own,

You can usually find pre-formed matting for your baskets but sometimes you just have to cut your own,

We didn’t want to waste any of the coco mat so we wrapped the basket with the paper and cut out around it.

Wrap paper around the wire basket and trim to make a pattern

Wrap paper around the wire basket and trim to make a pattern

I found that a carpenter’s pencil or a magic marker would work to trace the pattern onto the coco mat.

a carpenter's pencil or magic marker will mark the mat for cutting

a carpenter’s pencil or magic marker will mark the mat for cutting

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.

Do not use Momma's expensive scissors for this job--go buy some cheap ones

Do not use Momma’s expensive scissors for this job–go buy some cheap ones

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.

Pack in moist potting soil to hold the coconut fiber mat securely in place

Pack in moist potting soil to hold the coconut fiber mat securely in place

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.

add Osmocote to the hanging basket for season-long fertilizing

add Osmocote to the hanging basket for season-long fertilizing

I decided to use Dragon Wing begonias for the center plant. These plants are very versatile and I really get good results from them.

A dragon wing begonia will be beautiful in the center of this hanging basket

A dragon wing begonia will be beautiful in the center of this hanging basket

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.

A good planting job calls for a good mess.

A good planting job calls for a good mess.

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.

wire hanging basket with mixed flowers planted above a white  mandevilla.

wire hanging basket with mixed flowers planted above a white mandevilla.

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?

Advertisements

Using pansies in window boxes for winter color

Using pansies in window boxes for winter color

 Dot Fletcher loves her window planters. I call them window boxes, but they are actually made of a wire frame with coconut fiber liners. We change these planters twice a year—in the spring we plant lots of begonias, bacopa, and similar plants for summer color. In October, when the begonia plantings still look nice, we change the planters over to pansies. I love pansies because of their hardiness and their ability to give us beautiful flowers throughout the cold days of winter.

We started the project with a trip to a couple of local nurseries where we picked out just the right colors of pansies. I laid the trays of plants out on the driveway next to a tarp which would help to keep the site clean.

Choose just the right colors of pansies for the planters

Choose just the right colors of pansies for the planters

Repeated work with these planters has shown me that we need to change the coco liners once a year. Here is a label from the new ones:

You can find coconut fiber liners for just about any wire planter

You can find coconut fiber liners for just about any wire planter

I bought a bag of premium potting soil. This particular blend from Miracle Gro is loose and easy to work with. A good potting soil will allow air flow while still having a capacity to retain moisture.

A good potting mix ensures success

A good potting mix ensures success

There were six planters. We changed out the liners and filled them with potting soil.

fiber lined window boxes ready to plant

fiber lined window boxes ready to plant

I had also gotten a couple of trays of violas. I love violas because they just keep on blooming. I thought these would be good for the corners and spots in the fronts of the planters because the violas tend to droop and run as they grow. They will fill in the areas below the pansies. I used a tray of white and a tray of purple.

Violas will fill in and enhance the sides and fronts of the planters

Violas will fill in and enhance the sides and fronts of the planters

We sprinkled Osmocote, a time release fertilizer, over the top of the soil before planting. The actual planting of the plants will mix the fertilizer into the soil and the fertilizer will work slowly all season long. At this point, we’re ready to plant.

Pansies love Osmocote which feeds them all season

Pansies love Osmocote which feeds them all season

I started out by planting the separate colors in groups of three and then finished up by filling in the blank spaces with whites. All of the planters were to look more or less the same, so I planted one for a prototype and then followed the design on the next five. The coco mat liners allow for lots of air flow and that allows me to pack the planters with as many plants as I can find room for.

arranging pansies for lots of color and interest

arranging pansies for lots of color and interest

We moved the finished planters to the windows. Dot told me that one of the best things I ever did was to install the system of drip stakes for the window planters. There are two stakes for each planter which are attached to tubes which come up from a drip system at the base of the wall.

drip irrigation stakes for container watering

drip irrigation stakes for container watering

The drip stakes run for 7 minutes every other day and are controlled by a simple, inexpensive, and easily installed Orbit timer that I found at Home Depot.

Orbit irrigation controller--inexpensive and easy

Orbit irrigation controller–inexpensive and easy

The pansy planters look good in the windows. The plants and flowers will droop a bit at first but will pick up and look pretty after a couple of days of sunshine.

A pansy planter on the outside windowsill will flower all winter

A pansy planter on the outside windowsill will flower all winter

You will find a little bit more information about running drip tubing to planters in an earlier article if you click here

******************

Would you like a consultation with johntheplantman in your yard? Contact John Schulz BY EMAIL

Do you have a landscaping problem that needs solving? Leave a comment.

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?

******************

Blog Stats

  • 339,544 hits

Archives

Now available as an ebook at Amazon–read it on your Kindle

Requiem for a Redneck--A novel by John P. Schulz

Check out more adventures of John the plant man in this hilarious yet sensitive award winning novel

Grown Man Now

Billy Schulz, Grown Man Now

My favorite blog by Dr. Jane Schulz and Billy

January 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
%d bloggers like this: