What is basket composting? Well, it is simply composting, whether it’s in a small, confined container garden or large, open compost heap. Typically, composts consist of a bottom base ingredient (nitrogen-rich compost, potting mix, manure, vermiculite etc), plus some additional extras, including fertilisers, so they get all the nutrients required for healthy plant growth. However, hanging baskets need a lot more care and attention than ordinary pot gardening, so here are a few tips to consider when composting in this way:
* Care – Most modern compost bins come with easy to follow instructions. Also, you will need to think carefully about how much you add to your compost pile. Potting mix, slow releasing pellets, drip trays and liquid fertiliser all offer different benefits, and there is not one compost bin that is suitable for all these ingredients. If possible, choose a bin with a larger surface area, as this should allow a larger range of plants to be added to a compost pile quickly and easily. Also, be aware of the weather conditions in your region and the weather conditions in the bins that you are using. For example, hanging baskets can be quite cold in the winter months, while container compost could freeze in the cold.
* Fertiliser – You will need to add a slow releasing fertilizer to your basket compost before the bedding plants start growing in. This is because compost without a suitable slow releasing fertiliser is not good for the plants in the compost heap. Some popular fertiliser options include bone meal, slow release pellets and liquid fertiliser. Check the instructions on the packaging for the appropriate fertiliser.
* Hanging Basket Compost Installation – The easiest way to install your compost bin is in the spring when it is just about ready to be used. You will need a sharp potting bench, a watering can and your hanging basket or garden strainer. The pot should be placed on top of the composting medium. Place a watering can on the bench just below the basket, and place in a shallow dish with water inside the hanging basket. Now the pot and the container can be placed into the compost bin.
* Container Gardening & Container Gardening Accessories – Many people use their garden for both container gardening. However, you will still need certain accessories to make the activity easier. These items include watering cans, garden shears for cutting stems and leaves, hoses for watering seeds and planting stems, garden hammocks to enjoy sunny days and attractive containers, and garden stakes to stake beds. A watering can and a watering tube are generally enough to provide an average home gardener with enough water and nutrients for a plant to grow healthy.
* Plant Fertilizer – Adding fertilizer to your soil is a great way to keep your plants healthy. Make sure that you buy a good quality product. For container gardening, you will probably want to use a natural fertilizing compound such as plant food. For dinner, however, you might consider using a compost in his soil (compost tea) instead of using fertilizer. This way, you’ll get the best of both composting and soil building in your plants.
* Other Accessories You Might Need – You may also want to consider the following gardening accessories: hoes and knives, planting trays, garden gloves, spades, shovels and rakes, hoes, scissors, and a wheelbarrow. As mentioned earlier, container gardening requires certain gardening tools and equipment. If your garden is too small to accommodate all the gardening equipment you may need, you may want to consider buying used. There are many places to find good quality used tools for gardening at a reasonable price.
Gardening can be an enjoyable pastime, when done properly. However, if you don’t know what plants to grow, you may find it difficult to grow a healthy garden. A little education can go along way and by learning a bit more about growing media, you’ll have a better chance of succeeding.