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Gardening Hints

April second week in your garden:

PLANT UP HANGING BASKETS: As the days become warmer and the threat of late frosts recedes, you can plant hanging baskets with tender plants for colorful summer displays.
-   New types of basket using woven rattan or twigs are becoming more popular, because of their natural appearance and the range of shape available. Otherwise, the traditional alternative of a wire basket lined with moss raked out of your lawn when scarifying will serve perfectly.
-   Plant up wire basket in layers so that you can insert plants around sides as you go.
-   Start by placing moss around the bottom and sides of the lower thirds of the basket.
-   Fill with multipurpose compost or special hanging basket fertiliser. Insert trailing plants evenly around the sides.
-   Position the liner or place more moss around the sides of the basket and fill up to around two-thirds full with compost, introducing another layer of trailing plants as you do so. Moss up the basket to the rim and finish by planting in the center and trailing and cascading plants around the edges.
-   When planting up, be very carefully not to damage the roots of the plants. Broken stems will regenerate more easily than damaged roots.
-   After planting, water the basket well and stand it in a sheltered place in good light until it has established.
-   Keep the basket well watered and removed dead flowerheads regularly.

PLANTS FOR HANGING BASKETS:
-   Dichondra 'Silver falls' is a relatively new introduction. The metallic foliage cascades in curtains.
-   Helichrysum petoliare ‘Roundabout’ has small, softly variegated lemon and green foliage.
-   Lotus berthelotii has needle-like sage-green-leaves, complemented by burnt-orange beak-like flowers.
-   Setura cordata ‘Snowflake’ has delicate, small, green leaves and is smothered in dainty white, star-like flowers.
-   Apart from more recent introductions, you can always rely on the all-time favourites such as trailing fuchsias, pelargoniums, petunias, lobelias and Swan River daisies.

Gardening Hints
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