Coir baskets are a bit different from your ordinary hanging basket or planter box. For one thing, they are often reduced to metal shells and left hanging around, waiting around patiently to be given a purpose in life. However, giving them a new lease on life is a very easy way to add some pizzazz to your yard without spending a ton of money. That’s always a plus around the holiday season when the last thing you want to do is add another item to your shopping list. So, if you’ve got an empty metal basket, or you know where to find one, it’s time to get down to the coir of the matter and fix it up. Here’s how.
Coir Baskets Supplies
You will need:
A Metal Basket
We moved into a new house and noticed that one was already attached to the side of the garage so there wasn’t any set up costs here, which was great since new ones cost around $25 each. But there was also the fact that a random metal contraption on the side of the garage looked odd. Hence the refurbishment project.
I spent around $5 on the one I got. Just make sure that the liner in question fits into the metal basket you’re using. You know the drill: round baskets for round planters, long baskets for long planters, etc.
You want enough to fill the container up. This can quickly get expensive if you get a lot of plants or go with pricey specimens. So keep an on your budget here if you tend to go overboard. Make sure the plants you’ll be using are suitable for the growing conditions that you’ve got. For instance, get winter hardy plants for fall/winter and heat proof plants for spring/summer. You’ll also want to make sure the plants in question have similar watering requirements and will play nicely with one another.
Prices here range from $4 to $8 a bag, depending on what kind you get and how much you need. I used to be a proponent of using cheap soil but eventually discovered that none of the brands on the market were doing my garden any favors. If you use mid-range options here, you should be fine. If you don’t mind spending a little extra, Miracle Grow is usually a pretty good choice.
No need for anything elaborate. You can use an old, small terracotta or plastic container. Either works for getting the potting soil where it needs to be. The small plastic plant containers work equally well when they’re doubled up inside each other. Another option that works well are small plastic drinking glasses. But you could make your spouse or roommates angry if you don’t clean them out really well. So use these at your own risk!
Soil Amendments and/or Fertilizer
Use whatever kind you have on hand. Just be sure to read the instructions and follow them carefully to avoid harming your plants, especially if you’re using store bought soil amendments and fertilizer. I personally like pelletized fertilizer since it’s easy to use and hard to overdo.
Make sure you have one with different nozzle options. You can purchase a cheap nozzle head at Wal-Mart for $4. The mist and sprinkler options on this one both work okay when it comes to reaching high overhead without much effort. Of course, you can also use a watering can. But it’s hard to control the water when you’re reaching above your head. It’s also easy to drench yourself, leaving the plants high and dry. Use at your own risk.
Stool or Small Step Ladder
Always a recommended step for the vertically challenged among us. It’s very helpful if you can’t quite reach the top of the basket from where you are standing.
Refreshing Coir Baskets – The Instructions
1. Remove the old liners, dead plants, used potting soil, and dispose of them as needed. You may even want to clean up the metal basket as well.
2. Gather your supplies together, preferably near the basket in question if it’s already been set up.
4. Fill the liner with potting soil until it’s nearly full of dirt.
5. Mix in soil amendments and/or fertilizer if you’re using them.
6. Take the plants out of their plastic containers and arrange them to your satisfaction.
7. Gently squeeze the plant roots apart, place the flowers back where you want them, and secure them in place with even more potting soil.
8. Water the flowers in your coir basket until liquid starts to come out of the bottom.
9. Add extra dirt if necessary in order to stabilize plants and cover up any exposed roots.
10. Clean up as needed.
11. Remember to water the plants regularly, especially if they’re not somewhere that gets rained on.
Now all that’s left to do is enjoy your coir basket display. At least, until the plants outgrow their environment. Or they die and need to be replaced. And, as always, happy gardening!