I always found hanging baskets to be a beautiful way to display flowers and plants. They add a variety of color and fragrance to areas of your home, like a balcony, porch or patio, that might otherwise be plain and boring.
And now the thought of having a hanging vegetable garden has my mouth watering! For those of you who always wanted to grow your own vegetables but lacked the space, there is no excuse now – hanging gardens are the way to go!
Why Are Hanging Vegetable Gardens a Great Idea?
It is a perfect solution for those who love to garden, but live in an apartment or home without a backyard.
With hanging vegetable gardens, you utilize vertical space, whether you choose to have one basket or multi-tiered baskets; and you also avoid pests since your vegetables are elevated and not planted in the ground.
You can even mix and match some vegetables with herbs in a hanging basket and position it near your kitchen for easy access.
You just need to have a sturdy, overhead anchor point, like a ceiling joist, post or wall stud and the right hardware, like a ceiling hook, extension S-hook, hanger bracket, etc.
Things To Consider When Starting Your Hanging Vegetable Garden …
Just like growing and planting your vegetable garden in the ground, there are similar things to work on when starting your hanging vegetable gardens. Instead of preparing garden beds for seeds or seedlings, garden baskets are prepped.
If you like DIY projects, you can make your own baskets for hanging. Just make sure that you have some sort of guide and purchase the right materials. Let’s look at what things to consider in a hanging vegetable garden:
Basket Size – There are many different styles and designs of baskets. Most baskets are made of wire and come in traditional bowl, conical and oblong shapes.
Some use bare wire and those covered with black, green or white coatings. The liners are made from a thick coconut-fiber shell for planting on top of the basket, or a thinner-coco liner for planting on the sides and bottom.
The most common type of basket is a plastic-coated wire basket suspended from chains and used with a liner.
Basket size is important for a healthy garden – there are small and medium size baskets (up to 12” in diameter) for small plants like herbs, greens, and strawberries; large size baskets (between 14 and 24”) for small eggplant, peppers and tomatoes.
Soil – Whether you make it yourself or if it is store bought, you need nutritious soil to have a healthy garden.
Ingredients to look for: peat – has light acidity and helps with conserving moisture; vermiculite or perlite – aids in drainage and texture of soil; and compost – adds nutrients, preserves moisture, promotes bacteria and fungi, suppresses weeds.
Light/Sun – Sunlight is critical for growth, but the amount of sunlight varies depending on the type of vegetable planted.
Make sure to monitor the amount of sun and make the appropriate positioning adjustments throughout the day and seasons.
Water – Hanging baskets dry out quickly, so it is important to check the soil regularly and water daily and frequently, especially during extremely hot weather. If you are unable to water daily, you can check into drip irrigation kits.
Drainage – Since daily watering is a must for hanging vegetable gardens, the baskets must have excellent drainage to prevent drowning of the vegetables.
Fertilizer – Regular feedings of liquid fertilizer (applied once a week) will encourage more flowering and growth. Compost is a natural fertilizer, if store bought, for best results follow instructions.
Pruning/Harvesting – Support your garden’s health, by removing any broken, dead or diseased plant material. To encourage your garden to produce more vegetables, harvest regularly or as needed.
What Vegetables Can You Grow In Hanging Baskets?
You would be surprised at how many different types of fruits and vegetables can be grown in hanging baskets. Placement and types of baskets play important roles. Some vegetables need a lot of heat and sunlight, while others prefer lower light. Even small vegetables need at least a gallon pot/basket/container to have enough space to grow well.
Some vegetables, like green beans, peppers, and tomatoes do better in upside down hanging planters. The vegetables grow out of the bottom of the basket/pot, lessening any bending of stems and helps the vegetables receive nutrients and moisture.
Here are some of the more common or popular vegetables found in hanging vegetable gardens:
Tomatoes – Smaller varieties like cherry, grape or dwarf tomatoes thrive in hanging baskets. Usually, one plant per basket is good since they produce a lot and require a lot of water, so place them in an area that is sunny and easy to reach.
If using an upright basket, plant the seeds/seedling in the center of the pot, they will grow over the edges of the container, making it easy to harvest.
Tumbler tomatoes, which come in both red and yellow varieties, are perfect for this type of basket. If you use an upside-down basket, the stems/vines will come down from the bottom, making it easy to pick on demand.
Strawberries – Strawberries, especially Alpine strawberries are perfect for hanging baskets! They require a lot of sunshine to thrive, but partial shade every now and then will not harm them.
They can even grow indoors, if they can get 6 to 8 hours of sunlight every day. After three or four years, you will have to replace your strawberry plants since they will stop producing fruit.
Peas – A dwarf variety or snow pea are great for upside-down hanging baskets. Since they can grow out the bottom, they don’t need a support structure.
Find a sunny spot and watch them grow! Make sure to harvest them as soon as they are ripe, this will encourage the plant to produce more peas.
Lettuce/Salad greens – Lettuce and salad greens in a hanging basket makes it easy to harvest and just like peas, the more you pick the more it produces.
Also, by being off the ground, you no longer have to worry about snails or slugs attacking your greens. Sunny areas are good for greens, however, there are those like spinach, Swiss chard and other lettuces that are okay in some shade.
Herbs – Various herbs are also popular in hanging baskets. You can find a mixture of parsley, thyme, basil, mint and rosemary. Fresh herbs, much better than the store-bought jars.
You can also plant other smaller vegetables such as: peppers, beans, cucumbers, shallots, pearl onions, spring onions, radishes, etc. These vegetables can grow in small to large containers, they are not too heavy, will not break the baskets and do not require a lot of space to grow.
The Bottom Line
If you have never gardened or if you have one right outside in your yard, a hanging vegetable garden is a welcome addition. It’s a wonderful way to use vertical space, especially if you have a limited area and also helps you avoid dealing with pests on the ground.
Just think, being able to reach for your herbs and vegetables when prepping your meals, not to mention, having everything you need for a mouthwatering salad at arm’s length. You now have something that is not only decorative but delicious! Vegetable garden here we come …