Vertical gardening is a huge development when it comes to vegetables but also space in your garden. You can now grow vegetables in fhas seen a rise in popularity over the past few years as urban gardeners with small yards make the most of porches, walls, fences and trellises in their efforts to grow their own fruits and vegetables. Plus, by moving portions of your edible garden up, you free up space in raised beds and earthbound containers for more produce. Leave tall, sprawling, or heavy fruits and vegetables such as corn, squash, and watermelons, respectively, in your garden, but move the cherry tomatoes and strawberries up where you can see them every time you come in or out of your house.
Set yourself up for success by first choosing the right basket. Make sure you choose a sturdy basket that hands from a chain and not from a plastic hook; in addition to the growing plants themselves, the basket will need to be strong enough to support the weight of soil and water as well. It also needs to be an appropriate size for whatever you are trying to grow. If you skimp on depth, the roots will have nowhere to go. If you’re growing heavy, full-sized plants, you’ll need a deep pot to handle their extensive root systems. Use a five-gallon bucket with drainage holes drilled into the bottom and sides. Fill it with potting soil and use a chain to suspend it.
Once you have chosen your crop and receptacle, prepare the container as you would if you were planting flowers on your back deck. Fill it with a good potting mix and periodically apply fish emulsion or a slow-release fertilizer. Plants in containers quickly deplete the nutrients within the container. They also dry out quickly in hot weather, so be sure to water every day.
Now that you know how to proceed, it’s time to pick your crops. Check out these 5 vegetables that will thrive in a hanging basket.
Cherry tomatoes are one of the best choices for container gardening. They are beautiful and easy to grow. They even smell good. Stick with bush varieties that stay compact and will trail down the sides of your basket. Plant one per pot unless you are using a 5-gallon bucket; tomatoes are heavy feeders and will hog nutrients.
Lightweight and easy to grow, lettuce is a champion of container gardening. It stays relatively small and the bright green ruffled leaves look pretty next to trailing vines. It does best in full sun except during the peak of summer when it will require respite from afternoon sun.
Beans will climb and trail over the sides of a hanging basket, making for a pretty picture and easy harvesting. Try growing purple wax beans to add some color.
Regular-sized cucumbers will be too heavy for your hanging basket. Try growing bush or mini-cucumbers or, instead, grow Mexican sour gherkins which taste like cucumbers but look like small watermelons. While technically not a member of the cucumber family, Mexican gherkins are a delicious substitute for cucumbers.
The climbing and trailing habits of peas make them a dynamic addition to a hanging garden and their sweet little white flowers add to the visual appeal. Their fruit is lightweight and they are very hardy. Just be vigilant about watering every day.