A fresh take on gardening - how to save space & grown your own produce!
Written by Leeza Axelrod
As summer rolls around, what could be more exciting than stepping outside and inhaling the delightful aroma of ripe tomatoes? The answer is having a multi-crop hanging vegetable garden! Hanging vegetable gardens are an excellent way to conserve space and enjoy year-round fresh produce. Although tomatoes are the stereotypical hanging garden marvel, many aren’t aware of the numerous fruits and vegetables that grow this way. So let’s get to it!
Growing our own herbs has become especially trendy recently, but aside from the usual basil, oregano, rosemary combination, many don’t know about the garden variety of herbs that would love to take root in your hanging garden! The best kinds of baskets to use for herbs are the wire baskets. Use some watered nutritious moss liner around the inside of the basket. Place a plastic bag with cut-out drainage holes, and then add soil! Most importantly, a successful hanging herb garden needs drainage, so make sure water is getting all the way through!
Let's Get Fruity!
The most popular hanging garden fruit, by far, is strawberries! Sweet and aromatic, strawberries bring a touch of color to any garden, and they’re easy to maintain. Also, the strawberries never touch soil, so you won’t ever lose anymore strawberries to soil rot. Strawberries need full sunlight, and a good amount of breathing room in the basket, five strawberry plants is the absolute maximum! In general, it’s the smaller fruit plants that tend to do better in hanging baskets because they require less root space and the crop isn’t as heavy. Of course we already know that tomatoes and strawberries do quite well in hanging baskets, what other sweet snacks can we plant like this? Raspberries and blueberries grow nicely in hanging baskets, but before you start, make sure to look into the type of soil you’ll need to optimize growth. Blueberries, for example, need soil that is slightly more acidic than regular soil.
It might actually be easier to talk about all the veggies that CAN’T grow in a hanging basket!
Delicious fresh greens like cabbage, kale, lettuce (leaf and romaine), mustard greens, spinach,
and swiss chard will all prosper in your very own hanging garden, especially hung in a partially-
shaded area. Best of all, the leaves stay slug-free in their elevated habitat!
When growing leafy vegetables in a hanging garden, you can plant them only in the top of the basket (see left) or around the outside perimeter of the basket to make the basket
Peas and beans are no strangers to hanging out in a vertical garden! In fact, growing them in a pot is easier than growing them on the ground because they do not require constant added support structures for growing vines. In a vertical garden, the vines just hang beautifully down from the basket. When the vines get too close to the ground, about half a foot away, pinch the bottom of the vine between your fingers to prevent further growth. Make sure to water them frequently, as these guys tend to dry out rather quickly!
There are many other veggies you can grow in a hanging garden! Remember, the better your soil is, the better your vegetables will be, so for best results, get ready to buy some manure or composted soil!
As you venture out into the garden-variety of vegetables you can plant in a hanging basket, remember to keep in mind the size of the crop. Although it’s possible to grow pumpkins and squash vertically, make sure the container you select to house them will be able to support the weight of a fully- grown pumpkin. If you do decide to take this route, keep in mind that additional support structures may be useful to use. For example, frames, trellises, arbors, and tripods (scaled down to fit in your hanging garden) may do the trick when it comes to providing additional support!