I was just about to plant some flowers in a hanging basket I have when I remembered that I have several leftover starter plants that are zucchini, summer squash, lemon cukes, and pickling cukes. I got a crazy idea that if you can put those plants in the ground and trellis them upward, why couldn't you start with them in a basket and have them hang over the edge downward.
I realize that once there are veggies on the vines, I might have to sling the veggies in some sort of way. Has anyone ever tried any of these in a hanging basket? If so, do you have any advice for me? Thanks.
Tina from Ashland, OR
Many veggies can be grown in hanging baskets. Some people like to refer to this as "minigardening".
The best candidates are vegetables with compact or sprawling growth habits like squash, mini peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, runner or pole beans, peas, and cucumbers. Mini, compact, or dwarf varieties tend to work best because the fruits are smaller (and lighter) and less apt to grow too heavy for the plant.
You can certainly use up your "full-sized" seeds; just expect to see diminished returns in fruit size and overall production.
Strawberries, assorted greens, and a variety of herbs can also be grown successfully in hanging baskets. Alone or mixed in with a few edible flowers (like nasturtiums), a hanging basket full of cascading vegetables is both colorful and practical.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure your basket is large enough to accommodate the roots of whatever type of vegetable you decide to grow. Use the deepest, widest baskets you can and fill them with a lightweight potting mix (regular garden soil will be too heavy).
- Use a soil retention product and solid-style baskets to help prevent the soil from drying out too quickly.
- Check moisture levels daily-twice a day during extreme heat.
- Fertilize veggies regularly using a slow release organic fertilizer or compost tea.
- Baskets should hang in a location that receives at least 6 hours of sun per day.
- Give baskets a quarter to a half turn once each week to encourage even growth.
- Avoid hanging your baskets too high. Remember you will need to access them daily.