BEST CHEF'S HANGING BASKET OF
We all know that tomatoes and specifically cherry tomatoes make great
However, people with small spaces or patios might wonder what else can
be grown in a hanging basket. You might be surprised to find out what
To determine what makes a beautiful candidate for a hanging basket
you first have to evaluate vegetables and the way they grow. Some grow
straight and tall while others tend to sprawl or spread themselves over
the ground. This is often why you see people use trellises, posts or
cages to grow certain vegetables.
Any vegetable that sprawls over the ground can be used in a hanging
Consider Cherry tomatoes, apple cucumbers, dwarf beans, dwarf peas and
smaller compact plants. Lettuce, Chili Peppers and Many Herbs also work
well. Strawberries in hanging baskets are also a favorite and make a
great gift idea.
Where you would normally have to stake many plants up, in a hanging
basket all you need to do is let them grow.
Some care should be taken to with larger, somewhat heavier sprawling
Avoid vegetables such as eggplants, summer squash, pumpkins and fruits
such as melons for while they can be grown in hanging baskets but do
much better in a shorter planter.
The reason for this is that the fruit/vegetable that is produced can
become too heavy to hang on the plant. For this reason I recommend that
you plant these in regular planters and allow them to sprawl to the
ground from a shorter distance. That way any vegetable produced will
have ground to lay on. If you are growing on a patio where the surface
is rough or hot you will want to lay straw under the growing fruit to
keep it from spoiling on the contact surface.
Plant as normal with hanging baskets, fill with soil, plant the
vegetable (remember to plant tomatoes deep, the rest even with the
soil), water regularly, give good sunlight and harvest on time.
Sprawling vegetables allowed to flow down over hanging baskets make
attractive patio garden plants. Many vegetables are suited to container
growing, but dwarf cultivars may be better suited for larger vegetables.
Use a lightweight growing medium of equal parts potting soil, peat
moss and compost, so as not to weigh down your containers. Hang baskets
from sturdy supports and be sure that your containers have good
drainage. Vegetables are heavy feeders, so replenish nutrients regularly
with applications of compost tea or fish emulsion.
Using Hanging baskets for your container vegetable garden expands the
space you have for the planters, allowing you to grow more in a smaller
Hanging Baskets also allow you to take advantage of full sun areas
where you have no available ground space.
Many vegetable plants grow well in hanging baskets.
Cherry tomatoes, beans, and lettuce and leaf vegetables are just a
few crops for basket use. Dwarf vegetable varieties are preferred, but
many plants that normally climb as vines can be planted to trail
downward from a hanging basket.
I enjoy scarlet runner beans, strawberries, and nasturtiums in some
of the baskets. I have even grown cabbage in hanging baskets before,
usually behind greens and flowers. It makes a full rich looking basket
For a pretty mix of vegetables, herbs and flowers, pot up a hanging
basket with cherry tomatoes, parsley and yellow, orange and
cream-colored black-eyed Susan.
Fully laden with fruit, the tomato plant will be quite heavy, so make
sure the basket is hung from a strong bracket. Put the bracket and
basket somewhere sunny so the tomatoes will ripen well.
To help reduce its weight, fill the bottom of the basket with
polystyrene chunks. Top up with compost. Plant the black-eyed Susan and
tomato plant near the edge, and tuck the parsley between them.
Water daily - or twice a day if the weather is very hot or windy -
and feed with tomato food once a week. If frost is forecast in May,
bring the basket under cover.
"Pick the tomatoes as they ripen to encourage the plant to produce
more fruit. Over the summer, trim away any leaves that shade ripening
"Pick parsley leaves when young for the best flavor."
A hanging basket packed with strawberry plants not only looks great,
but will provide you with rich pickings of fresh fruit over several
weeks, and all for just a few pounds. Choose your varieties carefully
and you can have fruit from June until early autumn.
Some basket ideas we like include
Easy to grow and rewarding tomato baskets will provide sweet juicy
fruit for months. Look for the smaller cherry tomato seeds or plants.
The cherry’s will grow up the hanging baskets chain as well as cascade
over the side. Larger tomato varieties tend to snap when used in hanging
baskets – which can be very disappointing.
Tomatoes in Hanging Baskets
Strawberries are great for hanging baskets.
Make a hole in the polythene lining of your basket to allow for
drainage. Fill the hanging basket with compost to just below the rim
using multi-purpose with a bit of loam-based compost added. Space the
strawberry plants evenly around the edge of the basket. As a guide, a
35cm basket will hold four plants.
Hang the basket in a sheltered, sunny spot to help the fruit ripen
and encourage pollinating insects.
Water well to settle the compost and encourage the roots to grow.
Start feeding once flowering has finished. Mix water-retaining gel and
slow-release feed granules into the compost before planting.
Don't plant strawberry plants too deep. The crown, or centre, of the
plant should be at soil level. If the basket is hanging against a wall,
turn it regularly so that all the fruits are exposed to some sun."
Strawberries in Hanging Baskets
LAVENDER & THYME HERB BASKET
Lavender and thyme herbs emit a delicate fragrance. Position this
hanging basket near the patio or a window so you can catch its scent on
the wind. Choose dwarf lavender, such as the compact 'Bella Series', as
the centerpiece and surround it with one or several different
varieties of thyme for a good mix of color and flavors.
Fill the hanging basket with compost mixed with water-retaining
crystals and slow-release fertilizer. Position the dwarf lavender in the
centre of the basket and plant the thyme plants around it.
"At the end of summer, plant out the thyme and lavender into a sunny,
well-drained spot in the garden."
HANGING BASKET OF MIXED LETTUCE
For a really fun hanging basket that will be the envy of fellow
gardeners, try lettuce in a wire hanging basket. Line the basket with
moist sphagnum moss or a preformed Angel Moss liner.
Fill the basket with a light potting soil. Place leaf lettuce
transplants about 4 inches apart in holes throughout the basket. Push
the root ball through the moss into the moist potting soil. Be sure to
place several transplants in the top of the basket, too!
Place the basket where it will get almost full sun. As the lettuce
starts to grow, you will have an almost-perfectly round basket that is
as pretty as an ivy or fern and a whole lot tastier.
You can choose to alternate a green-leaf lettuce, like Black Seeded
Simpson, with a red-leaf lettuce, like Red Sails, in your basket, or
make a basket of each.
Other inspirational hanging basket ideas we have come across include…
ITALIAN HANGING BASKET
Centre a ‘Juliet’ tomato in your hanging basket and surround with
Italian flat parsley, trailing rosemary, ‘Merlot’ lettuce, ‘Fairy Tale’
eggplant, ‘Cool Breeze’ cucumber and ‘Red Rubin’ basil.
MIXED HERB BASKET
Plant your choice of chives in the centre and surround with curly
parsley, trailing rosemary, silver thyme, sweet basil, cilantro, purple
sage, and poke in five nasturtium seeds.
ORIENTAL VEGETABLE BASKET
Surround a ‘Tumbler’ tomato with ‘Siam Queen’ basil, mizuna, gai lan,
‘Snow Wind’ snow peas, ‘Lemon’ cucumber and ‘Brunia’ lettuce.
MEXICAN HANGING BASKET
Use a ‘Sweet Million’ tomato as your centerpiece in this one and
surround with a ‘Teddy Bear’ sunflower, cilantro, ‘Early Jalapeno’
pepper, ‘Salad Bowl’ lettuce, chives, ‘Canary Yellow’ Swiss chard and a
‘Salad Bush’ cucumber.
SALAD BOWL BASKET
Plant a ‘Red Pear’ tomato in the centre and surround with chives, ‘Red
Sails’ lettuce, ‘Salad Bowl’ lettuce, ‘Lemon’ cucumber, curly parsley
and two pansies
ODD BALL IDEAS FOR VEGETABLES IN HANGING
We have seen several ideas for hanging baskets that require a more
“enthusiastic” approach to gardening One that was quite inventive but
worked was growing potatoes in hanging baskets. Yes potatoes – and the
proud owner of this basket reported they got a good crop.
General Hanging Basket Planting Instructions
Fill the hanging basket with a moist, soil-less potting mixture. Use
larger hanging baskets or planters 16-24 inches for best results
Lift the vegetable seedling out of its nursery pot. Plant it in the
planter at the same depth it was at in its pot. Firm the soil over the
root ball gently with your hands.
Hang your basket or planter in an area that receives at least six
hours of direct sunlight -- the minimum required by most plants. Hang
the planter low enough so you can easily water it and tend to the
Water the hanging basket or planter immediately after planting and
Water once daily thereafter, or when the top 1/2 inch of soil feels dry
when you insert your finger into it.
Combine 1 ounce of a 20-20-20 analysis soluble fertilizer with 5
gallons of water. Water the plants with this nutrient solution once a
Harvest the vegetables as soon as they ripen. Frequent harvesting
encourages further vegetable production and also prevents the planter
from becoming overly heavy from ripe produce.
Lavender and Thyme and other hers usually do not require so much
feeding – so perhaps opt for monthly feeding.