Are you under the assumption gardening won’t work for you because you have limited space?
Don’t even allow yourself to go there. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and your way may be having a hanging basket garden on a balcony or in an outdoor space.
If you can come up with an appropriate place to hang a basket, then you can have a garden!
Keep in mind, you may not be able to grow as large a quantity or variety as a traditional gardener, but growing anything beats growing nothing.
Here are the crops to grow in your hanging basket garden and a few tips to get you started:
Considerations for a Hanging Basket Garden
When it comes to developing a garden in hanging baskets, there are a few things you must do for success. They require much of the same care as typical gardens do:
1. Sturdy Hanger
If you plant a crop in a hanging basket, it can be as dressy or plain as you prefer. Some people will even mix vegetables in with flowers.
It gives a gorgeous design (which tends to make HOA’s happier), but it can add additional weight to the basket too. Make sure you have a sturdy hanger to support the weight of your basket.
2. Adequate Sunlight
When you plant crops in a hanging basket, sunlight matters. Some crops, such as peppers and tomatoes, love sunlight.
While other crops, such as peas and lettuce, prefer cooler temperatures. Pay attention to how much sunlight your basket will get. Also, consider which time of year you plant specific crops.
3. It Isn’t One Size Fits All
The biggest mistake you can make when growing a garden in hanging baskets is choosing the wrong size baskets.
Every crop will need a pot which is at least one gallon. If you choose to plant larger crops, you should have an even deeper pot.
4. Soil Needs Love
As with any garden, soil matters. Be sure you either purchase or create an ideal soil to promote a happy growing space for your plants.
The soil should have all the necessary nutrients your plant needs. While also providing proper drainage too. A tip I was taught about soil is when it shares the same appearance and consistency as a moist chocolate brownie; it’s a perfect space for your crops.
5. Proper Drainage
The first year I grew a container garden, I forgot all about this step in the process. I chose gorgeous pots, but they lacked drainage.
You guessed it. My crops died from drowning. Make sure your hanging baskets drain properly, or your garden could face the same issue.
6. Plants Need Water
Watering your crops matters regardless if you’re growing a humongous outdoor garden or only one small hanging basket.
It’s better to water your crops deeply every few days than having a shallow watering session every day. Be sure to check your soil regularly because where there’s less of it, the plants dry out faster.
7. Fertilizing Helps
Plants need to be fertilized. Like us, they require food with proper nutrients from time to time to grow to their full potential.
Be sure to add compost as a natural fertilizer. If you choose to use store-bought fertilizers follow the instructions for best results.
8. Pruning Matters
Though most hanging basket gardens are done on an annual basis, there will still be some pruning involved.
When you begin to see dead areas on the plant, do your best to support good health. Anything which appears dead or diseased should be removed.
9. Harvest Time
Be sure to harvest your hanging basket garden as needed. By removing the harvest regularly, you’re encouraging the plant to produce even more.
You may not have enough to preserve, but it should be enough to help you avoid buying the item from the grocery store during the growing season.
10. Make Wise Choices
When choosing to create a hanging basket garden, make sure you make wise choices for crops. It’s best to go with smaller plants because of their need for support and headspace in the pot.
Choosing plants which grow on vines works well too because they’ll drape over the edge of the basket. Also, be prepared to treat any plant you grow as an annual because most don’t overwinter well.
What to Grow in Your Hanging Basket Garden?
A hanging basket garden can be an ideal solution for those who live in apartments or on small pieces of property with little room for gardening.
Don’t assume because you’re growing your garden in a hanging basket, you won’t have much of one. There’s quite a variety of crops which work well for this type of garden.
Be sure to consider the amount of space the plant will take, the amount of room it needs to grow, and how heavy the matured product will be.
Here are some great options for raising your own crops in a hanging basket:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Leaf lettuce
- Swiss Chard
- Pearl onions
- Spring onions
- Baby variety of carrots
What You Shouldn’t Grow in Hanging Baskets
As many items as you see you can grow in a hanging basket garden, there are still a few you shouldn’t grow. Here’s what you shouldn’t consider growing in this style of garden and why:
1. Heavy Crops
You notice above, cherry tomatoes were the option given instead of basic tomatoes. The reason for this is some varieties of tomatoes are smaller while some are quite large.
If you were to try and grow a beefsteak tomato in a hanging basket, the produce would become heavy to the point it could break the basket.
When considering which crops to grow in this type of garden, don’t only look at the size of the plant but also the size of the crop it will produce.
2. Root Vegetables
Though root vegetables don’t have large tops to them, they do require a large grow space beneath them to produce a decent sized product.
Therefore, unless you have a massively deep hanging basket, root vegetables aren’t going to be your pick.
However, I did mention a few smaller varieties of root vegetables above which could work for a hanging basket. The small varieties don’t require as much grow space or depth of soil to produce a full-size product.
3. Tall Crops
You won’t want to grow tall crops in a hanging basket. It may seem like a no-brainer, but it was worth a mention.
There are some patio varieties of larger crops (like corn), but they still won’t work in a hanging basket. If the plant will reach the roof the basket is hanging from, it’s not a good candidate.
The good news is, if you have space to hang a basket outdoors, you may have the space to take your taller crops and plant them in a container garden. This would give you more room to grow and more of an opportunity to produce your own food.
You now have the information necessary to start your own hanging basket garden. No more excuses about not having space, you’re now equipped to care for the garden and knowledgeable of which crops should be successful when grown in a hanging basket. As well as, which may not be the best choice for this style of garden.
Even if you have a more extensive garden, a hanging basket garden is a great way to give you even more space and more room to produce different foods around your property.
By having a hanging basket garden close to your kitchen, you can have a lovely salad garden with cherry tomatoes and lettuce. Since lettuce has different colored leaves, they are often used for decoration and would look and work great in your hanging baskets.
Now that you are empowered with more knowledge, we trust you will be a little more self-sufficient and enjoy the hobby of gardening while indulging in a healthier diet straight from your garden.
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