Short on space, but want to grow your own vegetables? Urban gardeners often turn to container gardening as a solution, and many trailing vegetables are quite attractive when grown in hanging baskets. By getting a little creative, hanging basket vegetables can turn your patio garden into a conversation item.
Good Vegetables to Grow in Hanging Baskets
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. Vegetables that make attractive hanging baskets include tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, beans, potatoes and sweet potatoes. 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.
Upside Down Vegetables
You’ve probably seen products to grow tomatoes upside down advertised in stores or on television. What they don’t tell you is that you can grow vegetables upside down without purchasing these special and often pricey products. Drill a hole in a large pot or five gallon bucket and cover it with a piece of fibrous material, such as landscaping fabric, newspaper or a coffee filter and cut a slit in it. Slide your vegetable plant through the hole from the inside of the container, so the foliage is sticking out and fill the container with growing medium, tamping the soil gently as you go. Hang the container from a sturdy support and watch them grow upside down. Vegetables that are well suited to upside down growing include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants and beans.
Sweet Potato Basket
For a unique conversation piece, make your basket out of the sweet potato itself. Take a large sweet potato and carve a bowl in the middle, about half the depth of the vegetable. Then insert a small eye hook into each end, with string or chain attached. Hang the sweet potato and pour water into the centre bowl. The sweet potato makes an interesting hanging basket for the attractive vines that will sprout and grow.