If you don’t have space on the ground, grow up! Hanging baskets don’t have to be about flowers, they are a great place for vegetables too…
Pop your baskets on top of some large pots so you can work on them without them wobbling around. Add a liner if there isn’t one. You can buy coir basket liners from garden centres or cut up old compost bags. Punch holes in the base so water can drain out.
Mix peat-free compost with slow-release fertiliser and a handful of water-retaining gel and water. Leave for a few minutes to allow the gel to take effect. Baskets can dry out very easily so anything you can do to keep the soil moist is a bonus.
Now for the planting! Many vegetables will tolerate basket life – and the benefits are, they tend to be more difficult for slugs and snails to attack. Ensure you leave space for plants to grow and bush out. And water and fertilise regular over the summer – this aerial garden will rely solely on you for its sustenance.
- Try tumbling cherry tomatoes (such as ‘Cherry Cascade’), with curly-leafed parsley, marigolds, and yellow and orange black-eyed Susan.
- Strawberry plants, especially wild strawberry, alongside trailing nasturtium looks beautiful. As well as edible leaves and flowers, you can pickle nasturtium seeds heads like capers. Select strawberry varieties that fruit at different times and you could have rich pickings from June until the autumn.
- Summer herbs such as basil, parsley, chive and oregano would be very useful by the kitchen door, or even a basket of colourful salad leaves. It’s also possible to grow dwarf French beans (‘Hestia’ or ‘Purple Teepee’) in large baskets. Add a pop of colour with violas, alpine pinks or lavender.