If you have limited growing space or just a small garden, did you know that you can grow vegetables in hanging pots? Now, not all veggies are suitable for hanging pots but there are many that do just fine and are ideal if you just have a small space for growing your edibles.
There are just a couple of things to remember when growing in hanging pots.
- Your hanging plants will require water more often. On hot days, it might even be necessary to water twice a day. Using hanging pots with saucers will help to keep them moist. Alternatively, if you’re using a wire basket with a liner, you can pop a saucer in the bottom before adding the potting mix. This will collect and hold water for your plants to use as they need it. However, you need to ensure that the pots or containers themselves have good drainage so that the soil does not stay waterlogged.
- Make sure that the hanging support is strong enough. A large basket or hanging pot filled with damp potting mix can get quite heavy. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure that the support you’re hanging it from is strong enough.
- Try to keep your hanging container garden sheltered from really strong winds. If you live in an area that experiences periods of strong winds, hang your pots in a sheltered spot. There would be nothing worse than having your precious plants end up being smashed on the ground.
- If possible, choose a position in full sun for fruiting vegetables to get the best results.
What You’ll Need To Grow Vegetables In Hanging Pots
Here’s a list of what you’ll need to gather before planting your vegetables in their hanging pots.
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1. A hanging pot. You can choose any type of hanging pot or basket that you wish. Make sure it’s large enough though. Your pot should be at least 12 inches (30cm) in diameter. You can use either a plastic pot with an attached saucer or a basket with a liner.
2. Good quality potting mix. You want your mix to be light, airy and fast-draining. You can purchase mixes designed especially for hanging planters or make your own. A good mix is equal parts of compost, vermiculite and coconut fibre.
3. Slow-release fertilizer. Add a handful of slow-release fertilizer to the potting mix before you place your plants in the pot. This will feed your plants as they get established. But remember, this won’t last forever so you’ll have to top it up during the growing season.
4. A strong support to hang your basket or pot. You can get all sorts of decorative hangers or hooks that you can attach to solid beams or even a wall.
5. Seeds or seedlings. Lastly, you’ll need either seeds or seedlings to plant in the pot. Either is fine but remember that seeds will take a little longer to reach maturity,
Now let’s look at some of the best vegetables to grow in hanging pots.
1. Cherry Tomatoes
Imagine seeing a basket brimming with tiny tomatoes that cascade over the sides of the basket. Cherry tomatoes are ideal for growing in hanging pots as they don’t need as much support as regular larger tomato plants.
Because tomatoes are greedy for both water and fertilizer, stick to one plant per pot. You can, however, pop a basil plant in the top as well. Or, maybe a couple of marigolds. Remember that vegetable gardens can have visual appeal as well.
So, use a little creativity to make your hanging planters look as attractive as possible. Also, tomatoes in hanging pots really benefit from some liquid fertilizer once a week to keep them producing prolifically.
Plus, bear in mind that tomatoes need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily, so choose a nice sunny spot to hang your tomato planter.
I know, I know, strawberries are not a vegetable but a fruit (actually, tomatoes are considered a fruit as well). Nevertheless, strawberry plants deserve a mention as growing these in hanging pots produces the best results.
It keeps the fruit off the ground and away from annoying pests such as slugs and snails. Personally, I’ve been growing strawberries in hanging pots for years and only grow them this way now.
Just remember to keep the water up to them. Like tomatoes, they like to be kept moist. They also benefit from a regular application of liquid fertilizer.
3. Chili Peppers
Growing chilies in hanging pots will give you a lovely colorful display all season long. Pick them when they’re small and they’ll just keep producing.
Cucumbers are a good choice for hanging pots because the long vines can just trail down over the edge of the pot. Or, you can train them to climb up and around the hanging chains. Just remember to support any large developing fruit so their weight doesn’t break the stems.
Lettuce is another great option for growing in hanging pots especially if you go with the loose-leaf variety. Hang these close to your kitchen so that you can harvest a few leaves whenever you need them.
6. Spinach And Swiss Chard
Like lettuce, leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard are ideal to grow in hanging pots near your kitchen. You can then harvest a few leaves for dinner whenever you feel like it. These are also perfect for growing in cooler temperatures as they don’t need full sun to grow well.
7. Dwarf Beans
Dwarf varieties of beans grow on small bushes, so you can easily have some of these in a hanging pot. Remember, the more you pick them, the more they’ll produce. And who doesn’t like freshly picked crisp green beans?
8. Snow Peas
Snow peas and sugar snap peas are one of my favorite vegetable plants because they just keep producing. They’re a good candidate for hanging pots because they can happily trail down over the edges of the pot.
This also keeps them off the ground which may be good for avoiding that dreaded powdery mildew.
There’s nothing quite like a hanging pot full of fresh herbs. You can grow just one variety in a pot or mix it up with a few different ones. This way, you’ll always have fresh herbs to add to your cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! By utilizing hanging pots and containers, it’s easy to grow a variety of different edible plants, even edible flowers.
Ideally, you want to feed your hanging garden around once every two weeks with a liquid fertilizer to ensure that your plants receive plenty of nutrients to grow well.
During summer, it’s best to water your hanging baskets on a daily basis as they’ll dry out fairly quickly in the heat.
Yes, it’s definitely possible to overfeed your plants that grow in hanging baskets. This can be detrimental to the plants because the excess salts in the fertilizers can build up in the soil and burn the roots of your plants. To overcome this, flush the pots or baskets with water on a regular basis, say once every couple of months, until the excess water flows freely from the drainage holes.
As long as your baskets have adequate drainage, it’s unlikely that you will overwater your vegetables. As a precaution, test the moisture in the soil before watering and only water when the top inch or so of soil is dry.
Ideally, you want to use an organic liquid fertilizer like fish emulsion or liquid seaweed fortified with nutrients.
Ultimately, this will depend on the size of the basket but for most vegetable varieties, I would suggest only one to three plants in each basket depending on what you’re growing. For example, if you’re growing lettuce, you can put around three plants per pot but if you’re growing cherry tomatoes, only one plant per pot is ideal.
I hope that this article has inspired you to start growing some vegetables in hanging pots. It’s a great way to have freshly harvested vegetables always available when you want them even if you don’t have the room for a vegetable garden.
Plus, it’s a great way to utilize that hanging space if you don’t have a large garden area to work with. In fact, growing vegetables in hanging pots is ideal if you live in an apartment and only have a balcony space.