Hanging baskets can be more than just a beautiful way to brighten up the front of your home, they can also be a useful way to expand the space you have to grow food for yourself and your family. Here are some of the best edible hanging basket plants that can look wonderful as well as providing sustenance for your table:
Strawberries are one of the most popular edible plants for hanging pots or baskets. There are plenty of hanging or trailing strawberries to choose from – small, alpine strawberries are particularly popular.
2. Cherry Tomatoes
Any tumbling tomatoes are ideal hanging basket plants. Tomatoes of the right varieties will trail over the edge of your hanging container and provide a bountiful harvest. You can place three or four such plants around the edge of your hanging basket. At the center of the basket, you could consider sowing some basil – a great companion for tomatoes in the garden and on the plate.
3. Chilli Peppers
Fiery chilli peppers also come in many different varieties, some of which are among the best plants for hanging baskets. Again, the changing fruits will provide much visual interest and can rival the most attractive floral displays.
Peas look very pretty trailing over the edges of a hanging basket. You can choose green or purple podded varieties, or a mix of the two. Peas are nitrogen fixers and will help keep a mixed arrangement including flowers for hanging baskets happy and healthy.
Vining beans can also look good in a hanging basket, along with a range of flowers and herbs. Runner beans also have stunning scarlet flowers which can provide a visual appeal as well as food for your kitchen. Choose a deep basket or pot and feed and water well to ensure that the plants have enough nutrition to crop well.
Cucumbers are another of the great edible plants for hanging pots. Take good care of your cucumber and it will crop prolifically – just make sure that your hanging pot is strong enough to take the weight of the cucumbers that will form on the vine.
7. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes make one of the best plants for hanging baskets. They are edible as well as appealing, plus the plant is easy to care for.
Place a sprouted sweet potato in a cup of water in late winter and allow the sprouts to grow for one month. When sprouts are six inches long, use a sharp knife to cut off each individual sprout. Plant each sprout in separate hanging baskets. The plant will develop into a long vine that will cascade down over the basket about four feet. Keep soil moist at all times.
Sweet potatoes are ready to harvest when vine turns yellow in late summer.
This is a cucumber that looks like a tiny watermelon and is ideal for growing as a hanging plant outdoors. The vine will cascade over the basket about six feet and develop watermelon-looking vegetables along the vine length.
In early spring, place two cucamelon seeds in the center of a hanging basket filled with potting soil. Water thoroughly and place basket in a sunny location. Keep soil moist and use a water soluble plant food every other week to keep plant fed. Cucamelons will be ready to harvest in July and August.
A large hanging basket will look wonderful when populated with a courgette (zuccini) plant. Not only will you get the large, yellow flowers but can also enjoy the abundant harvest when the time comes. Again, make sure that the container you have chosen is strong enough to take the weight as the plant grows.
Fragrant lavender makes a lovely hanging basket plant with its spikes of purple flowers that attract pollinators. Select a hanging basket that is at least 12 inches in diameter, place liner and potting soil in basket, then place seed on plant in the center. Lightly cover seed or plant roots and water.
Place hanging basket in direct sun. Lavender will bloom in summer, keep spent blooms pruned off plant. Water when soil is dry to touch.
11. Mixed Salad Leaves
For a more delicate display, mixed, cut and come again salad leaves in a range of shapes, sizes and colors will look beautiful and is a great alternative to some of the more traditional hanging basket plants. Combine salad leaves with edible flowers such as pansies and violets for more colorful salads throughout the year.
One of the most attractive and useful flowers for hanging baskets is the nasturtium, which will form large, trailing plants with an abundance of flowers. Not only will nasturtiums look great, they will also add to your salads – the leaves and the flowers are edible. Then, when the plants go to seed, the seeds can be used as an alternative to capers.
Thyme is just one of the many herbs which are well suited to growing in hanging baskets. All of the Mediterranean herbs will do well in the well-drained environment of a hanging basket. Try rosemary, marjoram, oregano, basil and more. Herbs can be added easily to mixed arrangements can can help add flavor to your food throughout the summer months.
Parsley is slow to germinate and can take up to three weeks after planting seeds to show signs of life. Its bright green, feathery leaves are worth the wait and this herb will reward you with tasty flavor all summer.
In early spring, plant seeds six inches apart in a hanging basket. Mix one tablespoon of granulated fertilize into potting soil prior to planting seeds. Place basket in a sunny location and keep soil moist at all times.
Snip off leaves as desired to use as a food garnish, or chew to freshen breath.
Basil makes an ideal hanging basket plant. This herb will grow quickly to fill in the hanging container to create a lovely, colorful and tasty plant.
Select a hanging basket, liner for the basket, like coir or moss, potting soil and basil seeds.
Place the liner in the basket, then add potting soil to within one inch of the top rim of the basket.
If the potting soil does not contain fertilizer, mix in one tablespoon of granulated fertilizer per basket prior to planting seeds.
Place two seeds in the center of the basket and lightly cover seeds with 1/4 inch of potting soil. After seeds germinate, remove the smallest plant so the one remaining will have plenty of room to grow. Basil will reach a mature size of 12-18 inches, but can be kept pruned to any desired height.
Basil seeds can be planted in spring. Place hanging basket in a sunny location. Leaves can be harvested any time the plant has reached six inches tall. Allow soil to become dry to the touch between watering.
Mint is one of the best hanging basket plants because of its fragrance. There are many varieties of mint, all are fragrant and good for container growing.
Select a hanging basket, liner for the basket, like coir or moss, potting soil and mint seeds.
Place liner, then add potting soil in basket. If the potting soil does not contain fertilizer, mix in one tablespoon of granulated fertilizer per basket prior to planting seeds.
Plant two seeds per planter, and place in a bright location, but not in direct sunlight. Keep potting soil moist at all times. Snip off leaves after herb reaches four inches tall.
17. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers, or sweet peppers, come in all shapes and forms. There are varieties available that are well suited to small space growing and are great hanging basket plants. Some will dangle over the edge of a basket while others will create a bush of peppers in an attractive form, providing interest from flowering through to harvest as the fruits change color.
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