Plant an Edible Hanging Basket

Sheena Adams shows us how gardeners with just a sunny balcony can grow an edible garden.

Credit: Sheena Adams

Even gardeners with just a small space or a sunny balcony can grow an edible garden. Hanging baskets don’t take up much room or require a lot of care, and stuffed full of herbs and veggies, they can offer beauty and fragrance as well as the ingredients for salads and stir-fries.

Your container can be plastic or a coir-lined basket, but the minimum size should be 30 cm wide by 25 cm deep (12 by 10 in.). Measure out enough lightweight sterilized hanging basket mix to fill the container and mix in 125 mL (1⁄2 cup) of organic fertilizer and 15 mL (3 tsp.) of bone meal. Gently nestle your plants in, water well, and enjoy watching your garden grow and ripen. These vegetables and herbs require sunlight and warmth to produce well, so pick an area with full afternoon sun. As with any container, the soil will dry out quickly: be sure to water regularly, sometimes even twice daily. Vegetables are heavy feeders, so supplement the organic fertilizer you mixed into the soil at planting time with an application of liquid kelp or fish fertilizer every 10 days. A hanging basket garden is also great for those who are tired of battling slugs. Being up and off the ground makes them somewhat slug resistant. Italian Basket Centre a ‘Juliet’ tomato in your hanging basket and surround with Italian flat parsley, trailing rosemary, ‘Merlot’ lettuce, ‘Fairy Tale’ eggplant, ‘Cool Breeze’ cucumber and ‘Red Rubin’ basil. Herb Basket Plant your choice of chives in the centre and surround with curly parsley, trailing rosemary, silver thyme, sweet basil, cilantro, purple sage, and poke in five nasturtium seeds. Oriental Vegetable Basket Surround a ‘Tumbler’ tomato with ‘Siam Queen’ basil, mizuna, gai lan, ‘Snow Wind’ snow peas, ‘Lemon’ cucumber and ‘Brunia’ lettuce. Mexican Basket Use a ‘Sweet Million’ tomato as your centrepiece in this one and surround with a ‘Teddy Bear’ sunflower, cilantro, ‘Early Jalapeno’ pepper, ‘Salad Bowl’ lettuce, chives, ‘Canary Yellow’ Swiss chard and a ‘Salad Bush’ cucumber. Salad Bowl Basket Plant a ‘Red Pear’ tomato in the centre and surround with chives, ‘Red Sails’ lettuce, ‘Salad Bowl’ lettuce, ‘Lemon’ cucumber, curly parsley and two pansies.