The Hanging Gardens is ranked as the second ancient world wonder- The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, of course-,It was a large collection of plants that were hung from the gigantic balconies and rooftops of a palace at the east bank of the Euphrates River.
The reason behind the Hanging Gardens sounds like a fairy tale. King Nebuchadnezzar II, built the garden around 600 B.C. to make his Queen Amytis less homesick.
Queen Amytis missed her mountainous home in Medea, so the King decided to bring the mountains to his palace.
From these gazzilion years old story, we draw the solution to urban gardening, with limited space and no backyard.
With hanging-basket gardens, we get to pull off a Nebuchadnezzar and bring the countryside to the city
...living in urban areas -small space- and lack of grassy yards should not doom your gardening mojo. Don't pass out on what tiny apartments can offer when you can grow herbs, veggie, flowers, and fruits in hanging baskets maximize balcony, patio and indoor spaces.
Below is a hanging basket garden starter guide for all gardening urbanites.
Away From Flowers,Grow- Veggies, Herbs and Fruits
You can grow a surprising variety of crops in hanging baskets.
Although more commonly used for annual flowers a basket dangling from a porch or mounted on a wall make a fun, attractive container for growing veggies, herbs or fruits.
Not everyone has the space for a full-grown vegetable garden but even a few pots clustered on the balcony or patio can make a meaningful contribution to the kitchen.
Hanging baskets will offer an excellent way to pack more produce into a smaller space. Suspended from rafters, walls or framing they provide ample opportunity to make the very best of the space you have.
Cherry tomatoes and strawberries work really well in hanging baskets while growing salad leaves this way will lift them out of reach of hungry slugs.
Chilli peppers, leafy herbs, spinach,bush-dwarf- beans, even cucumbers are suitable candidates for basket growing and can make a highly attractive display.
Carefully choose where to hang the baskets. Some vegetables such as tomatoes and pepper need a lot of sun to thrive, but there are others that cope with much less.
Chives, beetroot, carrots, leeks, and turnips will all cope in partial shade, as well as some fruits such as blackberries and blackcurrants.
And of course don't forget a basket of flowering annuals to pull pollinators.
Fruits, Veggies, and Herbs to Grow in Hanging Baskets
StrawberriesGrowing strawberries in baskets have several advantages, not only are the fruits raised up which makes picking easy nice and easy, but the plants are also well out of reach by many pests.
The plants should not rot as they have no direct contact with the soil. Plants hang on the side which is ideal coz berries don't like contact with wet surfaces like the soil.
To help the strawberries flourish, make sure the basket isn't filled to the rim so that there's space for watering.
Bush and Pole BeansBeans grow well in containers, making them a suitable choice in small spaces such as on balconies and patios. Make sure you grow vine-type beans, such as pole beans. The resulting plants will not only provide fresh beans but also add beauty to your space.
Bush beans are perfect because you won't need to build a support system or weight the planter to prevent it from falling over. Pole beans in hanging baskets have vines spilling over the sides for support and beauty which make them perfect candidates.
Drape the vines over the sides of the hanging pots when they are long enough. As the plant grows, continue to train the vines to the outside of the pot.
Harvest the beans from the plant when they reach maturity. Picking the beans often will help the plant to produce more beans as the season progresses.
Hanging baskets are perfect for developing cucumbers with dangling plants being straighter and with more uniform shapes than those grown lying on the soil.
Hanging plants are also less perceptible to diseases and pests hence producing healthier plants, hanging also saves me some space and produces a lot of cucumbers continuously.
Let's Go Ahead and Plant Up a Hanging Basket: 10 Quick Steps
- Start by selecting a basket that's at least 14Inches-35Cms- in diameter. This will hold at least a gallon of potting soil which means it will be slow to dry out.
- Since the basket will be too heavy make sure that your hanging chain and the support you're hanging the basket from is strong enough
- If your basket needs a liner, place it on a bucket to stop it from rocking then use an old potting soil bag or any appropriate alternative to line the basket
- Open the bag, then cut it to size erring on the generous size just in case you underestimate your basket
- Line your basket such that the inside of the old potting soil bag sits with the black surface facing out.
- Perce some whole into the liner for drainage. Don't pierce the bottom of the liner coz it should collect water effectively acting as a hardy reservoir. Alternatively, you could place a pot saucer into the bottom.
- Now for the potting soil, use a quality multipurpose soil mixed with a handful of slow-release fertilizer. You could also mix a couple of handfuls of rotten leafmold to improve water retention.
- Begin filling your basket with the potting soil mix. Make sure you determine how many plants will go into your basket. A basket this size can hold three strawberry plants, two cherry tomatoes plants plus french marigold or basil as companion plants. You can also plant three pepper plants or up to five leafy herbs.
- Remove the plants from their pots. Gently tease apart the outside roots then space them out equally in the basket. Fill in around the roots with potting soil firming it in with your fingertips as you go. The final level of the potting soil should be an inch or three Cms below the basket rim.
- Trim off any excess liner then hang the basket up and give it a thorough watering. Most crops including strawberries prefer sunny positions while leafy salads and herbs will be fine in part-shaded locations
Looking After Hanging Baskets Plants
Do Provide Adequate Water
Hanging baskets are completely reliant on you for enough moisture, so water your basket as soon as they start to dry out. Water your plants when the top quarter inch of the potting is dried out.
Potted plants especially flowers will generally need more water than in-ground plants because of limited soil. Hanging gardens need even more watering due to exposure to heat and air, hence this may require watering as frequently as twice a day in hot weather.
When slow realize fertilizer is exhausted begin watering on a liquid feed once a week. Use a fertilizer that encourages more flowers and fruits like tomato fertilizer.
You could also make your own feed by stepping comfrey leaves in water to make a comfrey tea.
Pick,Pinch and Prune Plants Regulary
When you need your plants to stay nice and full all season you need to frequently prune or pinch them to ensure a regular lush.Hanging baskets plants tend to develop laterally filling the basket but with little growth on top which you remedy by pruning.
Hack excessive side growth selectively with handheld pruning tool for hard stem plants like flowers and pinch veggies and herbs. Pick fruiting plants like tomatoes and strawberries.Pruning side growth will stimulate even growth on top.
Pinch tips off growing branches a month after planting and repeat every six weeks to help the plant fill out the hanging basket and take a lush dense look.Regularly picking fruiting plants will encourage better fruiting while leafy salads and herbs such as basil and mint respond by growing lot more leaves
Don't Use Ordinary Fertilizer
Standard fertilizers are often too potent and release their nutrients too quickly for container-grown flowers, increasing the risks of nitrogen burns.
Instead, use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer labeled for use in container gardens. Application rates vary by product, but you usually apply around one tablespoon per square foot of container.
These products release their nutrients over the course of three to four months and gently feed the plants.
Leach Pots Twice Annually and Re-pot When its Overgrown
Over time, soluble salts from water and fertilizer build-up in hanging planters. This mineral buildup can reach toxic levels and kill your hanging flowers.
Once every six months, leach the container's soil to purge the soil of excess salts. To leach the pot, water it with twice the amount of water that would fill the pot.
Ceramic planters are gorgeous, but might not be the best choice for a new plant; finding something with a hole in the bottom should be your first priority.Not only will it let your soil drain properly during regular waterings, but it will allow you to water dry plants efficiently.
As your plant continually grows a container that took two strawberry plants might be overwhelmed hence you will require to change the pot. Regularly monitor the growth of your plant and change the pot when its due.