|If you only have a small area such as a balcony or porch in which to create a garden, you can do a lot more with hanging pots and baskets that put up a couple of trailing vines. You can create pretty floral displays and even grow herbs and strawberries for the table.
There are many styles of hanging baskets and pots on the market. All you have to do is decide which style you like best, and which plants to grow in them.
Hanging baskets are popular because they give a light and breezy feel to a hanging garden. But before you rush out and buy new baskets, have a quick look around your home or garage. Do you have some woven wicker baskets already that would make hanging plant baskets?
The simple shopping or picnic basket is a case in point. If it has a nice deep bowl and a strong handle, your old shopping basket would make a beautiful hanging container for a flourishing herb garden.
You will need to line the basket with some strong black plastic first, trimmed to fit. Punch small holes in the plastic so your container will have drainage.
Get some good potting mix and fill the basket to about one or two inches from the top. Add in some slow release fertilizer and water crystals to help keep the soil moist on dry days.
Plant your herbs in the basket. Put bushy herbs, like parsley, basil and mint in the center, and plant trailing herbs like thyme along the edge.
Hang your basket on a strong hook or rope attached to a hook, and keep the surface moist. A few spritzs from a water spray bottle will be the best way to do this.
Other household items that will make great hanging baskets are colanders (they already have holes in them for straining vegetables) and old kettles or pots. These will have to have holes drilled through the bottom, and through the top for hanging purposes, but they can look very charming filled with old fashioned flowers like violets and ivy.
Gorgeous old style birdcages in wicker or metal also make great hanging plant baskets. You can simply fill these with plant pots filled with flowers or herbs. Train a creeping plant like alyssum over the top for a beautiful old world look.
Sphagnum moss is great for lining wire pots and baskets that are not suitable for soil alone. It looks better than black plastic, and you can turn any wire container, such as an egg cage, into a classy looking hanging pot. Just line the wire basket with sphagnum moss, fill with soil and plant. The wire provides something to hang it up by.
But itís not just flowers and herbs that you can grow in your hanging gardens. You can easily grow strawberries in a hanging basket and enjoy the sweet taste of your own home grown fruit.
Choose a suitable container, like a colander or hanging basket and line with sphagnum moss. Fill with good potting soil and plant your strawberry in the center. Strawberries put out runners so it will spread as far as it can, trailing down the sides of the pot. Give your strawberry pot plenty of sun.
Another excellent way to grow strawberries is in two or three tiered hanging pots so the fruit can cascade down Ė you will get a far bigger crop this way.
Cherry and grape tomatoes are naturals for hanging baskets and will keep providing abundant fruit through the summer.
You can also experiment with other fruits and vegetables like passionfruit, tiny squash and chilies.
Even if you donít have a garden, you can still have a hanging garden that may be one of the seven wonders of your neighborhood!