Instructables
Picture of Hanging Vegetable Planters
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You want to grow vegetables in containers. Great! Hanging planters are an economical and low-risk gardening venture. I love converting large groups of them into vertical garden fixtures for urban apartment gardening. I'm a bit of a bohemian that way. They also make lovely patio accessories.

Hanging planters are great for a number of things. For one, they take up little space. For another, they remove the risk of planter damage to your floor- great for getting your deposit back.

If you're simply looking to start a few vegetables or even herbs in a hanging planter, that's great too. The same principles are involved. If you're growing vegetables in a limited space, following these steps will help your plants thrive.

There's a few factors that will ensure the plants' success. The planters need good drainage in the planter; something to catch the drips to keep gardening neighborly and to protect the surrounding area; a way to insulate the soil during summer heat to retain moisture; and access to enough light for the plant variety. Some plants need less light- knowing this gives you an advantage from the start.

First, let's tackle supplies. Here's what we'll be working with to make this happen:

-a 10" coconut-lined hanging planter basket ($1 liner; $1 basket on the Dollar Tree website this spring)
-10" deep dish plastic liners
-mulch chips (free from my city, maybe yours too?)
-finished compost (free from my city; maybe yours too?)
-potting soil
-vegetable starts, 3 per 10" planter

Step 1: Collect Your Supplies

Picture of Collect Your Supplies
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There's a few factors that will ensure the plants' success. When choosing materials, these need to be considered. Here are the basic needs of a plant (and its gardener), with limited root space:

-good drainage in the planter
-something to catch the drips to keep gardening neighborly and to protect the surrounding area
-a way to insulate the soil during summer heat to retain moisture
-access to enough light for the plant variety

First, let's tackle supplies. Here's what we'll be working with to make this happen:

-a 10" coconut-lined hanging planter basket ($1 liner; $1 basket on the Dollar Tree website this spring)
-10" deep dish plastic liners
-mulch chips (free from my city, maybe yours too?)
-finished compost (free from my city; maybe yours too?)
-potting soil
-vegetable starts, 3 per 10" planter

Step 2: Choose your Vegetable

Picture of Choose your Vegetable
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Which vegetable starts, exactly?

Some vegetables are better suited to planters than others. For a trip to the local nursery, a little research is key. I like to start my own seedlings; buying a start works just fine too.

Here is a list of some that may work for you, if your zone allows. No matter what plant, it helps to get 4-6 hours of sunlight for basic success. Bring starts outdoors after any danger of frost. Some good varieties for hanging planters, especially if partially shaded, are:

-dwarf peas (against a wall, with trellis)
-dwarf bush beans (against a wall, with trellis)
-cherry and grape tomatoes (against a wall, with trellis)
-carrots, half-long varieties
-radishes
-lettuce
-arugula
-spinach

When in doubt, or if you're in shade, try these herbs:

-oregano
-mint
-sage
-thyme
-parsley
-coriander/cilantro

Peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes need a lot of heat and light. Basil too. If you've got heat blasting your patio, these are great. You can find container, bush, and dwarf versions at your local nursery or online.

Step 3: Prepping Your Planter

Picture of Prepping Your Planter
You're set to plant. Ready to get your hands in the dirt?

This approach comes from trial and error. It works well for my plants. They grow quickly and the planters stay moist and warm without water log. If you've got a winning planting method, share with us in the comments! The more, the merrier.

1. Fill your planter with 1" of mulch. This will help the planter drain sufficiently.

2. Add finished compost about halfway up.

3. Add potting soil the rest of the way.

4. Scatter the top with some mulch.


This preparation does a few things for you. The bottom will drain and the roots get an extra boost. The plant's roots can get deep, if the variety requires. For carrots, and other root veggies, use less compost and more potting soil. It's lighter, and roots will reach deeper. Another benefit to this approach is heat-retention. The plant retains moisture between watering, and traps heat under the mulch.

Pop that planter into a plastic liner, and into its wire hanger. We're ready to add the plants!

Step 4: Transplant your Veggie Starts

Picture of Transplant your Veggie Starts
Okay. Now that your planter is ready, let's get those veggies going.

1. Scoop a hole 2-3" deep into your planter.

2. Get the roots of your start nestled in, and cover. Build up the dirt around the plant.

3. Protect the plant with an additional sprinkling of mulch.

4. Repeat for the other two starts per planter.


A good rule of thumb is to plant one at each hanging chain, like a peace sign. This should ensure they're 4-6" apart, even in a 10" planter. If you plant more (like I tend to do), thin them when you've got 2 or 3 that are larger than the rest.

Okay! Water your planters, hang 'em where you get the most sun, and let them grow.
 
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dana-dxb2 years ago
thats my favorable kind of garden
looks just great