When I say hanging basket I bet your thoughts turn to beautiful flowers suspended in pots from hooks on a porch or containers with cascading blooms on a deck. Another summer tradition we all enjoy is fresh herbs for those delicious summer dishes. Well, just because the summer is over doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying both of these summer pleasures. You can enjoy your favorite herbs throughout the season in a hanging herb garden and we’re going to help you to do it!
Herbs are versatile plants and there are plenty of varieties that are easy to grow indoors. They also are perfect plants for small spaces which makes them ideal for containers. While you can grow herbs on a windowsill a hanging basket can save space in your kitchen and it’ll make a great conversation piece to boot. A window that faces South or East would be best as herbs need a good amount of sunlight to flourish.
Once you find the right spot to hang your container it’s time to build it. Unlike the summer you’re not going to be able to buy a made to order container. Making your own hanging herb garden can be done inexpensively and the best part is you can put the plants you want in the basket! The first step is to pick a container to work with. There are lots of choices including self-watering pots but perhaps the most popular choice is a wire basket. Wire baskets can be purchased with a liner made from coconuts or you can line your own basket with a plastic bag and sphagnum moss. If you choose to use the plastic liner just be sure to poke some holes in it for drainage purposes.
Once you fill the pot or basket with a soil mix made for container gardening the fun part starts...planting your herbs! There are so many herbs to choose from it may be hard to decide what to plant. How about an Italian, Greek, or Mexican herb mix? Maybe you have favorites like basil, chives, or dill but regardless of what you choose here are some tips to follow when you do your planting. I usually look for a plant to put in the middle that will have some height to it such as basil or rosemary and then lines the edges of the basket with trailing plants such as oregano, parsley, or cilantro. Once you’ve finished planting the basket just water the plants, hang the basket from a secure hook, and you are done! Well…not exactly!
Planting the basket is only the beginning. What you do moving forward is what will make your hanging herb garden a success. Hanging baskets can dry out quickly so it is important to check your basket each day to see if water is needed including misting the plants several times a week. Additionally, a regular fertilizing schedule is needed to keep your herbs producing throughout the season. I usually feed my baskets at least monthly although some gardeners prefer to do it bi-weekly. Finally, to keep your herbs looking their best regular pruning is important. This means removing yellowing leaves, etc. It not only keeps them looking their best but is also a way to prevent diseases and deter insect infestations.
If you decide to take this project on we’d love to have you share your hanging herb containers with us on our Facebook page!