Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Vertical Edibles

Strawberries are the angels of the earth, innocent and sweet, with leafy green wings reaching heavenward - Terri Guillemets.
For those of you who follow my blog regularly, you will know that I like my garden to be ornamental as well as functional, and one of the ways in which I do this is to plant vertically using hanging baskets which transforms a small space into an attractive yet efficient growing area.


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Hanging Basket Strawberries
Not all veg are suitable for this treatment, but  strawberries, bush tomatoes, salad leaves and herbs are.

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Herbs and flowers
I use a 50/50 mix of potting compost and John Innes loam, a handful of bonemeal, a bit of grit for drainage and some water-storing granules.  Regular watering and feeding is essential  - but other than that - they are work free.
 
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via pinterest

The good thing about vertical gardening is that it keeps the plants free of pests, slugs and snails can't reach and the birds haven't figured it out yet.


Tumbling Tomatoes
 I generally put five strawberry plants or three tomato plants into a large basket.  Three strawberry or one tomato into a medium size basket. 

Once strawberries have finished fruiting they will stop growing for a few weeks, and later on they start making new crowns for the following year.  They only fruit well for three seasons so I pot up the runners to have a succession of plants.

The baskets, when planted up, are kept somewhere warm, till the last frosts are past, then I hang them in a sheltered spot where they can get plenty of sunshine. 

I think I may try some new varieties this year - I have been propagating from my own plants for so long that I can't remember what they are.

Maybe you could help me decide which new varieties to choose - which are your favourites?

18 comments:

  1. Looks great Elaine. I'm trying a new tomato variety this year which is meant to be good for hanging baskets, but it's been so vigorous so far, I think it'll have to be in a pot instead!

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  2. I've got some new strawberry varieties this year, Sonata is one, a bargain purchase from T&M. Aldi are selling six plants for £2.99 at the moment, which is really good when you compare the prices in garden centres. I got some Christine and another variety which has slipped my mind.

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  3. I like the colander full of salad best! It reminds me of the table decorations my daughter Fiona had at her wedding - large pots of mixed lettuce, which looked surprisingly stylish.

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  4. I love the idea of having hanging cherry tomato plants. My mouth is watering for warm, sweet, fresh-picked tomatoes.

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  5. I planted 4 strawberry varieties this year, just what the garden centre had really. Think they were Sonata, Pegasus, Elsanta and Daisy. Good idea growing them in hanging baskets. A lot easier to pick!

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  6. My strawberries have been going for some years now, and I forgot which varieties there are. One type is early, the other is main cropping. Both taste lush!!
    As for tomatoes, I have only ever tried them once, as that was a dismal failure. Trying some this year again and they are just some seeds I got from Lidl on the cheap!! Fingers crossed they fruit. The plants are looking OK so far though.
    I'd love to get some vertical planting sorted, maybe ready for next season, running out of time this year! xx

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  7. You've been peeping over my fence again I see! I too have strawberries in hanging baskets this year...just hope Mr Blackbird doesn't get to any fruit before me!x

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  8. Hi Elaine, a nice variety of hanging baskets in the photos. I usually grow the same varieties of Tomatoes & strawberries each season so I won't presume to mention different ones. I know what you mean about propagating over a long period. My Strawberries are one of the "Cambridges", which one I can't remember but the plants would be a little large for hanging. I will be hanging a few tomatoes this time with a blog post when or if they become photogenic enough?

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  9. How about planting some alpine strawberries in the hanging baskets I have done that before. I've grown ones called 'Mignonette' from seed (Sarah Raven catalogue) which get to a good size and the fruits can be quite big too. They flower and fruit all year and not just in June and the flavour is so sweet and intense.

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  10. Great idea those fruit and veg baskets. Brill if you want some salad or strawberries near the kitchen.

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  11. I've used water retaining granules in the pot plants that I have on a sunny windowsill and am impressed. When we got back after our week on holiday for once those plants weren't drooping!

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  12. Oh I would love to grow strawberries or Tumbler tomatoes in hanging baskets but it would just be too much of a temptation I fear for those pesky squirrels. Herbs and salad now might be an idea...

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  13. Its a brilliant idea to grow crops vertically.I have done it with cherry tomatoes but like the idea of strawberry plants since I dont have much room in the garden.

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  14. A great making the most of space idea Elaine and definitely one to thwart all but the most of determined molluscs :) All my strawberries have come nameless via allotment neighbours, so I'm afraid I cant' suggest any named favourites.

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  15. love your baskets of tomatoes and salads. they look great. I've just planted up some with strawberries, I hope they work xxx

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  16. Great looking hanging edibles, so many creative ways to garden!

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  17. You have great ideas. I would love to try the hanging tomatoes.

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  18. Wonderful!
    I can see that they would be easy to protect from cold temperaturess - move them indoors, then take them back outside again.
    And they are pretty, too!
    Happy gardening!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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