The benefits of herbs harvested fresh from the garden don’t have to be lost due to lack of garden space. Herbs are easy to grow, and if the home does not allow a kitchen garden or have a porch or terrace to place containers for a small herb garden, just look up.
A hanging basket can hold numerous herbs. The height of the basket makes the tiny herb garden easy to maintain and harvest. The height of the basket also keeps the tiny herb garden safe from animal garden pests.
Take care when choosing the size of the hanging basket. The structure will have to bear the weight of the herb plants, planting medium and moisture. During a heavy rainstorm, the moisture will add considerable weight. Make sure the structure and the basket support system can accommodate the weight of the little garden at its heaviest. Choose the largest basket that the structure will support.
Herbs like well-drained soil, so make sure a plastic hanging container has holes in the bottom so that the herb roots are in no danger of rotting. Especially attractive baskets are crafted from meshed wire and a natural lining. These types of baskets can accommodate more herbs as they can grow from the sides of the planter as well as at the top. Coconut mats for wire baskets are readily available. Rolls of sphagnum moss are often used as wire basket liners. Soak the roll of unmilled moss in warm water and press it into place in the wire mesh basket. When using wire mesh baskets remember to water carefully as excess water will run out of the sides and bottom.
If the hanging basket has a rounded bottom, stabilize it by setting the bottom into a pail. This will also bring it up to an easier height to work with. Pour about an inch of potting medium into the basket and tamp it down.
Use a scissors or knife to cut an X into the mat, or to make a hole in moss. Guide the root of the herb through the wire mesh and the opening of the lining. Repeat the process around the circumference of the basket, leaving a minimum of 5 inches between the plants. Remember, plants grow at different rates and to different sizes. When planting a variety of herbs consider that some will be bushier than others will.
Cover the roots of the herbs with approximately an inch of the potting medium and tamp it down. Start planting the next row of plants following the same steps. Continue in this manner until the basket is filled to within two inches of the top of the basket. Plant three to five additional herbs in the soil at the top of the basket to utilize all growing space and give it an attractive rounded look.
Give the newly planted basket of herbs a thorough watering. Check the planting medium at the top. The soil should be slightly concave so that the water will run toward the middle instead of running over the sides.
Hang the herb basket from a sturdy hook or bracket.
A hanging herb garden is easier to maintain than a soil surface garden because there is no stooping involved. A properly hung basket garden will be within easy reach of the gardener making it easy to check for and water routinely.
Weeds are not a big problem in a hanging basket because they are safe from runners that allow weeds to spread. An occasional seed spore may find its way into the hanging herb garden, and the weed can easily be yanked as soon as it is identified.