Hanging baskets can be a good way to use the higher portion of your polytunnel and make the most of every inch of space. When most of us think of hanging baskets we will usually picture abundant floral displays. But hanging baskets can be both beautiful and useful. You can use hanging baskets to grow a wide range of edible crops. Here are five suggestions for edible plants that can be grown in hanging baskets in a polytunnel:
One of the most common crops to grow in hanging baskets are cherry tomatoes. There are a range of trailing or tumbling varieties to choose from that will look good in a hanging basket as well as producing an abundant edible yield. Consider companion planting basil or other herbs in the basket along with your cherry tomatoes.
You can also get a wide range of Chilli peppers that are ideally suited to growing in hanging baskets. Make sure that you choose a compact variety that will look good and perform well when suspended from the crop bars in your polytunnel. As the peppers grow and change colour, your hanging baskets will look good as well as providing a crop at the end of the season.
Strawberries are also ideal for growing in a hanging basket. Trailing varieties are available, but almost any strawberries can perform well in this setting. When fruits are suspended in the air, these are less likely to succumb to pests, or to rot as they can do if they come into contact with the soil below plants.
Mixed salad leaves come in all sorts of shapes and colours. They can form a display which can look just as decorative and attractive as many non-edible floral displays. Cut-and-come-again salad leaves can make a useful display which you can graze on over an extended period of time, and since these are so quick growing, you can keep filling in any gaps due to harvesting as you go along.
You can still have flowers in your hanging baskets too – but why not choose edible ones? Nasturtiums are a favourite for hanging baskets and they are edible too. You can eat the peppery flowers and the leaves in salads, and later, the seed pods can be used as you would use capers.