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Edible Landscaping: Getting High With Hanging Baskets

Why Are Hanging Baskets a Good Idea?

If you are dealing with finite space, when you can’t go out, you go up.  I’m not the first to think of this.  There is a thing out there called vertical gardening (or vertical farming), and it makes a whole lot of sense for those of us who are doing the Agricultural Age in tight spaces.   Its all about re-thinking your space and using all three dimensions to increase your productivity.  In the baskets in front of my house, I used to have flowers.  As a part of my front planter conversion project, I am now using them for edible landscaping.  This is converting vertical, ornamental space into vertical, edible space.

How Do You Make A Hanging Basket?

This video gives a pretty good tutorial on the concept of how to build a hanging strawberry basket.  Strawberries aren’t the only thing you can plant, but that is what I’ll be doing.

How Much Will It Cost?

If you are starting from scratch, it will probably start at $15 per basket for the rock bottom basic materials.  I started with the simple wire basket, sphagnum moss, potting soil and organic fertilizer.  I picked them all up from our local Nordic Nursery.  The good news is that the initial investment of the baskets can be used again year after year.  Mine are three years old and counting.  When I planted my hanging baskets, I used strawberries at a variety of stages and prices. If you look at the picture above, the top row is the most commercially inexpensive and ugly way to start.  Looking like pathetic little dirt squid, these strawberries come in a bag and are about 10 for $3.00.  The second row is a six pack of baby plants from Nordic, and it was about $3.00.  The bottom row are free plants from Farmer John.  If you really want to keep costs down, find someone who already has strawberries established and start with them.

Are Hanging Baskets the Only Way to Get High?

No.  A trellis is another technique for going vertical.  A couple of examples we have already used at SSA are the pumpkin trellis and the trellis on the aquarium planter.  In our quest to be more sustainable with the resources we already have, getting high by going vertical will definitely be something you see us use gain and again.

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