Create a Kitchen Garden Basket

Have herbs and vegetables at your fingertips with this easy-to-create mini kitchen garden.

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Hanging Mixed BasketEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

It is easy to create a mini kitchen garden in a hanging basket. Use the largest basket available, and hang it where you can reach it easily. Plant the trailing cherry tomatoes around the edges. The best lettuces are the come-and-cut-again kind — you just snip off as many leaves as you need; red-leaved lettuces, such as 'Lollo Rossa', provide extra color. Add herbs such as sage (Salvia officinalis), and the French marigold Tagetes Gem Series 'Lemon Gem' for a flash of yellow.

Materials Needed:

  • 2 x trailing cherry tomato, such as 'Garden Pearl' or 'Tiny Tim'
  • 1 x Salvia officinalis 'Icterina'
  • 1 x red-leaved lettuce, such as 'Lollo Rossa'
  • 1 x Tagetes Gem Series 'Lemon Gem'
  • 1 x Origanum vulgare

Planting and Aftercare

Container basics:
Size The biggest hanging basket available
Suits A sunny spot near the kitchen
Potting mix Multipurpose potting mix
Site Full sun

Although you can buy the tomato and lettuce plants, you will get a better choice in a seed catalog. Sow the tomato seed in early spring indoors, and raise the seedlings on a windowsill before hardening off outside in late spring/early summer. Give a liquid tomato fertilizer once a week. The lettuce seed can be sown under cover in spring for planting out in early summer. Grow several different kinds of lettuce in succession so that the moment a gap appears, there is a substitute to fill it. The sage — available in all-green, variegated white and green, or green with pink, white, and purple ('Tricolor') — and oregano are best bought as young plants. When the sage gets too big, plant it out in the garden.

Plant Specifics

Tomato (trailing cherry) (Image 1)
Tender plants that do not tolerate any degree of frost, Moist soil, Well-drained soil, Full sun

Salvia officinalis 'Icterina' (Image 2)
Fully hardy plants, Moist soil, Well-drained soil, Full sun, Partial or dappled shade

Lettuce 'Lollo Rossa' (Image 3)
Plants that survive outside in mild regions or sheltered sites, Moist soil, Well-drained soil, Full sun, Partial or dappled shade

Tagetes Gem Series 'Lemon Gem' (Image 4)
Plants that need protection from frost over winter, Well-drained soil, Full sun

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Containers for Patios

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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