Edible Container Garden Ideas

Use these container garden ideas to grow organic fruits and vegetables in a small space.

| May 2013

  • Salad Greens, Container Gardening
    Lettuces and salad greens are beautiful accent plants that can be grown in smaller containers, even shallow tabletop planters.
    Photo Courtesy Ten Speed Press
  • Culinary Herbs, Container Gardening
    You should use your space wisely and grow plants that are really transformative to your eating and cooking experience, such as culinary herbs.
    Photo Courtesy Ten Speed Press
  • Container Garden
    “The Beautiful Edible Garden” provides information on how to not only grow organic fruits and vegetables, but also make your garden a place of year-round beauty that is appealing, enjoyable and fits your personal style.
    Cover Courtesy Ten Speed Press

  • Salad Greens, Container Gardening
  • Culinary Herbs, Container Gardening
  • Container Garden

You can grow organic fruits and vegetables and still have an enjoyable, attractive garden year round with the help of The Beautiful Edible Garden (Ten Speed Press, 2013). Authors and landscape design team, Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner give you great container garden ideas that are beautiful as well as edible. In this excerpt from chapter five, “Beautiful Edible Containers, Window Boxes, Side Yards and Other Small Spaces,” learn which plants are best for container gardening as well as for your kitchen.

You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: The Beautiful Edible Garden.

Your space is limited, so you’ll need to use it wisely and grow plants that are really transformative to your eating and cooking experience. You’ll also want to choose plants that are well suited to containers. This criteria can yield any number of combinations of plants for your garden — here are a few that no cook should be without:

• A full range of culinary herbs, including herbs for teas and cocktail infusions
• Salad and braising greens
• Citrus, especially lemon or lime
• Easy-to-grow, highly productive annual vegetables such as bush green beans, peppers, cherry tomatoes, chard, and kale
• Harvest-as-you-need-them annual vegetables such as scallions, shallots, and celery

As you can see, this list of indispensables focuses on ingredients that are used often or regularly in most kitchens, and also on plants that do not need a lot of root space or heavy feeding. It does not include a lot of larger annual vegetables because, for the most part, vegetables like broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, squash, and beefsteak tomatoes do better in the ground where they are assured of plentiful root space and nutrients. If you do want to give one of these a try, though, choose smaller, less sprawling varieties of annual vegetables. Determinate, small-fruited, or cherry-size tomatoes are best. Be sure to use a teepee-style trellis that will not only support the plant but also keep it tidy. Likewise, look for smaller growing bush varieties of vegetables like summer squash and cucumbers. It can be convenient to separate your perennial and annual plantings so that you have some containers that can be left alone and counted on to look good while you spend time maintaining the others.

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