Here are some edible container garden ideas if you live in an apartment or town home. Absence of space is no longer an excuse since many modern vegetable varieties are perfect for growing in containers, window boxes, rooftop or patio. You can always consult container vegetable gardening books for more ideas. I use The Vegetable Container Bible for my edible container garden ideas, and its not failed me yet.
Growing Salad Vegetables – My Favorite!
In limited space you can grow salad vegetables and herbs in almost any sunlit spot and enjoy fresh ingredients all year round. You do NOT have to stop once winter hits! For lots more gardening content visit my vegetable gardening archives.
A few Salad Growing Tips:
First, you need to choose a container. The easiest choice is to go to your local nursery or home improvement store but I also find Amazon super helpful for garden planters. There’s a wide variety available in plastic, ceramic, wood or clay. You should also take a look around your home and see what containers you have lying around. Almost anything that will hold soil can be used for growing, whether it is an old bucket or an empty coffee can.
Make sure the container you use has enough drainage holes in the bottom. You don’t want your plants sitting in water as it will lead to soil-borne diseases and underdeveloped plants.
When it comes to a potting mix, soil-less potting mixes are lighter, less likely to compact, hold moisture and plant nutrients well and are a good choice for your edible container garden ideas.
More Edible Container Garden Ideas
Now let’s give some thought to the produce you want to plant, almost any herb is a good fit for a container vegetable garden.
Basil, thyme, mint, parsley, chives and oregano are all good choices. I like to grow things for making salads, tacos, and sauces. I like to throw in herbs, and dry them outside in the sun or use them fresh in my recipes. I also like to use fresh herbs in tea. My favorite things to grow by pot are lettuce, carrots, radishes, and green onions, for smaller containers. Tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers do well in a larger containers.
Ideally, containers should be placed where they receive at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Plants that bear fruit, such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants require the most sun. Many herbs and leafy vegetables will tolerate more shade.
Plants growing in containers require frequent watering especially if outdoors. During the hot summer months, many will require daily watering.
Fertilizing & Insect Repellant Edible Container Garden Ideas
Plants will need fertilizer during the growing season but it doesn’t have to be complicated. The easiest way to add fertilizer is to use a commercial mix purchased from most major stores. I use this vegetable and tomato fertilizer, and it works well for my needs. It’s important not to over feed. Most potting soils will have plenty nutrients for the first few weeks.
I like to repel insects organically by making my own sprays. One of my favorite is crushed pepper and garlic in water with a dash or 2 of white vinegar. This solution is great for repelling white aphids, among others.
Harvesting Your Edible Container Garden
My favorite part of all of this is when its time to eat what I have grown! The best time to harvest is when the plants are mature but still young and tender. For herbs, small sprays of most herbs can be trimmed as desired and the plant will continue to grow.
I like to use a harvesting tool such as this one ,it makes it easier for you to cut the veggies from each plant. Harvest plants early in the morning or in the evening after the sun has gone down. You want the plant to recover, and not be over heated. Harvesting when its hot out can damage your plants.
Pay special attention to lettuce. When it gets very hot outside it tends to bolt very fast. If it bolts before you cut it, it is no longer edible. It gets a milky residue inside of it that tastes very bitter. The best way to avoid this is still harvest the lettuce before it reaches full maturity.
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