We all know just how healthy fruits and vegetables are for us and we also know that we can easily just go to the store down the street and pick whatever we want from the produce section. However, you can also grow some of your own without having to know too much about keeping a garden. This is especially true for those who don’t have a lot of room for a garden.

That’s right, you don’t have to have space in your backyard, or even have a backyard for that matter, to grow some healthy foods. Instead of a backyard, you can start your own container garden. You’d be very surprised to discover just how many different fruits and vegetables that you can actually successfully grow in containers. I’ve discovered that there are over 30 different healthy foods that you can grow on your porch, deck or any place you can find room for a container. So, whether you have a big backyard or not, there’s no reason why you can’t grow food in containers and have fresh fruits and vegetables almost all year round. Below I’ve put a list of some of these healthy foods that you can pick from to perhaps start your own container garden.

Tomatoes
If you love tomatoes and want them fresh all year round then you are in for a treat because tomatoes are one of the top vegetables/fruits that grow extremely well in containers. You easily can grow them in a container garden and you don’t have to get some special type of tomato, you pretty much can grow any kind of tomato from cherry tomatoes to large beefsteaks, it just depends on the size of container that you have for each plant. Here are a few tips for growing tomatoes in containers:

•    Unless you are growing cherry tomatoes, you should use a very large container for one tomato plant. The best size to use is a five gallon bucket like you see in hardware stores.
•    Make sure to use high quality potting soil for your tomatoes.
•    Give them plenty of water. Make sure that the soil is always moist but never wet. Too much water will cause root rot.
•    Use a slow release fertilizer in your potting soil and then use a diluted liquid fertilizer every week or every two weeks.
•    Give them plenty of sun. They need 8 plus hours a day of full sun but will do alright with 6 hours if need be.

Basil
Basil is a wonderful herb that you can easily grow either indoors or outdoors and it’s a wonderful herb to add to any soup or a variety of other recipes you might want to add it too. All you’ll need to grow some basil is a six inch pot and some good potting soil. The best thing you can do for your basil after it starts growing is avoid getting the stems and leaves wet when you water them. So, always water the soil around the basil. Also make sure that it gets some kind of direct sunlight during the day and if you’re growing it inside take it outside for a short time and sit it in the sun.

Other Herbs
Along with delicious basil there are numerous other herbs that only require small six inch pots to grow in. You can even grow them together in a larger pot if you want to have a mini herb garden. Here are just a few other herbs you can grow in a container garden:

•    Dill
•    Mint of any kind
•    Green onion
•    Chives
•    Rosemary
•    Parsley
•    Oregano
•    Sage
•    Thyme

Zucchini and Squash
You can actually grow in your container garden just about any kind of squash because squash will actually grow just about anywhere you decide to grow it. This is why it’s ideal for container gardens.

Zucchini and squash are very hardy plants and really don’t need a huge container like tomatoes to start producing for you, one to two gallon containers are fine. The one thing to remember however, is that as soon as they start growing their veggies you need to harvest them on a regular basis so the plant itself doesn’t get bogged down from the weight.

Strawberries
To tell you the truth these delicious fruits actually thrive immensely in container gardens even though they are known to like lots of room to grow. In fact, they are probably one of the best plants that you can grow in pots and containers, they even love growing indoors. You just need a nice sunny spot for them indoors and you can even grow sweet strawberries as a winter crop. If you don’t have a sunny enough spot for them indoors, you can even use artificial light if need be.

You can actually buy strawberry pots and these have special holes in them where their shoots can go through when they are search for more room. However, you don’t really have to use specialty pots, you can just use one gallon pots and fill up with good quality potting soil and plant your strawberries in these. Make sure that you give them plenty of sun, water and fertilizer. Best time to water them is in the morning and avoid getting the leaves wet.

Pineapple
Yes, you read that correctly, pineapple is a fruit that you can grow in a container, even if you don’t live in a tropical setting. How you do it is start with a fresh pineapple you bought from the store and cut off its crown. Make sure to leave a little bit of the fruit on the top. Take the pineapple crown and soak it for a day or two in some water and let it soak up the moisture. After you’ve done that take a gallon container filled with good potting soil and plant it in the soil. Make sure that you put the pineapple in a warm place that has good sun. You can easily grow pineapple on a deck or even a balcony. Just make sure that if you decide to grow during the winter that you bring it indoors at nighttime.

Cantaloupe
Again, yest you read this correctly. You actually can grow cantaloupe in containers. You just need to have a couple of big containers, five gallon would probably be good and you’ll end up growing enough cantaloupe to last you all summer. Any kind of cantaloupe will do well in containers. You just plant them, water well, and just let them grow. Allow the vines to just grow over the sides of the container or you can support them up with sturdy sticks or wooden poles.

Sweet Peppers
Sweet peppers of all kinds, red, green, yellow or orange, all thrive in containers. There is absolutely no need for a garden space when it comes to growing peppers. Just pick the right sized container because that’s important for each plant. They need to have room to grow. Smaller variety of peppers should be grown in two gallon containers and the larger varieties should be in five to ten gallon pots. Make sure that your peppers get at least eight hours of sun every day. If you want to grow them all year round just make sure that you bring them in at night during the cold and then put them back outside during the day. Make sure the soil is fairly sandy so make sure you read the soil you buy for them. Water often and check to see if they need watering by putting your finger an inch into the soil and if it’s dry they need water. Some of the plants may need support so make sure to have wooden stakes available when the time comes.

Well, that’s it for now. In part two I will go through a variety of other fruits and vegetables that you can grow in containers. From bananas to potatoes.