As you could see from part one of this blog post, there are quite a few interesting and healthy fruits and vegetables that you can grow in a container garden. In this part I will continue to provide you with more ideas that I hope you will be able to implement and enjoy. So here are some more healthy foods that you can grow in containers.
If you love bananas there is no need to live in the tropics for you to grow your own banana plant and indoors too. This means that even in the dead of winter you can grow healthy bananas to enjoy. All you need to do is buy a dwarf banana plant and it will thrive inside your home. Since they are perennials you will be able to continue to enjoy your own indoor garden grown bananas year after year. You just need to make sure that you have a container that’s deep and an eight inch size is good for your plant. It’s important that it has good drainage because you don’t want to drown your plant. Even though they thrive very well indoors they also will do well on a deck or balcony during the warmer summer months. They like water so make sure that they are watered as needed and you need to keep the soil evenly moist and not soaking wet. Let the soil get slightly dry to half an inch into the soil and then water.
Yet another great vegetable, that is one of the best green leafy vegetables around, that does extremely well in containers. For each plant that you grow in your container garden you will want an eight inch container. Spinach can be a little bit sensitive to heat so always make sure to keep its leaves from wilting by keeping it out of direct sunlight. Because containers can get pretty warm during summer you should put them in a shady place if you’re growing them outside. If you don’t want to grow it outdoors spinach will do well inside too and very well during winter. Just keep them watered well during the winter and don’t let them dry out because of the indoor heating.
Cucumbers are yet another very easy vegetable to grow in a container garden. In most instances you can actually keep them growing all through winter as well. If you need to maximize the space that you might have for your container garden you can grow them vertically. If they are growing on a deck with railings just let them vine up onto your railing or you can give them a trellis to climb on. If you want to grow them indoors the best varieties for containers would be:
• Salad bush hybrids
• Midget picklets
No matter how you grow them make sure you give the vines plenty of room and also make sure to pick the cucumbers on a regular basis once the plant starts producing. This keeps the vines from being weighed down and getting weak. When planting cucumbers make sure that you have at least a 12 inch container for them. Plant them in good soil with fertilizer. If you want you can add three stakes in a tee pee formation so that the pot is already ready for the vines. Make sure your cucumbers gets about eight hours of sunlight a day and water them on a daily basis, especially when the soil seems to be dry.
This is another good one that is ideal for container gardening because kale really doesn’t need very much room to grow. You can actually take one 20 inch pot and grow five kale plants in that one pot. Kale is pretty easy to grow and you can grow it all year long especially if you grow it indoors. You can either use seeds or you can use transplants to start your own kale. They only need indirect sunlight during the day which makes kale ideal for indoors and decent amount of water. Don’t let them dry out and avoid over watering. That’s about all there is to growing kale.
What’s a salad without some kind of lettuce? Lettuce is probably the easiest of all plants to grow in containers. It’s best to use longer planters for lettuce so there’s room for their leaves to spread out, but the planters don’t have to be huge. Just make sure that the planters are small enough for you to move them inside and out of direct sunlight. All you do for the lettuce is put the seeds into the potting soil and water.
These wonderful little gems add really great flavor to salads and even other dishes and are yet another pretty easy vegetable to grown in a container garden. In fact the shorter red radish can pretty much be grown in any container you have around. Then there’s the long white radishes and they will do great in something like a paint bucket or something very similar. Radishes are actually one of the first veggies that most gardeners recommend for the beginner. For a good harvest all you have to do is make sure they are watered every couple of days and give them a few hours of sunlight each day and that’s it.
Looking for a way to add some whole grain to your diet? You can do it with quinoa. This is a plant that is a whole grain and it has tons of nutrients and grows quite well in containers. This is a very hardy plant and it’s actually not very picky about where you grow it. So it’s great for the patio or indoors because it only grows to two feet when in containers. This is a very hardy plant too and low maintenance which makes it another good one for the beginning gardener.
A true favorite of the south and a veggie that does pretty good in containers just as long as you make sure they have plenty of full sun during the daytime. They should have at least six hours of dun in the spring and fall. However, during the summer they should be put in a little shade during the later afternoon hours. The only season you can’t grow them is during the winter unless you provide them with plenty of artificial lighting during those cold months.
I really didn’t think this could be done, however, you can grow potatoes in containers. Actually, you can grow them all year round in containers and never have to buy them again. They do best in five gallon buckets that can be easily moved into and out of the sun whenever needed. Just make sure like with all plants that the buckets have holes drilled into them so the potatoes don’t get too much water. You can actually get a couple of pounds of potatoes out of each five gallon bucket so if you love potatoes you will need several buckets to grow them in.
Carrots are another veggie you might think couldn’t grow in containers but they will thrive all through the year if you take care of them properly. You need to sow the seeds very thin because they take off really fast. Make sure that they have plenty of water but like so many, don’t over water them. You grow them just like as if they were in a garden. Make sure the pots are fairly deep and well drained. They do need some sun and will do well indoors even with artificial lighting so you can even grow them during the winter. You don’t even have to use fertilizer if you don’t want to, however, fertilizer does help to promote better growth. Make sure to keep the soil medium wet and you may have to water twice a day if the weather is extremely hot and sunny.
Bet you never thought you could do this. I know I didn’t until I tried it. But you actually can grow delicious watermelon inside your home or on your deck, porch or balcony. It’s especially good if you have a porch or deck that has railing because you can let the vines grow on the railing. Believe it or not, watermelon really is easy to grow in containers and will in a lot of cases actually thrive inside during winter. You will want to make sure they get a little sun each day and lots of water because they do require a lot of water. Plenty of artificial light works well if growing them indoors. The best size container for growing watermelons would be at least a five gallon size. If you like, you can use some sort of trellis in the container so that the vines have somewhere to go and you can use old pantyhose to support the melons if you prefer.
Cauliflower, Broccoli & Cabbage
All three of these can do well in garden containers. It is recommended that you let them have their own containers to grow in and the containers need to be at least eight inches in depth and 18 inches wide so they have enough room to thrive. They need good drainage and plenty of sun every day. These are not the easiest of vegetables to grow even out in the ground so you just need to be patient because it can be done.
If you love fresh green beans then make sure that you plant your beans in a large container that is at least 12 inches for the best results. In this size they should do well on a deck or balcony. Make sure that you also have a pole of some kind so that the beans can travel up the pole once the plants start to grow. You will also need to make sure that as soon as the green beans are ready, pick them so the plant will continue to produce more beans.
If you really love asparagus like I do, you know how expensive it is to buy at the local grocery store. So, I thought to myself one day, “Why not grow my own?” and that’s what I did. I suddenly discovered that asparagus actually can grow in containers. This is a very hardy plant and it’s one that really doesn’t ask for all that much care or attention. Which has me still wondering why they charge so much for it. Anyway, all you need to do is to make sure that the container you use is big enough to let the plant grow. You can use a shallow planter if you like if you don’t have much room, just make sure that the diameter is pretty big. You can even grow the asparagus inside if you want and then just put them out on your porch or balcony each day for a little bit of sunshine.
Well, that’s all I have for now. I really hope that this will inspire you to consider starting your very own special vegetable and fruit container garden. Once you start, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t done it sooner. Good luck and happy gardening!