With spring and summer often comes the desire to plant things. If you are someone who enjoys growing and preserving your own food but you’re also someone who just doesn’t have the outdoor garden space that you need, we’ve got a great collection of projects for you.
We’ve found 35 fruits and vegetables that you can grow in containers. These range from bananas and citrus fruits to tomatoes, cucumbers, and just about anything else that you would normally plant in a larger garden.
The difference is, you can grow these on the deck or porch or wherever you have room because they’re all in some sort of container. Plus, these foods grow very well in containers so there are no worries of getting smaller than average tomatoes. If you want a huge beefsteak tomato in a container, that’s just what you’ll get.
So whether you have a huge gardening space or not, if you want to grow your own foods, you can and we’ve got the perfect foods for you to grow in those containers. Take a look, pick out your favorites, and DIY your way to more homegrown food on the table all year long.
If you love bananas and even if you don’t live in the tropics, you can grow a banana plant inside the house, even during the cold winter months. Dwarf banana plants grow perfectly inside and they are perennials so once you plant them, you’ll have bananas year after year. You’ll want to make sure that the container you use is fairly deep and has a drainage hole so that you don’t drown out your banana plant. These thrive indoors or out and are perfect for balconies and decks during the summer. Plus, you can grow them indoors all winter long.
Spinach is so good for you and it grows really well in containers. You will want one 8 inch container for each spinach plant. Keep in mind that spinach is a bit heat sensitive so to keep leaves from wilting, avoid direct sunlight. Containers tend to get rather warm during the summer so choose a nice, shady spot to place them outdoors. You can also grow spinach indoors and they grow very well during the winter months. You do need to keep them well watered during the winter though to avoid drying out from indoor heat.
Thyme is another herb that does exceptionally well in containers and you can grow it indoors or out. You can actually have an herb garden in containers and plant your thyme with basil, oregano, and other herbs if you want or just have a container for thyme alone. Clay pots work best for thyme because they prevent drying out between watering. Thyme will not grow well if you overwater it so be sure to choose a container that has an adequate drainage hole in the bottom. You can grow it indoors during winter but it is recommended that you allow it some fresh sunlight during spring and summer months.
Get ready for those turkey dinners by growing your own sage. Sage is an herb that grows very well in containers and you can grow it indoors or out. Sage does prefer sunlight so if you don’t have a big enough window to supplement it during the winter, you may need to use artificial lighting. If you are planning to grow it on the balcony or even in a window box, you should be fine. Just place the containers somewhere that the plant has access to plenty of direct sunlight. You can grow it indoors as well, as long as you provide sufficient lighting for most of the day.
Cucumbers are very easy to grow in containers and you can keep them growing all winter long in most cases. You can also grow them vertically to maximize the space that you have available. Just let them vine up your deck railing or even the side of your house if you are putting the containers outdoors. Salad bush hybrids, midget picklets and spacemasters are the best varieties of cucumbers for container gardening although any type will thrive if you care for it properly. Be sure to allow plenty of space for the vines and harvest regularly once they begin producing so that they don’t weigh the vines down and weaken them.
Kale is great for container gardening and really doesn’t need much space. You can grow about five kale plants in a 20 inch pot and growing in containers allows you to move them about into the shade or inside out of the cold during the winter months. It is relatively easy to grow and allows you to have a fresh supply of kale all year long. You can begin your kale containers with transplants or direct seeds, whichever you prefer. Don’t let them get too dry but don’t overwater, either and make sure that you allow a bit of indirect sunlight every day.
Lettuce is one of the easiest of all plants to grow in containers. You can sit the containers out on the balcony or deck for sunlight and you can begin your own seedlings at the end of winter for the next planting season. Just sow your lettuce seeds directly into potting soil inside a large container. You can plant lettuce with other greens such as cilantro or arugula if you need to save space. You may need to transplant into a larger container when the plants begin to grow but keep the containers small enough so that you can easily move them inside and out for sunlight.
Radishes add great flavor to salads and other dishes and can be grown easily in containers. Short, red radishes can be grown in just about any container that you have on hand. Longer, white radishes thrive very well in paint buckets or similar containers. Radishes are actually a recommended vegetable for first time gardeners because they grow so well. You are sure to get a great harvest from your radish containers. Just make sure that you water them every few days and sit them beside a window or out on the patio for a bit of sunlight a couple of hours each day.
Quinoa is a whole grain that is packed full of nutrients and it’s a food that you can easily grow in a container. It’s actually a very hardy plant that is not terribly picky about where it grows, which makes it perfect for growing indoors or on patios. Plant the seeds directly into potting soil in a rather large container. Quinoa plants grown in containers only reach about two feet in height so they won’t take up much room and you can begin harvesting them in the fall. They are very hardy plants and very low maintenance which makes them perfect for container gardening.
Collard greens do very well in containers as long as you place the container in full sunlight during the day. Plan to give them at least six hours of sunlight during the spring and fall months. If planting during summer, you will need to move the containers from indoors to somewhere slightly shaded during the afternoon hours. During fall and spring however, you will need to give them direct sunlight. You can actually grow collard greens during every season but winter, unless of course you want to provide it with artificial sunlight during the colder months.
Believe it or not, potatoes actually thrive in containers. In fact, you can keep your potatoes growing all year long and never have to buy them in the store again. They do very well in five gallon buckets and the containers are perfect for moving in and out of the sunlight. Make sure that you drill a few holes into the bottom of the bucket before planting so that your potatoes don’t get overwatered. You can expect to get between one and two pounds of potatoes per bucket so depending on how many you go through each week, you may only need to plant a couple of buckets per growing season.