A couple of weeks ago, I told you about my container garden. It’s been the perfect solution for a gal like me who wanted very much to have fresh vegetables in the summer, but just could not seem to meet with success in a traditional earth garden.
But if you’re considering trying a container garden of your own, a quick glance over the seed packets at your local hardware store can be incredibly overwhelming. Where on earth do you start? Which of these 800 fruits and vegetables should you try first? Then if you start checking out the seedlings for purchase as well, the choices just become all the more mind-boggling!
So let me share 5 easy-to-grow vegetables for your container garden.
No question: For me, this has been the easiest, most fuss-free veggie I have ever tried to grow. And there is nothing like homegrown lettuce for sweet, tender, delicious salads. Last summer I harvested enough for nightly salads and still had plenty to give away to friends and family, all with very little effort on my part.
I like green leaf lettuce, but also artisan mixes. And they’re very cold hardy, meaning they can last well beyond the first frost. Our mild winter last year meant I had lettuce until Christmas! The hardest part was just making certain my soil stayed relatively moist. Once-a-day thorough watering, especially in the hottest days of summer, is an absolute must, but I will also say there were times I forgot and an emergency dousing usually brought my lettuce back to life.
Green Onions (Scallions)
Again, I have had amazing success with green onions. Green onions, in case you didn’t know it, are just the shoots of onions before they’ve developed full bulbs. I use them in my cooking a lot. Now I also allow some of my onions to mature into… well, onions, like for slicing, but I use green onions so often not many of them survive that long. I’m planting more this year in the hope of resolving that little problem.
You can grow from seeds, but I use onion sets, which are just like little baby onions you stick in the dirt. Water regularly and you’ll see green shoots popping up in no time.
Wow! I planted radish seeds and POP! It was like I had a whole bouquet of fast-growing plants within a day or two! It wasn’t really that fast, but radishes do grow quickly and easily.
I’m well aware radishes don’t appeal to everyone. They do have an odd, pungent sort of flavor, but even my kids will eat them thinly sliced on salads. And did you know you can use them in place of potatoes in a pot roast? My brother and sister-in-law tuned me in to that fabulous little bit of information and we have grown to LOVE eating radishes this way. They tend to absorb other flavors well and they contain a mere fraction of the carbs in a potato.
You can start from seed, of course, but I always opt for seedlings. Tomatoes love hot summer weather and it’s so fun to start discovering all these tiny green tomatoes all over your plants and then watch them develop into big, beautiful red fruit.
There are so many different varieties, so narrowing your choice can be a challenge! If you’re particularly nervous about trying tomatoes, I think cherry varieties may be the easiest of all. But when you water in containers, make sure you water thoroughly. Watering deeply makes you less susceptible to bottom rot, (which has nothing to do with dirty diapers, and everything to do with less-than-thorough watering.) Fortunately I learned my lesson quickly and corrected it, but watch out for that issue. Otherwise tomatoes are pretty easy!
Again, I usually grow my peppers from seedlings and find them very easy to grow. Like tomatoes, they can be susceptible to bottom rot, but only when you fail to water thoroughly. Otherwise they are very heat tolerant, low-maintenance vegetables. I love bell peppers, so this is one of those veggies I can’t imagine not growing in my container garden. And fortunately they’re easy to maintain!
So does that give you a starting place? If you do a container garden, which vegetables are your favorite to grow?
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