Wondering what you can grow in a container garden? Actually, you can grow just about anything, but most people choose edible plants. Chances are you may already be growing flowers and houseplants in containers. Technically, it’s all container gardening, but most people don’t think of it that way.
Since edible plants are what come to mind for most people in connection with container gardening, that’s what we’ll cover in this article. There are many options for you to choose from, including vegetables, herbs and even some types of fruit.
The top plant choice for most container gardens is herbs. Vegetables are in a solid second place, with fruit lagging a distant third. This rank order may have a lot to do with what most people find easy to do. It’s not necessarily a reflection of the possibilities.
Let’s consider fruit first.
Strawberries are a fruit and they grow quite well in containers. Strawberry plants are actually very hardy. They have even been seen thriving in grow bags that can be hung on a wall. How’s that for convenient picking?
Several varieties of dwarf fruit trees also grow well in containers. Dwarf citrus trees come in small varieties that are completely at home in decorative pots. With regular pruning, they even make eye-catching decorative plants. Most dwarf berry bushes will also thrive in the right container. But be careful when you move them, they can get pretty heavy. Blueberries and raspberries are two berries in particular that have proven successful in containers.
Herbs are very popular container plants. Imagine how tasty fresh herbs could make your cooking. Parsley is a very popular choice for container gardening. Other herbs often found in containers include basil, cilantro and chives.
Most herbs are well-suited for growing in containers. The only real trick is making sure you’ve got the right size pot. If you don’t have a lot of room, you can stick to herbs that thrive in smaller containers, like basil, chives and parsley. With more room to work with, you can branch out to other herbs like sage, with happens to grow on a bush. Oregano is another herb that requires a large container.
What about vegetables?
The most popular container-grown vegetable is the tomato, which actually isn’t a vegetable at all (it’s a fruit). Tomatoes are wildly popular among container gardeners. Almost all varieties of tomato thrive in containers. The smaller salad tomatoes, like cherry, grape and roma tomatoes, are especially well-suited to life in a container.
One reason is that finding a good tomato in a grocery store is a nearly impossible quest. Grocery store tomatoes are almost always picked green and then ripened artificially. It’s not due to an evil plot though. It’s necessary to ship the tomatoes without bruising and to lenghten their shelf life.
Other container-grown vegetables include cucumbers, squash, beans and peas, carrots, scallions, peppers and salad greens. Even potatoes and corn have been spotted in some container gardens.
Practically any vegetable can be grown in a container. Many plants can be started from seeds. It’s possible to sow your seeds directly into the container, but it will be difficult to thin the seedlings later without damage.
The best way around this is to purchase local seedlings or grow your own seedlings in smaller pots. Then you can transplant them to a larger container. Although starting with purchased seedlings is the easiest way to go, you can also have quite a sense of accomplishment and pride when you start with seeds.