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Container Gardening | the best flowers, vegetables and herbs to grow

by dig the dirt editor

Container gardening is one of the easiest ways to garden. Thank you to Renee's Garden for all these tips!

Renee's Garden has all the seeds you need for your container garden.  Check out her catalogue of seeds you can research and buy online hereThank you Renee!

For fellow gardeners with limited space, container gardening is a fine way to enjoy pretty cascades of flowers and delicious kitchen herbs as well as grow first rate vegetables. Your garden area can be a patio, balcony, terrace, rooftop or any undeveloped site where the soil is not suitable for in-ground gardening. In fact, one of my favorite gardening pen pals grows her eggplants in big pots on board the converted tugboat she and her husband live on! For those who do not have the time or whose physical capacities are limited, container gardening is a special source of satisfaction. If you are a cooking oriented gardener, you’ll find having containers of your favorite culinary herbs really close at hand to snip at will is a real advantage.



Container Herbs
Even though I grow an extensive backyard herb garden, I still plant my favorites for everyday use in 4 or 5 pots set outside the kitchen patio so I can get to them quickly whenever a recipe needs a little herbal zing. Best of all, container herbs need little weeding and no hoeing and can be moved easily. I always plant several kinds of basils in a big deep pot so I can use them in salads and sautés and, late in summer when they start to flower, I enjoy them as fragrant ornamental edibles. Strappy mounds of flowering chives and garlic chives or shiny broadleaf parsley are also delicious and attractive container plants as are low mounding shrubby perennials such as thyme, oregano, and marjoram. Blue-green leafy dill fronds are pretty as a picture and in a nearby container you can snip them off to top salads and stews anytime. I grow clumps of cilantro in containers to add to grilled shrimp, chicken or mix into fresh salsa, keeping them in clear bright shade rather than full sunlight in the heat of summer so the plants stay leafy as long as possible.


windowbox basil


lemon thyme


Container Flowers
Free-flowering annuals are perfect choices to bring out the artist in every gardener. Choose varieties not only for their individual beauty but for the way they’ll look in combination. Look for flowers that spread and mound in habit like cascading nasturtiums, soft alyssum, dainty lobelia, or varieties that have a wonderful perfume, such as heliotrope or the little trumpets of jasmine-scented nicotiana. Don’t neglect old favorites like morning glories, old fashioned zinnias, a full palette of petunias and bedding sunflowers. You can plant one variety to a container and cluster them all around your patio to take advantage of different microclimates–3 medium sized pots placed together will make a beautiful combination of color and form that will hide the pots they are planted in. Or you can plant a mixed bouquet of 3 or 4 plants in a big container at least 18 inches wide. In combining flowers, keep their final heights in mind, planting low trailing plants at the outer edge, medium ones inside and the tallest varieties at the center. Space plants closely, about 4 inches apart, so they will grow to fill all the container’s surface. Be sure to feed them regularly to encourage lush growth.


sundflowers 'junior'


zinnias 'pixie'


Container Vegetables
Growing an edible container garden is easy and rewarding. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, and squash will reward you with beautiful plants and abundant harvests in warm weather. In the cooler seasons of spring and fall, you can grow glorious salad fixings or nutritious leafy greens like pak choi, chard, fennel, and kale. Container veggies need a good rich soil mix, and plenty of room for an ample root system with careful attention to regular watering and fertilizing. Their attractive foliage and pretty colored harvests can be beautiful and decorative as well as delicious!


baby romaine lettuce


alpine strawberries


Container Gardening, kitchen gardening, vegetable gardening, seeds, renee's garden


I've planted some romaine lettuce for the first time.It's about 4 or 5inches tall but it's not looking to good.I thought maybe they were getting to much sun ,so I put them in the shade & still no luck.Please tell me what's best for them.How much water and how often do they need wate?Tks
Angel commented on 07/04/15
What does anyone think of the upside down tomato growers. do they work well for a deck or patio?
hapehr commented on 05/08/11