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Vegetables for Container Gardening

1. Beets – Fresh beets have a whole different taste than pickled ones. These can be grown in as little space as a cake pan and are better picked small and tender, about the size of a silver dollar.

2. Spinach – Fresh spinach is good both cooked and raw and it is another vegetable that can be grown in a small container. The leaves are best picked young and tender. One of the best things about spinach is that it doesn’t have to grow fruit so it doesn’t need a large container to support it. This is a cool weather plant and does not like hot summer days.

3. Leaf Lettuce – Like spinach, leaf lettuce can be grown in a small container and doesn’t need hot summer days to mature. Pick when leaves are young and tender. Start pots at different times so you have a continuous supply. There is also a variety of miniature head lettuce that can be container grown.

4. Patio Tomatoes – They are coming up with more and more types of tomatoes that are suited to container growing. Traditional tomatoes take a huge amount of dirt and grow to be 3 or 4 feet tall and wide if not supported. Patio tomatoes are more compact and were bred to retain a small size and be grown in a pot. Here is a variety of cherry tomatoes that can be grown in a container.

5. Radishes – Like beets, radishes don’t need a huge pot to grow and mature fairly quickly. These are fun to grow and make a great addition to any salad.

6. Green Peppers – These take a fairly good size pot and are definitely warm weather plants but they are not difficult to grow. They can be used in a variety of dishes and freeze well. If you are feeling a bit experimental, there is a new variety of mini peppers that you can buy. They are small and colorful.

7. Green Beans – While I would normally not recommend growing green beans in a container, they have come up with several varieties of dwarf green beans that are recommended and actually as you can plant 16 green bean plants in a square foot I would imagine these would do fairly well in a container.

8. Squash – Again, while squash is not something you would normally consider a container plant, new varieties are very compatible. This mild summer Patty Pan squash is only 2 ft high and 2 ft wide. It may be too big for an apartment but then maybe not.

9. Eggplant – Eggplant is a mainstay in Mediterranean cooking. It’s compact size makes it an ideal choice for container growing.

10. Garlic Chives – This is one of my favorites. It’s a beautiful flower and every part of the plant is edible.

11. Swiss Chard – This link is to a rainbow variety that will perk up any spot. Fresh Swiss Chard has a sweet buttery flavor that is delicious. The grocery store variety loses SO much of the flavor that it barely resembles the garden variety. Try it fresh and sauted in a bit of olive oil with a hint of garlic.

12. A pot of Herbs – You can mix and match herbs in a container. Basil, thyme, sage, tarragon, rosemary will all grow fine. My choices to put together would be basil, thyme and sage. Basil is an upright annual plant while sage is kind of sprawly. Thyme is a low grower so the three together make an interesting potted arrangement. All but basil are perennial.