You’ve heard about the benefits of eating fresh, organic food. Now you’re ready to start growing your own vegetables, right?
Container gardening is great because it doesn't require a ton of space — letting you grow your own food even if you live in an apartment.
- Purchase organic potting soil, seeds or seedlings from your local hardware store.
- Find a sunny spot for your containers.
- As your plants begin to grow, gently till the soil around the plants every few weeks so the soil remains aerated and water and nutrients are able to reach your garden.
- Remove weeds as you see them.
- Add mulch regularly around your plants to conserve water, promote healthy soil, and prevent weed growth.
- Every few weeks, give your plants organic water-soluble plant food to promote their growth.
Here are 6 easy-to-grow vegetables you should include in your container garden:
Kale is highly nutritious and easy to grow in a container.
First, fill a large container with soil. Plant the kale seeds in the soil. If space allows, leave at least 6 to 8 inches of space between each seed.
Kale seeds germinate in about 5 to 10 days. Keep your kale plant out in the sun, and be sure to keep the soil moist, but not too soggy. If your kale seedlings grow too close together (less than 6 inches), transplant each kale plant to a larger space so the plants can grow to their full height.
Kale matures in about 50 to 60 days. As the leaves mature, constantly harvest them so the plant can produce new leaves. You will be surprised by how much kale you will harvest during the summer and fall months!
2. Sweet Basil
Sweet basil requires more than 6 hours of sun a day, so if you live in a sunny area, basil is the perfect herb to grow.
Plant sweet basil seeds or seedlings in a large container filled with soil. Place the container where the basil will get a lot of sun and keep the soil moist.
As the basil leaves grow out, regularly harvest them so that the basil plant will continue to produce new leaves. I like to start from the bottom of the plant when harvesting. The aroma of sweet basil is amazing!
3. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Like all vegetables, they require a good amount of sunlight, but be careful not to overwater them in the early stages. If a heavy rainstorm is coming to your area, you can move the swiss chard inside until the rain passes.
Like kale, a single swiss chard plant also requires at least six inches of room to grow to its full height.
Oregano needs a lot of sun, so plant in a sunny spot.
When the plant is a few inches tall, pinch or trim of the stems of the oregano plant often to ensure new growth. Like basil, oregano also produces a lovely sweet aroma.
5. Mesclun (Sweet Salad Mix)
This salad mix takes only 30 days to mature. The mix includes varieties of spinach, lettuce, and mustard greens.
Mesclun requires several hours of sunlight each day, and be sure to keep its soil moist. If the mesclun seedlings are too close together, transplant some of the seedlings to a larger container so that they have room to grow fully.
Chives are similar to garlic and onion. You can use the bulbs, flowers, and stems for cooking and garnishing.
Plant chives 8 to 10 inches apart from each other in rich potting soil and water regularly. Chives grow in clumps and grow 6 to 8 inches off the ground and require little maintenance.
You will be harvesting a ton of chives — so make room in your freezer!
The key to gardening is care, so attend to your plants regularly and you'll reap the rewards in no time.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock