I find that many people I meet would love to learn how to garden but they live in an apartment or condominium and feel like they don’t have enough space to grow anything worthwhile. The reality is that if you have windowsill or a balcony that gets some sun or a countertop where you can place a grow light you can grow herbs and vegetables in containers as small as 5 inches in diameter and 5 inches deep.
While there are a number of potential candidates for small containers these 5 herbs and vegetables are what I call “Mighty Minis” and they are particularly well adapted to this type of gardening:
Arugula - This leafy vegetable is a member of the cabbage family. Its leaves have a peppery flavor and it makes a delicious addition to salads and sandwiches. Arugula is a good choice for small containers as it is easy to grow and matures quickly; sometimes in as few as 35 days. When the leaves are about 4 inches tall you can start to pick them…Yum!
Chives - This easy to grow herb grows best when it is provided with a sunny windowsill. Its grass-like leaves have a flavor similar to an onion and they are tasty in salads, soups or combined with sour cream on a baked potato. Don’t worry about harvesting too much of this plant as it will quickly sprout new leaves after they are cut. It is not too fussy about soil conditions and it might be helpful to its neighbors as it is a natural repellant for insects.
Parsley - While Parsley is best known as a garnish it is also a tasty in salads. It does not require full sun conditions which makes it a good candidate for growing indoors as well as outdoors. Its leaves are packed with vitamins and minerals and chewing them can help freshen your breath too! If you are a fan of Italian and/or Greek cooking than growing Parsley is a must!
Radish - Radishes are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. They grow in both sun and semi-shade conditions and since they mature quickly they are a great candidate for a small container. You can also harvest the leaves for salads in addition to the mature roots. Just provide good soil, cool temperatures and regular watering and you’ll have delicious radishes in no time!
Spinach - This is another nutritional powerhouse. If you have room on your countertop for a pot that is anywhere from 6” to 12” in diameter you can be harvesting spinach in 40 to 45 days after it sprouts. Spinach needs consistent moisture so check the pot frequently as it can dry out quickly. Another benefit to growing this vegetable in a container is you are less likely to have to share it with rabbits or nasty insects. Whether it is eaten raw or cooked spinach is a vegetable we should all consider growing and eating!
If you’ve thought you can’t garden because of a lack of space hopefully you’ll think about giving these wonderful “Mighty Minis” a try this year. If you have any plants you want to add to our list, let us know on our Facebook Page.