Edible container gardening should be something that is easy and accessible. This is especially important if you don’t have a lot of extra time to spend in the garden. If you’re not lucky enough to have a considerable sized yard, you are most likely stuck with a small patio. Usually this patio is mostly shade because of high density housing. These are not ideal conditions in which to grow most edible plants.
I find myself choosing wisely before I commit to something. Luckily, container gardening is not permanent, and if you change your mind about the particular vegetable you have planted, you can just start over. I try to choose the most useful and long lasting vegetables, fruits and herbs.
It’s also important to find a good location for your edibles. This space must be easily accessed. Frequently I will forget that I even have fresh herbs to cook with and they just go to waste. I try to keep them located close to the kitchen so I can cut off only as much as I need. There is nothing better than fresh from the garden, especially if you’re making a fresh salad or delicious pasta. I have found that window boxes, rectangle shaped planters, work best for small spaces, and can be used for herbs, lettuce, carrots and even strawberries. Luckily some of these can get by with only a few hours of sunlight.
My favorite herbs to plant are Rosemary, Oregano and Thyme. I call them the “Italian Trio” even though they don’t have to be exclusively used in Italian dishes. I especially like these three herbs because they are perennials. This means they will last all year round. However, This doesn’t mean that you will not want to replant every couple of years. Herbs don’t have to unattractive either. There are so many colorful varieties of Rosemary, Oregano and Thyme. “Barbecue” Rosemary is one of my favorites, because of its great flavor but also it’s upright growth. This is a nice contrast to most low growing herbs. “Italian” Oregano is a fool proof flavor, but also has attractive green foliage. Add in some lime green “Lemon” Thyme and you have a beautiful pot.
Don’t be discouraged when trying something new. Gardening is always trial and error, even for the experts. Even novices can enjoy edible container gardening. Just remember to choose herbs and vegetables that you and your family will actually use and enjoy. Keeping them easily accessible and in close view will remind you to cook that special meal they were intended for.