Vegetable container garden - need ideas

By re1ndeer Latest Reply 2013-05-20 08:54:35 -0500
Started 2013-05-07 14:28:26 -0500

I'm going to start a vegetable container garden. I have a small area about 10' X 10' to grow vegetables and Herbs.
I'm going to grow the basics, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers. Would like to know if anyone has grown Herbs outside before (never have I ), and I would like to start. Could you give me ideas as to what herbs grow best in gardens, and what has worked for you?
Since I live in the midwest, and the weather is not warm all the time, I also would like to know what vegetables you grow in your garden.
I'm not a picky eater, I usually like anything to eat. But, I would like suggestions for faster growing vegetables.
Thanks, for any suggestions.

25 replies

MAYS 2013-05-19 22:04:05 -0500 Report

Basil has such a sweet smell, so does Mint, Lemon Grass, the list goes on, and on, and on…enjoy your gardening, it"s a wonderful hobby!

re1ndeer 2013-05-20 08:54:35 -0500 Report

Thank you, Really looking forward to growing things this spring. Hope the rain stops long enough for me to plant.

nanapam123456 2013-05-09 11:40:19 -0500 Report

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Mistletoe 2013-05-09 00:48:55 -0500 Report

I live in Northern Arizona and it is still too cold out to plant my garden; hopefully by the end of May. I grow herbs outdoors and the ones that always come back are Oregano, Thyme, Russian Sage, Rosemary and Peppermint. Basil and Cilantro must be replanted every year here. Just save the seeds from the Cilantro to replant. I dry some of the herbs in a Dehydrator and they keep quite a long time. (Store in jars with tight fitting lids.) I really love my home grown herbs; they add so much flavor to foods without adding many calories.

re1ndeer 2013-05-09 06:34:08 -0500 Report

Thank you, These are more interesting herbs. Are there any herbs that should not be planted together?
I really want to try a variety, As they say I want to spice up my life. LOL

raccoon mana
raccoon mana 2013-05-08 16:24:03 -0500 Report

i dry some of the herbs and also use them fresh as needed. you can hang them to dry, use a dehydrater or i dry some in the microwave: i use a paper coffee filter and nuke at 30 second intervals until dry

Chuck Fisher
Chuck Fisher 2013-05-08 02:31:10 -0500 Report

Tomatoes, beans and cucumbers all take a lot space. Cherry tomatoes take less space. Many spices or aromatics are perennial or self-seeding and take up little space. Sage and mint can get out of control so they should be potted. Actually it is a good idea to have your spices in pots and you can bring them in doors during cold spells. I grow strawberries, tomatoes, hot peppers and citrus on dwarf trees. For spices I grow basil, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, thyme, parsley, coriander and mint.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-05-08 09:11:16 -0500 Report

We have sage in a pot in the yard but we also have it growing in our plot in our community garden. The one in the ground will get really big because as you said it needs a lot of space.

raccoon mana
raccoon mana 2013-05-07 22:07:52 -0500 Report

i use lavender in teas, sugar cookies for my family: 1tbs. per recipe. looks like mouse poop, but makes a great cookie. i also use it for scent, bath oils and soap. catnip can be used in tea, but i grow it for my cat. i also grow lemon balm for tea and chamomile for tea ans soap

raccoon mana
raccoon mana 2013-05-07 19:56:29 -0500 Report

i grow parsley, sage, thyme and a variety of mints. although the mint does spread like crazy. but they all come up every year. also i have lavender, catnip, and jalepeni peppers. am an avid herb user in wisconsin so feel free to ask questions

re1ndeer 2013-05-07 21:58:49 -0500 Report

Thank you, so much. Do you use lavender in cooking, or just as a scent? I never knew anyone could grow catnip. Is this again something for human consumption?
I'm not much on herbs, but would like to know more. I'm trying to cut way back on salt and use other seasonings. And I'm trying to find out which ones I can grow easily in containers as I don't have a lot of space, but I do love a lot of flavor to vegetables and meats.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-05-07 18:53:29 -0500 Report

We have tomatoes, spinach and sage in containers in our yard. The spinach will be transferred to our community garden plot. Last year we had sage, green bell peppers, strawberries and hot peppers in the yard. Herbs do well in pots. Sage over time will need a lot of space as it will become a bush. Leafy green veggies such as cabbage, kale, collards and lettuce and squash do better in the ground because they need a lot of space. Tomatoes will need a cage or the tall tomato sticks. Someone told us about the upside down tomato plants and they did well for them on their balcony.

My sister is a certified master gardener. She will start some of the veggies from seeds in containers in the yard then transfer the ones that need a lot of space to the garden. To make it easier on a beginner, it would be best to go to either Lowes, Home Depot or you nearest garden center and buy starter plants. You can use large flower pots. We have the large plastic ones. A neighbor who is also a certified master garden starts hers from seeds and keeps them under a heat lamp. She has them going most of the winter.

We bought soil that retains moisture, has 3 months food and is for plants and veggies. Once you transfer them, water them in the evening after the sun goes down or after the hottest part of the day. Never ever water plants or veggies anything during the hottest part of the day it will scorch the plants. Hopes this helps.

re1ndeer 2013-05-07 21:55:22 -0500 Report

Thanks, I never thought of sage. That you could grow in the garden, I love that spice on pork. I never tried green peppers or spinach, but that sounds interesting.
Thanks for all the hints, and ideas from the plants and seeds to all the stuff needed to get started.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-05-08 09:09:18 -0500 Report

I put it on poultry all the time. I also use it in pot pies and chicken soup. It will take about 5 years for it to get really big. I cut it and dry it. Pull off the big stems and drop the leaves in my food processor and chop them up. I washed and bleached a coffee jar (to get rid of the coffee fragrance) and store it in that.

I also bought a lavender plant that is growing nicely. I am going to use it as an air freshener. I don't like flowered teas. By the way if you dry your sage until it turns brown, you can put a few leaves in an ashtray and burn them. Sage is good for the lungs.

GabbyPA 2013-05-07 17:59:35 -0500 Report

Well, I'm sure you knew I would chime in here. LOL

The herbs I have in my garden that last all winter here in Florida are Rosemary, which you can plant as a hedge, sage, parsley, and thyme. I also have had good success with fennel, dill, tarragon, basil, oregano, garlic and this year finally cilantro. The latter don't do well in winter or cold weather, so you may have to put them in a protected area. All of these need good sun. Most once they get going, are easy to water.

If you grow tomatoes in pots, you may want to make sure you get "determinant" types that stop growing at about 4-5 feet. Those will do good in a cage. Otherwise, "indeterminate" types will just keep growing taller and taller and they need a trellis or fence to grow on.

If you use bush beans for your green beans they are easy to grow, and you can have 2-4 plants in a 3 gallon container that will give you beans all summer if you keep picking them.

Another thing you may like to try in a container is lettuce or spinach. It will grow well in cooler weather and as long as you don't let it go to seed, you can keep harvesting it until it starts to get tough or bitter. Then let it go to seed. But that way you always have fresh greens for your salad.

Radishes grow very fast and you can have several crops of them in one season if you get them going. Plant a few every 4-5 days and only pick the mature ones. They will give you great little flavor until the heat of summer.

If you get the cucumbers that are called pickling or Kirby cukes, they are smaller and are able to be harvested quicker. They are great for salads and making pickled cukes and onions right in the fridge.

Other cooler weather crops are broccoli, carrots, beets, cabbage and squash. Any of these can be done in a container. Just pick what you want to eat and go for it.

re1ndeer 2013-05-07 18:48:44 -0500 Report

Thanks Gabby, I really can't start planting till after the last chance of frost here, and that is about May 15, But, I want to get a head start by planting indoor, and transplanting, when I can. I know not many things can be transplanted, and must be put into the ground (or container). I'm going to start the tomatoes, big boy, grape and cherry tomatoes (these normally do well for me)
Thank you for the ideas with the herbs. Also with the herbs, do you leave them in the ground or do you dry them after the season…I may sound dumb here, but I've never grew them before, and now I want to try to have fresh seasonings, over the dry ones that come in a jar.

GabbyPA 2013-05-09 15:17:24 -0500 Report

My parsley can grow year round. It likes the cold, so I do dehydrate some of it, but I eat it fresh. Rosemary is the same, it's actually an evergreen. My Oregano and thyme lasted for a couple of years in the ground, but finally I had to replace them. So you can get fresh from them if you move them under cover in the winter. This is my first year with sage, but it grows wild in the mountains, so I imagine it could take a winter in the ground, but I'm not sure.

All the rest of them I either hang dry in the garage in bunches or I dehydrate them and store them in glass jars.

One that I forgot to mention is mint. You don't want that in the ground. Keep it contained because it will take over, but I have 3 kinds in my garden and I thought I killed one, but it's coming back. I keep them outside all year here. Just dry what I want to keep.

My tarragon is new for me, and I don't think it will last a winter, but it might. At least down here. Dill and Fennel don't do well in the cold. They are very tender and fragile.

There is nothing like just going out and picking fresh herbs. I love to use them in my salads as well as my cooking. Even if you dry yours, they will tend to be more fresh than anything you have bought in the stores.

re1ndeer 2013-05-09 15:55:57 -0500 Report

Thank you, this is what I want. To have my own, growing in my backyard, or dried for the winter. And with the cost of the herbs in the store (Ouch !) the prices are outragous.