I was thinking of utilizing some unused space on the  deck this summer by starting a few container gardens. It’s pretty easy actually and in addition to flowers, there are a host of vegetables and herbs that can be grown in containers (pots). Container gardens are small and perfect for those renting apartments or living in condos – and they’re lots of fun!

There are plenty of vegetables and herbs that will grow well together, and experimenting with what works for you, is half the fun. The only way to fail with container gardening is to not water!

The following list is just some ideas that will help you get started:

  1. Plant your favorite herbs – I’m a big fan of Chives, Thyme, Basil and Rosemary. You can plant these in the same container and have fresh herbs all summer long. I’ll be adding Cilantro to my gardens this year.
  2. Grow some tomatoes – All of sudden I’m thinking of BLT sandwiches and fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes. You may even consider cherry or grape tomatoes to give some wonderful color to your salads.
  3. Speaking of salads – Why not try growing some sort of leaf lettuce variety or spring greens mix into your  garden.
  4. Take it up a notch with spicy peppers – I’m a real big fan of spicy foods. I add Jalapeño peppers to my tacos, Banana peppers to my subs and I’m even planning a batch of hombrewed beer (a Scotch Ale) that will utilize Serrano  peppers to add a little back-end heat to offset the malty sweetness of that style of beer. And if you have tomatoes you always try to make your own salsa.
  5. Beans, beans, good for your heart – Another favorite of mine, and my kids enjoy it when I say that little rhyme we all know so well. Instead of the bush type plants choose the vining style, but make sure to give them room to grow up, by placing near a wall and adding some twine or add a small trellis or teepee for your pot. You could also plant peas, which I prefer to eat right from the garden. Nothing beats breaking open the pods of freshly harvested peas.
  6. Potatoes are really easy – And when you want to harvest them, when they flower, just overturn a few pots, dig through the pile of soil, and pull out those delicious tubers.
  7. Insert your idea here – but leave them in the comments below. I’d be happy to hear what you will be planning in your garden this year.

Growing vegetables in containers is a fun and frugal way to get some seasonal produce. If you’ve got a deck, a front door landing, or some soffit space for hanging pots then don’t be afraid have some fun with container gardening. Just make sure water frequently (bigger pots help here), fertilize as needed with an all-purpose liquid product and enjoy the fruits of your labor.