Radishes are the fastest germinating and maturing vegetable of all, and their peppery taste gives salads a real kick. Plus, a dwarf variety of runner bean allows for container gardening of this typically tall crop.
Although many vegetables need space to produce a worthwhile crop in a pot, there are plenty that can be grown successfully in more cramped conditions. Grow a container planted with radishes outside your back door, and you can grab a handful whenever you need them.
When to Plant: Spring to summer
At Its Best: Late spring to early autumn
Time to Complete: 30 minutes
Fill the container with potting soil and firm the top lightly. Sow seed on the surface and cover with 1/2 inch of soil. Water with a fine spray.
As seedlings germinate and grow, thin them out, leaving the others to mature fully. You can eat the removed seedlings as an early salad crop.
Water your pot regularly. Radishes are usually ready about five weeks after sowing. Don't allow them to grow for longer than this because their taste becomes hotter and unpleasant, and they lose their crunch. To harvest, simply pull them up when ready. They store well in the refrigerator for a few days.
'Hestia' is one of the smallest runner beans and is well suited to growing in pots. Dwarf runner beans don't climb and need minimal support — just a few short stakes to hold them up in windy weather. Prepare the pot as for radishes. Grow one plant per pot, and water them frequently. Pick regularly once the beans start appearing to prolong the harvest.