Edible Container Ideas Are Lip-Smackingly Good

Get growing with easy-to-reproduce container recipes featuring edible plants.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Burpee.com

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Burpee.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Gardeners.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of Burpee.com

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Gardeners.com

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Gardeners.com

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of Gardeners.com

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Berry Basket

Hanging baskets create an eye-catching strawberry planter and bring the harvest in at a height that doesn’t require bending. Cone shape willow baskets elevate an edible planter to a true work of art. Plant four everbearing strawberries around the edges of a 10- or 12-inch basket. If berries come in a six pack, tuck two plants in the center of the basket.

Backdoor Salads

Garden fresh has never tasted better. Fill an 8- or 10-inch pot with soil and sprinkle with a leaf lettuce seed mix. These mixes are sometimes sold as a mesclun mix, a cut-and-come again salad mix or 'Healing Hands' mix. Follow seed packet instructions for planting and harvest.

Bag a Summer Squash

Grow bags make it possible to raise veggies even where there’s no room to garden. To raise a harvest of summer squash, choose a 15-gallon grow bag (rough dimensions 18 inches wide x 13 inches tall) and a bush-type summer squash. Plant three seeds per pot; thin to one seedling.

Grow a Pot of Corn

The secret to growing corn in a container is choosing a large enough pot—choose a minimum pot width of 20 inches. You also need corn seed developed to yield in containers, like 'On Deck Hybrid'. Plant 9 seeds per 24-inch-wide pot or 5 per 14-inch pot.

Carefree Harvest

Try a self-watering raised bed to savor homegrown flavors without labor-intensive digging. This bed measures roughly three feet square. To replicate this bed, tuck two basils, one each in opposite corners, and two sages in the other corners. Add other herbs between the corner plants, such as one oregano (front) and one each chives and parsley on the sides. Plant one determinate (sometimes called bush type) tomato in the center of the bed.

Pick a Pot of Peas

Quit letting the bunnies nibble your pea crop. Tuck your peas in a container that you can keep near the house where rabbits don’t visit. Choose a compact variety, like 'Peas-in-a-Pot', that’s bred to bear in containers. Start with an 8-inch-wide pot, thinning to four plants per pot. Following planting directions on the seed packet.

Easy-Picking Tomatoes

A hanging basket lifts tomatoes to an easy harvest height. Plant a variety of tomatoes developed for hanging basket use, like 'Tumbling Tom Yellow'. Tuck one 4-inch potted tomato into a 12-inch-wide hanging basket.

Box Your Veggies

Fill a trio of plastic box containers with your favorite veggies. Boxes are 18 inches long, 12 inches wide and 8 inches deep. To replicate these planters, sow one (center) with different types of leaf lettuce seed. Plant one pepper and one basil (choose what you like) in a box (left), surrounding it with seed-grown leaf lettuces. Plant one eggplant like 'Ping Tung Long', 'Hansel' or 'Gretel' in another box (right) and surround it with leaf lettuces grown from seed.

Basket of Kohlrabi

Line wicker planters with a layer of heavy plastic, like an empty soil bag. Don’t forget to punch some drainage holes in the bag. Use an eye-catching container to showcase pretty shallow-rooted crops, like kohlrabi or leaf lettuces. Sow either from seed according to package directions, following recommended spacing. This 24-inch-long basket fits six kohlrabi.

Contain Your Carrots

Grow carrots in a fabric grow bag made of BPA-free polypropylene fabric. For root crops like carrots, look for a generously-sized grow bag, around 14 inches wide by 12 inches deep. Follow directions on seed packets to determine the right number of seeds to sow. From a 14- by 12-inch bag, expect to harvest up to three pounds of carrots.

Potatoes in a Can

A plastic trash can provides an ideal home for a crop of potatoes. Plan on 5 seed potatoes per 18-inch diameter can. Containers should be at least 13 inches deep; deeper is better. Fill containers with 4 inches of soil before planting. Add more soil around potatoes as they grow. Be sure to punch drainage holes in the bottom before planting.

Stand-Up Harvest

Long-lasting cedar gives this self-watering standing bed staying power. This bed measures 39.5 by 16.5 inches. To plant this garden, position herbs in the corners and along edges. Left to right along the front, plant one oregano (corner), one thyme (center edge) and one thyme (corner). On the back side, left to right, plant a red-leaf basil (corner), a sweet green basil (center edge) and cilantro (corner). For the middle spot on the short sides, tuck a marigold (left side) and tricolor sage (right side). Fill in the rest with a mesclun lettuce mix, sown from seed.

Colorful Flavor

Got a few extra pots lying around? Fill them with soil and sow some seeds. Plant colorful 'Rainbow Lights' Swiss chard, basil (choose your favorite flavor) and calendula in one 8-inch or wider pot. Follow seed packet instructions for planting. Thin to one plant of each type each per pot.