17 Goof-Proof Container Edibles
Check out these easy container edibles. They grow with little fuss and go from pot to plate with ease.
Photo By: Image courtesy of Ball Horticultural Company
Cross black and red raspberries, and you wind up with ‘Glencoe’. This is a thornless bramble berry with a bushy form ideal for 15-inch containers. Expect a multi-stemmed clump from one plant. Remove old canes after you pick fruit. Keep height to 30 inches by removing cane tips in summer. Hardy in Zones 4-8.
Trailing Nasturtium Mix
Edible flowers bring beauty to containers, and nasturtium is a cinch to grow. It actually flowers better when it suffers a little neglect. Too much rich soil and fertilizer leads to lush leaves and few flowers. Plant this trailing mix in a pedestal pot or hanging basket, or place near a trellis so stems can climb. Harvest leaves, blooms or immature seedpods for a peppery bite in salads or on sandwiches.
A dwarf mulberry makes an ideal container plant. ‘Issai’ produces fruit that’s larger than a traditional dwarf mulberry, and you’ll see flowers and fruit throughout the year. Outdoors, plants are hardy in Zones 5 to 9. In colder regions, bring pots inside for winter. With high enough light, plants will keep flowering and fruiting through winter.
‘Red Wonder’ Alpine Strawberry
This little strawberry is actually a commercial favorite in Western Europe. The small berries are flavorful and sweet. Expect berries through most of summer when plants receive adequate moisture. Plants grow 6 to 8 inches tall and thrive in containers. At the end of the growing season, tuck them into flower beds as an edging.
What do you get when you cross lettuce and cabbage? Lettage, a mini cabbage with tender leaves that store much longer than lettuce, up to 10 weeks. Count on these crisp leaves to sweeten salads or sandwiches, or draft them for your favorite slaw recipe. Lettage thrives in containers, so grow it near the door for garden-fresh salads.
‘Penny All Season Mix’ Viola
Include pots of viola to harvest flowers for salads, drinks and desserts. ‘Penny’ offers large 1.5-inch flowers in a variety of bright and deep colors. When harvesting blooms for eating, pull off the green cap behind petals. This viola doesn’t get leggy as summer heat builds but stays a neat 4 to 6 inches tall.
Simply Salad Kale Storm Mixture
Get your daily dose of greens with a ready-made blend of kale varieties. This colorful mix features kale with different textures, colors and flavors to ensure you’ll have plenty of variety to savor in the salad bowl, soups or in smoothies. Varieties may include ‘Red Russian,’ Tuscan (dinosaur) and a ruffled kale. This blend grows best in cool weather. Place in part shade during summer heat.
Try your hand at growing this onion-like bulb. A favorite among chefs, shallots provide a sweeter alternative to garlic. The shallots are beautiful with an ivory-rose flesh. Grow to full size of 1.5 to 2 inches, or harvest smaller as you need them. This is a good variety for dry regions. Bulbs store 60 to 90 days.
BrazelBerries Raspberry Shortcake Raspberry
Tuck this dwarf raspberry into a pot for handfuls of flavorful berries. Canes are thornless, so you can pick the full size berries without encountering prickles. Stems stay compact to form a mound that’s 2 to 3 feet high. Berry flavor brings hints of vanilla. Feast on it solo or add to ice cream, cereal or desserts.
‘Butterscotch’ Winter Squash
Love butternut squash but don’t have the space for vines to sprawl? Check out ‘Butterscotch.’ A 2015 All-America Selections Winner, this classic winter squash features compact plants that produce well in containers. The small squash serves one to two people.
Compact plants form an 8-inch mound that’s an ideal size for even smaller pots. Leaf size is the smallest available—one-half inch. But don’t let the small size fool you. Those little leaves boast big flavor. This is an aromatic Greek-type basil. Use it ornamentally like it’s a formal topiary, then harvest before flowering to make pesto.
‘White Soul’ Alpine Strawberry
Marvelous white strawberries ripen and yield a sweet bite with just a hint of pineapple. This is an alpine strawberry, which means berries are smaller than traditional June-type strawberries. Plants are small, growing 6 inches tall—an ideal size for containers. Berries make a marvelous addition to cereal, salads or desserts.
Loooking for a dill that lasts through summer heat? Check out this perfect-for-pots beauty. ‘Fernleaf’ is slow to bolt, so you can harvest flavorful leaves longer. Plants grow 16 to 18 inches tall. This is a 1992 All-America Selections Winner, which means it grows well in many regions.
Plant ‘Mokum’ for an early crop packed with rich carrot flavor. Harvest roots as baby carrots or let them develop to their full 6- to 8-inch size. This variety adapts well to growing in deep containers. Flavor remains sweet even in warm weather. Count on this carrot for juicing and making homemade baby food.
Expect beautiful gold-skinned figs with deep brown flesh when you add ‘Atreano’ (Ficus carica) to your garden. This fig has a naturally dwarf height, growing to a maximum height of 8 to 10 feet. It adapts well to containers. Simply keep it pruned to a smaller height. To prevent freezing, bring pots indoors in areas with harsh winters.
‘Genovese Compact’ Basil
Expect traditional Genovese basil flavor in a plant size that’s ideal for containers. This smaller version grows 16 to 18 inches tall, making it suitable for pots at least 10 inches wide (bigger is better). Leaf size is similar to the full size plant, so you’ll have plenty of basil flavor for pesto, pizza and sandwiches.
Tuck this everbearing strawberry into pots for a pretty, edible addition to outdoor living areas. ‘Gasana’ bears medium size berries packed with sweet traditional berry flavor. Expect berries to form through summer and into fall. Pink flowers and ripe berries frequently appear on plants at the same time.