What to Plant in Your Urban Garden - Capital Area Food Bank
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What to Plant in Your Urban Garden

By cafb May 10, 2019

We’re in the heart of spring, and summer is on the way! Last month, we taught you how to create your very own urban container garden. Container gardening is an easy way to grow vegetables, especially when you lack yard space! Maybe you have a small garden or patio, or a balcony, or a windowsill. You can still explore the magical world of gardening in containers.

So you know how to make a container garden, but what can you grow in it?

The Best Vegetables for Containers

Chard, lettuce, cherry and bush tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, summer squash, Asian greens, and bush beans are all excellent options for a container garden, depending on the size of your container. And don’t forget herbs—basil, chives, thyme and more.

Here are the minimum soil depths for healthy vegetable and herb growth:

  • 4-5″: chives, lettuce, radishes, other salad greens, basil, cilantro
  • 6-7″: bush beans, garlic, kohlrabi, onions, Asian greens, mint, thyme
  • 8-9″:  chard, cucumber, eggplant, fennel, leeks, spinach, parsley, rosemary
  • 10-12″: beets, broccoli, okra, summer squash, dill, lemongrass, tomatoes, peppers

Make a Themed Garden!

Have some fun with your urban garden! Why not theme your container? How about a “salad” garden with colorful lettuces, dwarf tomatoes, chives and parsley? What about a “pizza” garden with basil, tomatoes and onions? You could even try country-based “themes” like an Italian garden.

Companion Plants

Keep in mind that plants have certain needs when it comes to water and fertilizer. Many plants, however, are similar to others in terms of that they need. Try to plant vegetables and herbs that have similar growing needs and avoid mismatches. Rosemary, for example, needs hot and relatively dry conditions, while cucumbers are quite water-thirsty.

Good Companion Plants:

  • Beans, squash
  • Eggplant, beans
  • Tomatoes, basil, onions
  • Lettuce, herbs
  • Spinach, chard, onions
  • Radishes, cucumbers

Combinations to Avoid:

  • Beans and peas with onions and garlic
  • Tomatoes with peppers or eggplant

Learn More!

If you’re interested in learning more about gardening, our Urban Garden holds demonstrations throughout the year. You can also spend time volunteering in our garden. By learning about the growing process, about food nutrition and about food waste, you can become an advocate for sustainable growing and help us take hunger off the map in the Capital Area!