Edible pot plants a great to have in your home for so many reasons and I’ve written a guide for the best and easiest vegetables and herbs to grow in pots and how to care for them.
So why grow edible plants in pots? First of all not everyone has room for a veggie patch in the yard but everyone can find room in their house or apartment for a few pots so this truely is a one size fits all approach to growing your own food. Plus as far as the “eat local produce” approach goes it doesn’t get any more local than your own house.
Pot plants and greenery is aesthetically appealing as well. As a nature lover nothing makes me feel more content and relaxed in my home then bringing the outdoors in with lots of pot plants.
Lastly for people who aren’t green thumbs and have trouble keeping their garden alive or have poor soil quality having your veggie and herb garden in pots means you have full control over the soil and it is easier to maintain.
Positioning your pots
Be sure to check how much sunlight your individual plants require and place them around accordingly, if your keeping your plants outside then find a space that has options for both shaded and direct sun plants and be aware of whether the plants are frost tolerant if your keeping them low to the ground during winter. We have a chilli plant that lives outside during spring and summer but it doesn’t tolerate frost so mid autumn we bring it inside and place it in the window sill, it thrives all year round this way.
Majority of indoor pots are going to need some degree of sunlight so finding a spot for them in a room that has plenty of natural light or placing them in a window sill is best. If you have the motivation you can always take your plants outside for some afternoon sun and then return them to their indoor spot if your home doesn’t doesn’t have enough natural light.
Best herbs for pots
Basil – grows in summer and needs direct sunlight so is best suited for outside or in a window sill. Basil isn’t the hardiest of herbs and will not tolerate frost or extreme cold. Can grow to about 30-45cm tall and if planted alongside tomatoes and capsicums it will enhance their growth and flavour. Keep the soil moist but not wet.
Chives – does well in full sun but can tolerate shade. They prefer cooler weather, can tolerate the cold and will grow for many years. They grow 30-60cm tall and grow extremely well in pots. Water regularly until the plant is established after that chives will survive in dry soil.
Cilantro/coriander– grows best in spring and autumn. It’s tolerant of cold but not extreme heat. Grows 20-40cm tall and can be placed in either full or part sun.
Mint – this is one of the easiest herbs to grow but it tends to take over the garden so growing it in a pot is a great way to keep it under control. Mint does best with morning sun only. Water regularly enough to keep the soil moist but not wet.
Dill – this herb/spice is very hardy and grows all year round. Tolerates cold and heat. Grows 2-4 foot tall. Dill does well in full sun or shade. If you don’t want your dill to grow too bushy than Place it in a more shaded area. Water regularly but allow the soil to completely dry in between each water.
Best edible plants for pots
Tomatoes – there are a specific type of patio tomatoes if you are looking for a plant to keep in a small pot. Water the plant regularly and try to avoid letting the soil dry out as it will produce less tomatoes. Tomatoes other than cherry varieties do well in full sun but can tolerate some shade.
Potatoes – yes! Potatoes can be grown in a pot. Plant in late winter or spring. Water the plant regularly until it dies off and then the potatoes are ready for harvest. You can also grow potatoes from keeping a couple in a dark cupboard (or forgetting about the potatoes you put in the cupboard) or bag until they sprout and then plant in a pot to grow new potatoes. I’ve included a link to a website that has instructions on how to do this.https://www.growveg.com.au/guides/what-to-do-with-sprouting-potatoes/https://www.growveg.com.au/guides/what-to-do-with-sprouting-potatoes/
Chillies – these plants are very hardy, easy to grow and live for several years. They require moderate water and as I mentioned above don’t like frost or extreme cold so keep them in a warmer place (away from children’s reach) over winter.
Lettuce – this is a quick growing vegetable and can be harvested multiple times per season. It needs a pot that’s wider than it is deep and needs frequent watering. Lettuce loves sunlight but it will do well in part shade especially during afternoon heat.
Spinach – perfect for growing in pots, if growing indoors keep on a window sill. Prefers cooler temperatures and overwatering can lead to rot so be conscious of how the soil is.
Green onions – require less sunlight than most other vegetables so great to grow in places that only get partial sunlight. You can regrow green onions by planting the root (white base of the onion) after using the tops. Water whenever the top layer of soil feels dry.
Radishes – one of the fastest growing vegetables. They like lots of moisture but a pot with good drainage. Grows best in spring and autumn and does well in a window sill.