Are you familiar with the saying ” I’m so far behind I think I’m first .” ????
That’s about where I’m at . I think I’m ‘first’ most everyday lately here in this never ending northeast winter !
So let’s get growing – it’s not too late !!!! There’s plenty of time to get even your tomato seeds sprouting. If you live further south , you are probably on a roll already ! We love seeing your photos ! Keep sharing !!
While searching new seed varieties this winter , I came across some other seed suggestions perfect for your potted gardens that I wanted to share. Good varieties to know even if you can’t try them out until next year. Most of these were totally new to me . Collecting ideas and keeping journals are a very enjoyable part of the gardening process , so try to never feel overwhelmed. Easy for me to say and not so easy to do ( especially for me ) , but try to stick to a manageable plan ( I should listen to myself ) and just enjoy collecting ideas for the future.
So here you go – MyTop 10 Picks ( I had about 50 , eeek ) !
Minibel Tomato – 65 days , bite size flavorful fruits. Plants only get about a foot high , so they are perfect for containers. http://www.rareseeds.com ( Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company , everything from them is organic and non GMO)
Tom Thumb Pea – 50-55 days , 8-9 inch high shelling pea, but when picked young the pod is also tender and sweet. Heirloom variety originating from England. www.rareseeds.com So cute !
Tumbling Tom Tomatoes – 65- 75 days , A great one for hanging baskets. The small red or yellow cherry type tomato will cascade down over your basket. Use a large basket. – 12-14 inches or a comparable size pot. We grow these in our greenhouses with great success, and they are incredible for drying or roasting. They are our go to tomatoes during the winter months. I’ll roast them and then process them in canning jars. Shmear some roasted tumbling toms on some pizza dough and make yourself the most flavorful pizza eva ! www.harrisseeds.com
Eggplant Fingers Mix – 80 days , this is a mix of smallish eggplant in different colors, long and narrow fruit. We are also growing these in hanging baskets but for the first time . Using a 12 -14 inch hanger. I will try a few in pots just to see the difference. Use a large container . I do think these will be a good choice for containers http://www.rareseeds.com
Cucumbers – H-19 Little Leaf – 58 days, Great for pickling or fresh eating . High yielding plants, good for containers. ( http://www.highmowingseeds.com ) I prefer using a pickling cucumber in my salads. They are super crunchy and seem to be less watery than the standard Marketmore variety.
A pot of mixed baby greens – You can have your own mixed greens all summer and well into fall and winter. Now , the amount of mixed greens you plant depends on how much you think you may use each week . We are big salad eaters . so one pot of greens would never cut it for us . But maybe one or two pots is plenty for you. Totally worth growing mixed greens because you can toss it up into sprouts and other “salady ” things. Make up your own mix or purchase one of many now offered by most seed companies. Make sure you use a large pot or even one of those long 3-4 foot ones. Fresh greens are ready in about 28 days . You will simply give the lettuces a haircut every 10 days . If you plant 2 pots -10 days apart , that will help you have greens always ready, especially if you like to eat a lot of salads. Succession planting should be done in potted gardens too.Try something new like a mustard blend or Asian greens. They are spicy and flavorful and would mix well with some iceberg from the market. All greens will tolerate some shade too. www.highmowingseeds.com. See that speckley one ? That’s called Freckles !
String Beans – Pick a bush type variety and have a large pot 14 inches at least. Again, sometimes you can find greenhouse 5 gallon containers for a buck or even less. If you find them , they may not be not pretty, but they are useful – buy them ! Make sure you wash used pots thoroughly as they may be carrying things you don’t want to know. So, most any bush type variety will work . I love the yellow string bean. It just seems more tender to me. Always harvest your string beans on the young side. They tend to toughen up if left on the vine too long .
Zucchini and Yellow squash- Again there are many bush type varieties that will grow great in a large pot. I bet you didn’t think you could grow squash in a pot ! Silverbush or Buckingham Patio are two good choices !
Herbs -gotta have a pot of herbs, or maybe many pots of herbs ! — Basil or YOUR favorite herb ( basil is mine ) all grow great in pots and some you can pick up already started at your local garden center. Basil is easy to grow from seed, just like dill, cilantro, and all different kinds of parsley , ummm …. and chervil. Then there are those that take a lot of time to grow like rosemary, thyme, and oregano – buy those as started plants. Growing these from seed is not hard , but takes a lot of time, and if you are here in the northeast , you will be waiting a bit too long . Same goes for sage another favorite of mine. Save some time and purchase the started plants.
Want a challenge ? Olive trees or figs? Both easily grow in containers. They need extra care if you live near me, but what an awesome addition to a potted garden space !
Oh, and some berries – most strawberries will grow great in containers or hanging baskets and Top Hat blueberries are just awesome in a large pot on the porch !
I think I may have gotten carried away . There are so many more, but as you can see you are not limited by space. Maybe you can’t fit it all , but even a few additions will help you begin on a path to healthier eating. Harvesting your own herbs and vegetables saves you money, and you don’t have to be concerned about where your food came from . You grew it !
The take away – Space is not an issue! If you can only grow one tomato plant or one potted herb , consider yourself a successful gardener !!!! Be happy !
Gardening is therapy with benefits !