You don’t need a large yard, or even a yard at all, to grow nutritious, delicious edible plants at home. Many vegetables and green edible plants are easy to grow, take up very little space, and can be propagated over and over to give you wonderful food you pick yourself. The following is a list of eight easy plants you can grow inside, on a patio, or even in a sunny window.
Onions are a type of Allium, which is a plant that grows a bulb-type root. Both the bulb and the green leaves of onions are edible. You can buy tiny dried onions (called sets) at garden shops or online, and when you plant them in soil they grow into big, tasty onions. A window box like the ones people grow flowers in is perfect. Put it in a bright window, water, and watch your own onions grow. Harvest them when the tops begin to turn brown, or even before if you need them.
Many people are surprised to learn that you can grow potatoes indoors. Potatoes do not require deep soil, so a small pot can make a personal crop of this staple food. The bigger the pot, the more potatoes you can grow at home. Be sure the container you are growing in has holes for drainage, and water when the soil is dry down to 2 inches below the surface.
One of the easiest and most fun edible plants to grow is the cheerful strawberry plant. Not only do strawberries grow pretty white flowers, deep green leaves, and juicy delectable fruit, they also grow their own baby plants called “runners” that can be replanted in new pots to give you even more of these fantastic plants. Grow strawberries in containers, plant boxes, or even hanging baskets.
If you have ever cooked with fresh herbs, then you know what a difference in flavor they can make. Fresh herbs can be used to make tea, sauces, or even salads. Growing them is easy and takes up very little space. Pick a sunny, south-facing window, plant herb seeds in 4-inch pots, and water once a week. Basil, Mint, Oregano, Sage, and Parsley are all favorites and easy to maintain. If you have never grown any edible plants, herbs are the place to start.
There are many varieties of tomatoes and all of them are good candidates for growing inside or outdoors on a deck or balcony. Give them plenty of sunlight and water them on a consistent schedule, such as every other day if they are out on a patio, or once a week if they are inside, and you will be picking tomatoes before you know it. Select heirloom varieties and save the seeds to grow them year after year.
Growing lettuce is similar to growing herbs, because you can use the plants for food almost right away. You don’t need to wait for a fruit to bloom, grow, and ripen. Pick the outer leaves and the inner leaves will keep growing. Try Romaine, Red Leaf, and Butter Lettuce in small pots and harvest as they grow for the freshest salad you have ever tasted.
The bright red, yellow, orange, green, and even purple colors of peppers make for a showy collection of plants in any home. Peppers come in every type from small and hot, to large and sweet, and everything in between. Grow them in the spring in northern areas, and in the winter in southern states. Peppers are happy indoors or out, as long as they get bright light and have well-drained soil.
Celery can be regrown from the root stalk after you have eaten the tops. Root the bottoms in water and regrow your own with ease. Celery leaves are great in salads, so you don’t have to grow long stalks to have an edible plant that you can use. Use toothpicks to suspend the celery root bases so that just the very bottom is touching the water in a small bowl or glass. Change the water once a week and watch the little plants take off. A sunny kitchen window sill is the ideal spot to grow celery indoors.
Cress is an easy-to-grow sprout that has lemony flavor and can be grown in tiny pots. You can buy flats of cress, divide it into your own small pots, and grow a great treat indoors in a bright spot. Harvest with scissors, and plant new plants so that you always have some of this yummy green growing.
Rhubarb is a sturdy green that grows colorful red stalks and green leaves. You can use it to make pies, stews, or soups and it grows quickly. Grow Rhubarb in wide, 8-inch deep pots and be sure to always cook it before eating because raw rhubarb can irritate the stomach. But cooked or baked treats made with rhubarb are well worth the cooking time, and growing the colorful greens makes for a beautiful addition to any home garden, indoors or out.