Once upon a time, it was necessary to have sufficient outdoor gardening space to grow one’s own food. Thankfully, that fairy tale is in the past. Nowadays, there’s a number of patio fruit trees and dwarf vegetables which are ideally suited for container growing. These small garden plants are perfect for a high-rise balcony, a suburban apartment or for any gardener wishing to grow their own produce year-round.
Tips for Growing Fruits and Vegetables in Containers
Patio fruit trees and dwarf vegetables are smaller cultivars selected not only for their petite size, but also for the volume of edibles they produce. These traits make them ideal fruits and vegetables for containers. If you are interested in growing your own patio garden plants, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Provide adequate sunlight. These may be small garden plants, but most require large amounts of light to flower and fruit. If possible, move container plants outdoors in the summer.
- Choose the correct container. Unhappy plants don’t produce edibles. Provide patio garden plants with adequate room for root development and sufficient holes for proper drainage. Consider using double-walled planters as these provide better protection from temperature changes.
- Water and feed regularly. Container plants have limited access to resources and require more frequent watering and feeding than their in-ground counterparts. Meet their needs and your small garden plants will repay you with a bounty of produce.
- Protect patio garden plants. Plants in containers are more susceptible to weather damage, whether it be from frost, high winds or rapid temperature changes. Luckily, container plants can be be easily sheltered indoors. Additionally, some patio fruit trees require a chill period in order to produce fruit.
Choosing Small Garden Plants for Containers
One of the biggest factors influencing the successful cultivation of patio garden plants is choosing the best varieties of fruits and vegetables for containers. You may be surprised to learn many of the following fruits and vegetables have dwarf-sized varieties which are well-suited for container-growing. Follow the links for general information on each plant.
- Apple (Grafted on dwarf root stock): Cox, Fugi, Gala, Pink Lady
- Apricot: Pixie-Cox
- Blackberry: Baby Cakes
- Blueberry: Blueberry Glaze, Pink Icing
- Broccolini: Aspabroc
- Calamondin Orange
- Carrots: Little Fingers, Parisian
- Celery: Peppermint Stick
- Cherry: Lapins, Nanking, Northstar, Stella, Sunburst
- Cucumber: Spacemaster 80
- Eggplants: Casper, Little Finger, Round Mauve
- Figs: Corky’s Honey Delight
- Goji: Sweet Lifeberry
- Green Beans: Haricot Verts
- Key Lime
- Meyer Lemon
- Peach: Bonfire, Contender, Pix Zee
- Peas: Tom Thumb
- Peppers: Hungarian Cheese
- Raspberry: Raspberry Shortcake
- Scallopini Squash
- Strawberry: SeascapeTomatoes: Geranium Kiss, Micro Tom, Patio Choice, Sun Gold, Terenzo
Since you’ve worked so hard in the garden this summer we want to show off the fruits (and veggies) of your labor! We invite you to join the Gardening Know How Virtual Harvest Show by submitting photos of your harvest!