If you’re looking to save a little money, or simply want to put your green thumb to the test, growing your own herbs, veggies, and fruit can be a rewarding hobby.
Whether you live in an apartment, condo, or small home without a yard, we’ve found 8 fruits and veggies that you can comfortably grow in small spaces. All you’ll need is a few pots or planters, water, potting soil, and sunlight.
If you’re in need of some gardening supplies, check out the Home & Garden category on Flipp to find everything you need.
Let’s get started!
There are many varieties of smaller sweet or hot peppers that can be grown in containers, the most popular are jalapeño, serrano, Mohawk Patio, and Tangerine Dream. Peppers require warm air and soil, so it’s best to start seedlings indoors and transplant them outdoors once temperatures are above 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) during the day. Peppers have large root systems, so the containers need to be at least 14 inches deep, and hold at least three gallons of soil.
- Inside your home, in a warm place, soak the seeds overnight in warm water.
- In the morning, plant your seeds in peat pellets or seed starting cups following the watering instructions, planting 3 seeds into each pellet. Keep them in a warm place indoors.
- As the days go by, the seeds will start to sprout. Once seedlings are 2 inches long, pick the strongest sprout from each pod, and trim the others to let the strongest seed grow.
- Once they’re at least 3 inches long and have leaves, you can transplant your seedlings into bigger cups with potting soil. Don’t forget to make holes for drainage. Be careful not to disturb the roots or damage the seedling.
- Watch your plants grow for the next month in the cups, adding fertilizer like organic fish and kelp fertilizers to promote growth.
- When plants are 6-10 weeks old and have a dark green color, you know they’re ready to transplant into bigger pots that can be placed outside.
2. Garlic Greens
Have you ever noticed a green stem growing out of a garlic head that’s been left on your kitchen counter for a while? Although it might look a little scary, don’t throw it out! This is the natural process of the garlic beginning to grow, which can be put to good use. You won’t be able to grow a full head of garlic if you start in the summer, but what you can do is grow garlic greens from store-bought garlic if you plant it in a container.
Garlic greens, or sprouts, are the green tops of a bulb. These can be used the same way as chives, making them great as garnish or to add flavor to soups, salads, and sauces. Garlic greens are tender and will add a light garlicky flavor to your dishes.
One Easy Step:
- Plant three cloves of garlic into a pot with soil, and water them lightly. You’ll have your delicious greens ready to snip in 7 – 10 days.
You haven’t lived until you’ve tried fresh-made pesto from home-grown basil. Basil is one of the easiest herbs to grow, as it thrives all year long and is ideal for growing on a sunny deck or next to a window. You’ll need a deep pot to accommodate basil’s long roots, and standard potting mix. You can grow basil from seeds, or buy a basil plant at your local grocery store this time of year. Another option is to grow your own plant from a cutting.
If you have a friend who already owns a basil plant, ask them for a cutting of their plant to grow your own — it’s easy.
- For this method, make sure you’re getting a 4-inch cutting below the leaf node, and place it in a glass of water until its roots grow to about 2 inches in length (2–4 weeks).
- From there, transfer your basil to a pot with soil.
4. Patio Tomatoes
Tomatoes thrive in warm weather, so if you want a season’s worth of this juicy, versatile fruit, now is the time to start your seedlings. What’s even better is that there are dwarf tomato varieties, also known as patio tomatoes, that are easy to grow in small spaces, like in a pot on your patio, balcony, or even indoors (next to a sunny window). Tiny Tim, Small Fry, and Toy Boy are the most common varieties of patio tomatoes.
- Plant your seeds in a starter pot and make sure they have constant moisture to help them germinate.
- Cover your starter pot with a plastic lid or plastic wrap, and make sure its temperature is between 75 – 80 degrees F (24 – 29 C).
- Once the plant is 3 inches tall, transfer it to a 6-inch pot, and watch it grow. You can expect to harvest your tomatoes in 55 – 65 days from the time that you started.
5. Bush Cucumbers
Craving a refreshing cucumber salad during these summer months? There’s a reason for that! Cucumbers love heat, making them an essential summer vegetable. Unlike most viney plants that require a lot of space to grow, the bush cucumber variety adapts well to growing in pots, as it typically grows to only 2–3 feet long. You won’t be able to grow cucumbers indoors, but they’ll do well on your patio or garden. Common varieties you can plant are the Salad Bush Hybrid, and the Spacemaster.
Cucumbers don’t do well being replanted, so you’ll need a large enough pot from the get-go. Choose a pot that can hold 5–7 gallons of potting mix and that has good drainage. Since 5–7 gallons of potting mix can sound like a lot, search for potting soil on the Flipp app to see where to buy it on sale.
- Plant the seeds ½ inch deep into moist soil at 70 degrees F (21 C).
- Cucumbers need a lot of water, so make sure you’re watering them regularly, keeping the soil moist but not saturated. If you follow these steps, your cucumber plant will mature in about 57 days.
6. Green Onions (Scallions)
Love adding green onions to your baked potato or pico de gallo? What if we told you that you could have a lifetime’s supply of green onions for free? Growing green onions from scraps is an awesome hack to reduce food waste and save money. Although green onions thrive in cool weather, they require such little space that you can easily grow them indoors while you keep an eye on them so they don’t dry out.
- To replant a grocery store-bought green onion after you’ve used up the greens, plant the root about ½ inch deep into the soil.
- Place your pot next to a sunny windowsill and water it regularly so that the soil is damp but not soaking wet. In only a week, your green onions will be long enough to snip with scissors and enjoy!
Strawberries are a summer staple, and no one can resist their sweet taste and aroma. Even though strawberry season is in full bloom, try your hand at planting your own strawberries for a fraction of the cost.
- To grow your own strawberries, purchase a strawberry plant or a bareroot (also known as dormant crowns) from your local nursery.
- Strawberries spread their roots across a wide surface area, so you will need a pot/planter that is wide rather than deep.
- Place them in a sunny area, watering regularly, and expect your plant to yield strawberries in around six weeks.
8. Bush Green Beans
Crunchy green beans are a favorite summer snack, and now you can grow your own too! Bush beans grow shorter and bushier, making them a great option to grow in a container on your patio or balcony. You’ll need a 5-gallon container with proper drainage to give the roots enough space to grow. Beans grow best in 70–80 degrees F (21–27 degrees C).
- Plant your beans in a starter pot and make sure they have constant moisture to help them germinate. Once they’re about 4 inches tall, it’s time to transplant them into a large, 5-gallon container.
- Make your potting mix wet before adding it to the container, filling it ¾ of the way. Then, add your bean plants, with a maximum of three plants in each container.
- Add a layer of mulch to the top of the soil to help retain moisture and help the beans grow.
- Harvest your beans when they are small to encourage more beans to grow. The more you harvest, the more beans will grow.
Ready to put your green thumb to the test? Visit the Flipp app for all your gardening essentials to get started. Happy planting!