Using Vegetables & Herbs in Your Container Gardens
We all like to set a beautiful table, with fine linens and silverware all lined up neatly and accented with the perfect floral centrepiece. Peonies or roses in the centre of the table and – voila! Sure to impress your guests and make your home look like it stepped out of a magazine. Combining a food experience with flowers is second nature to any host, but what about combining food and flowers in your container gardens? The patio and deck can be the perfect place to raise a little kale or lettuce, accented with the perfect bright blooms that we love to gaze at all summer.
Many vegetables grow beautifully in container gardens, and there are a few that need more space to really produce. Giant pumpkin plants are probably best left for the garden bed, as well as potatoes. Most vegetable plants, and herbs, will flourish in a nice big and deep pot .
Some of the pairings rely on smart decisions. Water requirements are important, and you should match plants that have the same h2o needs. For example rosemary is a desert plant, and can’t be paired with plants that have high water needs. Another consideration is space – you don’t want to run out of it! A giant bushy plant might smother some of your tender herbs or vegetables, or vice versa. Growing tall plants like beans, with ground cover specialists such as ivy or shorter plants, is a good idea.
The best part about adding flowers and vegetables together in your container gardens is that the flowers attract pollinators which helps both plants! Pollinators are often great at eating pests as well (such as aphids) so that’s a bonus too. Not to be outdone, many herbs repel pests (basil is great at this!) and will help to protect the whole pot.
You can also have some fun with “themed” container gardens such as one for salads, full of spicy edibles, or a sweeter planter with strawberries and fruit.
If you’re looking for the perfect combination of plants then here are a few to get you started:
Basil + tomatoes, peppers, beans or lettuce
Tomatoes + chives, garlic, oregano, catnip or sage
Marigolds + any vegetables (except beans or peas)
Lettuce + herbs, any tall flower or foliage to help shield it from the sun
Calendula + tomatoes
Chamomile + onions
Chives + brassicas, carrots or tomatoes
Dill + cabbage, cucumbers or lettuce
Nasturtium + cucumbers, radishes or tomatoes
A few flowers that are wonderful to sow in with any of your edibles are cosmos, chrysanthemums and echinacea.
Watch our DIY video for a beautiful spring planter with a few edibles tucked in!
For more info on companion planting in your garden or container garden, take a look at our blog post Juicy Garden Gossip – Companion Planting