Best Summer Veggies for Your Apartment

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Whether you are seasoned gardener or just learning to get your “thumbs green”, living in an apartment does not mean that you have to put your gardening dreams on hold, it just means that your garden will have to be a little smaller. Lucky for you, plenty of veggies don’t mind growing in containers, so check out this list of veggies that will be perfectly happy in your patio pots.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are on the top of this list because they simply don’t mind growing in containers and will provide plenty of fruit to harvest. Even if you don’t like tomatoes, grow some anyway because you can always turn them into delicious salsa or sauces.

Tips for growing tomatoes: Plant them deep! Tomatoes will root from the stem, so if you want a strong plant, bury most of the stem when you plant it. Tomatoes also love warm roots, so plastic pots work best because they heat up during the day. Just remember this means lots of water later in summer when your plants are big!

Peppers

From sweet savory peppers to spicy peppers hot enough to make you cry, peppers are hardy, easy to grow, and come in many varieties to suit any taste.

Tips for growing peppers: If you like the sweeter red, orange, and yellow pepper varieties but can’t find them for purchase, simply leave your green peppers to ripen longer as they are essentially the same variety. Also, hot peppers can taint the flavor of sweet peppers and other veggies, so grow them in their own containers.

Spinach and Leaf Lettuce

Lettuce and spinach grow easy in pots and are ready to harvest every couple of weeks so be ready for some fresh salads! Like spinach, leaf lettuce varieties do not form a ‘head’ (such as iceberg lettuce) and you can harvest their delicious leaves all summer long.

Tips for growing spinach and leaf lettuce: Both plants prefer the cooler temperatures of spring and fall and may slow down a bit during the hottest part of summer. Moving your pots to an area shaded from the midday sun will protect those baby greens and still give you fresh salad fixings.

Tomatillos

You might be asking – what are tomatillos and why should I grow them? In short, tomatillos are related to peppers and you should grow them because they are easy and interesting. Tart in flavor, tomatillos are great in green salsas and sauces, but recipes of all kinds exist for tomatillos – even pie!

Tips for growing tomatillos: Buy two plants to ensure the best pollination and give them plenty of room!

Cucumbers

If you love the sweet crisp flavor of cucumbers or have the urge to try making your own pickles this year, then you should definitely try growing some this summer. Cucumbers grow fast, are pest and disease resistant, and provide plenty of delicious harvest.

Tips for growing cucumbers: They get big so make sure you have a good size container and a way to support them such as a tomato cage. Also, try to avoid spraying water on the leaves as this can lead to mildew problems.

Green Beans

Similar to tomatoes, even if you don’t like green beans, try growing them anyway because they are easy and fun to grow in containers. They also store well in the freezer which gives you plenty of time to find a recipe that will make you eat your beans!

Tips for growing green beans: The varieties of beans are endless, so try something different if you’re just not into the typical green bean. Regardless of variety you choose, make sure they have trellis support to grow on and plenty of sun.

Other Veggies to Try in Pots

This list is by no means definitive as there are plenty of vegetables to try growing in containers. Here are some others easily grown in summer patio gardens: Carrots, radishes, onions, zucchini, and even corn. Corn is a one-meal harvest but really fun to grow and a great conversation piece to meet neighbors.

Whatever veggies you choose to plant, remember to give them a good sunny spot and plenty of water when it’s hot, and you will have your own little patio produce section soon enough.

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