Tip: You don’t need a plot of land to grow your own food! Plant a mini edible garden to nourish yourself with delicious produce and save money all summer long.
By the Chef Marshall O’Brien Group
Whether you live on a hobby farm, a city lot or in an apartment with no green space, now is the perfect time to plant a garden of delicious produce that will save you money and support your wellness. Learn tips for growing in small spaces, take inspiration from our themed growing ideas and dig into your own edible garden that will nourish you right from your backyard, stoop or windowsill all summer long!
Container Gardening 101
Don’t have an acre of land to plant? No time to tend a large garden? No problem! These tips for small-scale growing will have you harvesting delicious veggies and herbs from a sunny windowsill, window box or pots on your stoop! And since the average frost-free date in Minnesota is May 10, you can start seedlings indoors now and be ready to plant in a few weeks.
- Pick a sunny spot. Most vegetable plants need 6 or more hours of direct sunlight, so choose a south-facing sunny window, stoop or patio for your mini-garden. Veggies that tolerate less sunlight include arugula, beets, broccoli, carrots, kale, lettuce greens and chard.
- Use nutrient-dense soil. Your local garden store can help you find soil that has an ideal mix of nutrients for growing food in containers.
- Upcycle creative containers. Window boxes and terra cotta pots are perfect for container gardens – but consider using old watering cans, baking ware, even old rain boots! If it can hold soil, your garden will grow in it.
- Plant with companions. Some plants love to grow together – and make for beautiful containers. Try growing tomatoes with basil, which is said to make both crops tastier, or marigolds, which not only look pretty but help deter pests. Be sure to give your plants enough growing space or plant in separate pots side-by-side.
- Plan for continuous harvest. Enjoy a continuous harvest throughout the summer by planting early crops – like spinach, lettuce and arugula – along with those that take longer to mature – like tomatoes and peppers. Enjoy your early harvest in our Spinach-Pear Jar Salad.
- Water regularly. Your plants want to grow – and they will, as long as you water them regularly! When you go up north to the cabin this summer, arrange for someone to water your garden.
- No weeds! The best part of container gardening? You never have to weed!
Inspiring Themed Edible Gardens
Themed gardens are easy to grow in small spaces and combine your favorite veggies for a garden you will love to eat from!
- Pizza Garden – basil, bell pepper, microgreens, oregano, tomatoes, spinach
- Salsa Garden – cilantro, jalapenos, onions, tomatoes
- Herbal Tea Garden –chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena, lemongrass, mint, rosemary, stevia
- Salad Garden – arugula, carrots, lettuce mix, kale, tomatoes, radishes, spinach
Few things are more satisfying than growing and eating your own food. When you grow your own garden, you can choose beautiful heirloom varieties that are superior in flavor and nutrients to produce you buy at the store. With fresh produce available within arms-reach, you will be more likely to load up on nourishing veggies – and no vegetable tastes better than one you have grown and picked yourself!
You will love the way you feel!
The Chef Marshall O’Brien Group is a dedicated assembly of professionals based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, committed to the goal of using nutrition to get kids and families to lead happier, healthier lives.