Once you have been container gardening for a while and had some success, you may be ready to ramp up your efforts by going for style as well as nourishment. You may be surprised to learn that lots of veggie plants are not only edible, but also attractive. In this article, we’ll give some recommendations for some of the best looking edible additions to choose for your container gardening project.
Presentation is a very important part of attractive container gardening. You may be tempted to just line all your containers up against a wall or put them all on a balcony rail, but this is not a very creative idea. Instead, try ranging them out at different heights and levels. Place some of your larger containers at ground level, but do creative things with larger containers on racks, shelves, tables and railings. Hanging plants are attractive and fun, and hanging pots make a great way to grow strawberries and even tomatoes.
You can also create interesting planters for strawberries and other clingy, climbing sorts of small plants by creating a planter wall. You can do this with wire hanging shelving, with wooden palettes or with just about any other kind of building material your imagination can come up with. Just be sure there is enough room for roots to grow and plants to spread. This can be a freestanding divider or you can attach it to a galvanized metal or concrete wall that will not be damaged by the dampness.
If you want something big and beautiful that can actually give you some privacy on your balcony or patio, try planting some big pots of okra. This vigorous plant is great looking and a tremendous producer. There are lots of great ways to eat okra. It can be added to soups, lightly stir fried or sauteed, or deep fried.
If you do decide to plant okra, be sure to gather it all when it ripens. It will quickly become too tough to eat. Luckily, okra is easy to preserve by freezing or pickling. Pickled okra is very delicious to snack on!
Just because you are focusing on veggies doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some flowers, too. Adding self-seeding annuals such as marigolds, zinnias and various wildflower mixes can fill in blank spots in your veggie planters and add color and variety to your container gardening project. As a bonus, you can enjoy cut flowers for your table and, with care, these additions will return each year so you won’t have to plant them over and over again.
You may also find some very attractive and unusual kinds of fruits and veggies by exploring the world of heirloom seeds. These are becoming more and more popular as people become frightened by the specter of genetically modified foods. Heirloom varieties are old-fashioned varieties that have not undergone any genetic modification or research. They produce the kinds of fruits and veggies your great grandparents enjoyed – natural and safe!