10 Easy-to-Grow Plants for Container Gardening for Beginners

Team McFly Sep 06, 2023
2 People Read
container plants
Table of Contents
  1. "Container Gardening Delights: 10 Easy-to-Grow Plants for Beginners"
    1. Introduction:
    2. 1. Tomatoes
    3. 2. Using Herbs to Add Flavor to Low-Fat and Low-Salt Meals
    4. Recent Featured Articles:

"Container Gardening Delights: 10 Easy-to-Grow Plants for Beginners"



Do you long to grow your own garden but lack the roomy outside area needed to do so? Consider container gardening instead! Whatever space you have available—a little balcony, a comfortable patio, or even just a bright windowsill—container gardening is a wonderful way to explore your green thumb and take in the marvels of nature.

Beginners should consider container gardening since it offers a practical and manageable approach to cultivating plants without requiring a sizable plot of land. You can turn any cramped room into a blooming sanctuary of colors, fragrances, and flavors with the appropriate plants and a little care.

In this blog post, we will provide a curated selection of 10 simple plants ideal for beginners exploring the world of container gardening. We have hand-selected types of everything from flavorful herbs and veggies that are forgiving of inexperienced gardeners and provide a wonderful experience throughout the growing season.

Whether your goal is to bring a little bit of nature into your city home or you want to start a pleasant gardening journey, this guide will give you the information and motivation you need to get going.

So let us get started and investigate the opportunities that container gardening presents. Prepare to experience the pleasure of nurturing life and enjoying the rewards of your efforts right at your fingertips.


1. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are delicious, both raw and cooked into soups, casseroles, and pasta dishes. Tomatoes contain antioxidants such as lycopene that may help prevent cardiovascular disease, reduce inflammation, and protect kidney health - not to mention being rich sources of vitamins A and C!

Tomato plants can be grown easily in containers, provided the right conditions: well-draining soil and ample sun. Opt for a loose and rich organic matter-enriched potting mix amended with compost or another organic source to achieve maximum results.

Then ensure each seedling gets 6-8 hours of sunlight a day - otherwise, fruit production could decline, or your plants may even turn leggy and spindly!

Tomatoes we eat today have evolved over centuries of planting, growing, and saving seeds across North America and Europe. Wild tomatoes do self-pollinate; domestic cultivars were selected based on traits such as size and flavor.

tomatoes on the vine

Tomatoes typically take 60-80 days to produce fruit when grown outdoors, while indoor varieties take approximately 70 days or longer.

To expedite their development faster, seedlings should be started early spring and kept well watered; an under-container tray helps catch any extra water that seeps out; this extra moisture can later be fed back into the container to feed your tomato plant more regularly throughout the day.

If you love cooking with tomatoes and admire their variety, try selecting an heirloom variety for its extraordinary flavors, sizes, and colors. Heirloom varieties tend to offer more robust flavors than hybrids while being less likely to be genetically modified.

Tomatoes are an excellent source of potassium, an important element in helping maintain healthy blood pressure. Tomatoes also offer numerous other health benefits: improved digestion, stimulating blood circulation, and helping prevent eye problems.

If you suffer from an existing medical condition, consult your physician before eating any new food; tomatoes could also interact with heart and blood pressure medications.


2. Using Herbs to Add Flavor to Low-Fat and Low-Salt Meals

Herbs are plants whose leafy parts are used for flavoring, medicine, or other purposes; some herbs can even be considered spices.

Their botanical definition encompasses an expansive list of culinary or therapeutic-use plants such as herbaceous perennials, subshrubs, shrubs, annuals, flowering plants, and some fungi; not all are considered edible.

Herbals are most often consumed for their taste and aroma, providing food and beverages with additional flavor. Some herbs, such as

  • Basil

  • Oregano

  • Parsley

  • Chives

    These are stapled ingredients in many dishes - often used fresh but sometimes dried or canned to preserve their fresh taste and aromatic qualities.

When added to sauces or soups, they bring flavor, color, texture, or nutritional benefits that otherwise go unextracted from dishes alone.

Utilizing herbs is an easy and cost-effective way to flavor low-fat or low-salt meals since they can easily be added at the end of cooking or as an afterthought garnish.

Herbs can even be grown at home to provide fresh, aromatic additions throughout the year! From salads and sauces to roasted vegetables and hummus - herbs add dimension without adding saltiness. They're especially great at lightening meat or fish dishes without turning their taste bitter!

Some herbs may also possess medicinal benefits, though research still needs to be conclusive. Ginseng can be an energy boost and antiseptic; hawthorn and saw palmetto may treat heart issues such as angina and atherosclerosis while helping with weight loss.

When purchasing herbs, select those in their greenest, freshest state. Aim for bright, clean scents without dirt or debris on their leaves; for fresh use, dunk them into cold water to remove extra moisture or gently shake them to dry off excess water if necessary.

Delicate herbs like parsley, chervil, and cilantro require special handling when purchased fresh; once dried, they should be washed and patted dry before storage.

Ideally, when selecting herbs to grow in your climate, opt for hardy species with good heat tolerance that are easy to care for in full sun or partial shade environments. These species offer fast results! When planting outside, select locations with abundant sunlight and allow enough space for the herbs to reach their full height and spread.

Plant them during fall or early spring so they have time to establish themselves before any frost arrives. Some herbs are perennial, meaning that their leaves die every winter but return from their roots in the spring, while others must be replanted each year to stay in bloom.

You can find herbs at many grocery stores and garden centers; online sales are also widely available, with websites providing information on growing herbs as well as recipes using various kinds.


3. Nutritional Value of Lettuce

Lettuce is an annual plant grown for its leaves and occasionally stems and seeds, commonly used as the foundation of salads.

The scientific name of lettuce is Lactuca sativa, regardless of color, and butterhead, iceberg, and Romaine varieties are popular.

They grow best in full sun in loose, nitrogen-rich soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.8 to avoid bolting in extreme temperatures. Keep it cool or shaded during peak heat times to avoid bolting!

Genetically modified lettuce has been modified to produce higher yields with reduced water usage and is also resistant to cold temperatures and drought conditions.

disease resistance, pest management, uniformity improvements, quality, and uniformity increases.

Lentils, with their low-calorie count and abundance of essential vitamins and minerals - such as Vitamin A, C, and Calcium- and being an excellent source of folic acid, potassium, magnesium, and iron - are also ideal food sources. Vitamin A, in particular, has many eye health benefits, while beta-carotene helps support cardiovascular wellness by lowering cholesterol levels.

Most phytochemicals found in lettuce are antioxidants like phenolic compounds and flavonoids, protecting from oxidation by reacting with reactive oxygen species to slow cell damage while maintaining the structural integrity of cells.

Furthermore, phenolic compounds may act as natural anticarcinogenic agents and even possess additional medicinal benefits.

Phenic acids can be found in all lettuce varieties, but their concentration and quality vary widely by species. Red lettuce varieties are known for having the highest phenolic concentration due to anthocyanins providing stronger antioxidant activity than green lettuce varieties.

lettuce wrap

Besides its nutritional benefits, lettuce is a highly versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. It makes an ideal addition to soups, sandwiches, wraps, and grilling!

With its low-calorie count and versatility, it has become one of the world's most widely eaten vegetables - in both fast food and salads worldwide.


4. Peppers Delight the Palate With Their Vibrant Colors and Zingy Flavors

Peppers captivate the senses with their vibrant hues and tantalizing flavors, offering something sweet yet spicy that elevates savory dishes and salads. Delicious dried or frozen peppers have long been part of many cultures' staple diets and can grow wild!

Capsicum peppers have long been an international cuisine mainstay, boasting more than 400 species. From sweet sugary-tangy flavors to the heat of spicy chilies, there is something sweet or tart-spicy in every variety.

Consumption can range from raw eating through roasting and grilling, sauteeing and frying, pickling, pickle pickling, to drying them out altogether - their Scoville heat scale measurement measures their pungently accurately.

Thanks to their adaptable and versatile nature, Peppers have traveled the world - making their mark wherever people take them in America, Europe, or anywhere else they land!

Peppers provide a healthy dose of Vitamin C and antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress and chronic disease, making them a staple ingredient for salads and seasoning meat, poultry, and fish.

Peppers are easy to grow when planted in rich loamy soil. Best results come when planted outside after the last frost in spring or fall or indoors between late winter to early summer - either way, these tasty veggies make great additions!

Peppers contain capsaicin, which gives a distinct burning sensation when chewed and has been shown to reduce appetite by inhibiting the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin.

Furthermore, capsaicin has anti-inflammatory properties and may help ease osteoarthritis symptoms by reducing inflammation and halting cartilage breakdown.

In addition, peppers provide vitamin B6, an essential nutrient metabolism aid, and help create neurotransmitters (chemical messengers that communicate between nerve cells). Finally, fiber content makes them an excellent addition.

Though supermarket varieties of peppers may be familiar, garden centers and farmers' markets often carry rarer varieties that should be sought out.

Best results should be achieved between July and September when fresh peppers reach their prime. Opt for plump peppers free from any blemishes or punctures when selecting whole peppers; those that feel heavy for their size are likely better quality options.

Peppers will last up to two weeks when stored loose in the crisper drawer with high humidity settings in the refrigerator. However, longer storage times may be possible if stored whole and then cut or roasted before consumption.

Peppers are relatively short crops that pose few serious pest issues. When planting peppers, choose a sunny location and keep the plants well-watered. Peppers need a long growing season and are hardy in zones 6-9.

If you live where winter or early spring temperatures make transplantation impossible, start seedlings indoors in late winter/early spring, then transplant out when the weather warms. When spaced in rows 18 to 24 inches apart (check tag for exceptions), large containers also work great!


5. Health Benefits of Radishes

Radishes are an often undervalued vegetable packed with essential vitamins and nutrients, offering potential protection from various health conditions. Plus, they're easy to grow in your garden or in a few containers on the patio!

Radishes are an indispensable ingredient in many cuisines, adding a vibrant splash of color to every meal. Perfect as part of a vegetable platter with dips, they can be sliced and added to salads, pasta dishes or used as an easy side dish.

Not to mention they're packed full of vitamins such as Vitamin C, E, K, B6, and Folic Acid Potassium! Not to mention being low-cal and fat-free too.

Radishes provide numerous health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, improving cardiovascular health, lowering cholesterol levels, and being an all-natural blood purifier and detoxifier. Furthermore, radishes contain an antioxidative compound known as glucosinolate that works against oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals in the body.

container plants

Radishes have long been an effective home remedy for fever, sore throat, and bile disorders. Furthermore, they have also been reported as aiding weight loss while cleansing kidneys and intestines and helping to lower high blood pressure.

Radishes are widely recognized for being an excellent source of vitamin C. But they provide more than that: They're low in calories and fat while offering plenty of other healthful benefits - from fiber to folic acid, potassium, calcium, zinc copper, as well as quercetin rutin antioxidants which have been shown to promote cardiovascular health by inhibiting LDL cholesterol oxidation.

These heirloom radishes are crisper and less dense than carrots while having a spicier finish. Their convenient length makes them the ideal candidate for dipping in tzatziki, hummus, or any healthy veggie dips; additionally, they make a lovely garnish or stirrer for Bloody Marys and can even serve as bar snacks when enjoyed alongside IPAs and mojitos!

Radishes with more heat tolerance are ready for harvest 35-40 days after sowing. They can even fit into spaces usually reserved for warm-weather veggies like squash and tomatoes in your vegetable garden. They grow larger than most other radishes, providing another option for limited growing space.

Add an exotic touch to this crunchy veggie by topping its slices with toasted pistachios and sesame seeds before serving it alongside olive oil and dukkah for dipping. Radishes make for an impressive appetizer, both eye-catching and flavorful, which will surely impress guests at your gatherings.


6. Carrots and Eyesight

Carrots are one of the most recognizable vegetables, a staple in many dishes, and part of our everyday diets. But do we understand all there is to know about this root veggie? Are they high in sugar, prompting some diets to restrict their consumption, or are they good for eyesight? These questions and more will be explored below.

Carrots boast incredible nutritional power from their vibrant hues, thanks to specific plant pigments with health-promoting benefits. These pigments include xanthophylls that give yellow and orange carrots their hues, and red carrots contain lycopene, which helps prevent heart disease, and vitamin C, folate, and fiber.

One cup of cooked carrots gives the average adult five times their recommended daily amount of vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential to human health, providing essential immune system benefits and supporting good vision health and bone formation. Incorporating carrots into meals also increases cell metabolism while providing essential nutrition to our bones and muscle tissue.

Lack of vitamin A may cause night blindness, which affects the outer segments of photoreceptors in your eye. When taken at sufficient levels, however, vitamin A can support normal skin and immune system function while helping provide good vision and strengthening bones.

Vitamin A can be found in various food sources, including dark green leafy vegetables, oranges and other citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, carrots (raw or cooked), sweet potatoes, and organic food. However, carrots are particularly abundant sources. If possible, opt for organic carrots, as these contain beta-carotene and anthocyanin antioxidants which have been shown to lower cancer risks.

Whole, unpeeled carrots offer the most flavor for snacking on baby carrots or adding them to soups, stews, and roasts. When selecting quality carrots, look for crisp green tops which indicate freshness.

When storing in your refrigerator, remove their green tops before placing the carrots in an open plastic bag or container of water with enough airflow; airtight containers may cause moisture loss leading to premature wilting.

While you can consume carrots raw, steaming, boiling, and roasting are the best ways to maintain their nutritional value and stay true to their original form. When planning your daily menu, include whole, steamed, and raw vegetables in a healthy, balanced diet.

green beans

7. Green Beans

Select the Right Variety: There are two primary types of green beans: bush beans and pole beans. Bush beans tend to grow more quickly and don't require a trellis, while pole beans will need support as they grow.

Choose the Right Time and Place: Green beans love warm weather and should be planted after the last frost when the soil has warmed up. They prefer full sun and well-drained soil.

Prepare the Soil: Before planting, prepare your garden soil by adding compost or organic matter to increase its fertility. The soil should be loose and rich in nutrients.

Plant the Seeds: Plant the seeds about 1-2 inches deep and 2-4 inches apart. If you're planting pole beans, make sure they're near a trellis or other support. If you're planting bush beans, they should be planted in rows that are 2-3 feet apart.

Water Regularly: Water your green beans thoroughly after planting, and continue to water them regularly. They prefer moist, but not waterlogged, soil.

Provide Support for Pole Beans: If you're growing pole beans, they will need support as they grow. Set up a trellis, stakes, or other structure for them to climb.

Care and Maintenance: Keep an eye out for pests and diseases. Some common pests include aphids and bean beetles. If you notice any, use an appropriate organic or chemical pesticide.

Harvest: Most green beans are ready to harvest about 50-60 days after planting. They're best when the pods are firm and have reached their full length, but before the seeds inside fully develop.

Post-Harvest Care: After harvesting, remove any remaining plant material from the garden to prevent any potential diseases from overwintering in the soil.

Remember always to follow specific package instructions when growing from seed, as there may be variety-specific recommendations. Happy gardening!


8. Spinach

Spinach is an easy crop to cultivate all year long in mild climates. Seeds or transplants can be planted successfully, and spinach pairs perfectly with other cool-season crops like radishes, onions, and garlic in beds or containers for windowsill gardens.

Choose a variety of spinach suitable for your garden. Though all varieties of spinach are edible, certain varieties are easier to harvest, contain less oxalic acid than others, and are slower to bolt (produce flower spikes and go to seed).

Bloomsdale Winter Bloomsdale Monstrueux Viroflay Lavewa varieties provide exceptional spring growth and summer yields in warmer regions while Malabar spinach varieties may offer greater heat tolerance.

Sow seeds either indoors or directly outside in spring when the soil is workable but no later than six weeks before the last frost date, with 6 weeks being ideal.

When sowing outdoors, choose a site with full sun and decent drainage; since spinach is a leafy green, it does not require support structures for rapid growth in loose, fertile soil with a pH range between 6.5 and 7.0; because this variety tends to bolt when temperatures spike further consider moving into partial shade during hot spells of the year.

Outdoor seed sowing requires thinned seedlings with three or four true leaves to a distance of 6 inches apart. To ensure an uninterrupted harvest cycle, sow more seeds every two weeks thereafter.

Water the spinach regularly, providing at least 1-2 inches per week using either drip irrigation or mulching beds with organic material such as grass clippings, shredded paper, or straw to conserve soil moisture and reduce the need for additional irrigation.

Spinach does not need a lot of nitrogen fertilizer; however, it benefits from rich organic compost and an alkaline environment. Applying fish emulsion at planting and at subsequent thinning will further accelerate its development and encourage rapid plant growth.

Pests that attack spinach include aphids, flea beetles, and downy mildew. Hand removal usually suffices, but for greater protection spraying organic neem oil or using row covers may provide added safeguards.

Like other cold-season vegetables, spinach can be susceptible to fusarium wilt and mildew. To combat these fungal diseases, be sure to add several inches of aged compost or other organic matter into the soil prior to planting, checking frequently for moisture levels.


9. Chard

Select the Right Variety: There are several varieties of chard, including Swiss chard, rainbow chard, and red chard. Choose a type that suits your taste and climate.

Choose the Right Time and Place: Chard can be planted in spring or early fall, as it is a cool-season vegetable that can tolerate light frosts. It needs a spot in your garden that receives full sun to partial shade.

Prepare the Soil: Chard prefers well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Before planting, prepare the soil by adding compost or a slow-release granular fertilizer to improve fertility.

Plant the Seeds: Sow seeds directly into the garden soil about 1/2 inch deep and 3-6 inches apart. Rows should be spaced about 18-24 inches apart.

Water Regularly: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering can lead to root rot.

Thin Seedlings: When the seedlings are a few inches tall, thin them so they are 12-18 inches apart. This gives the plants room to grow and ensures they get enough nutrients.

Mulch: Mulching around the base of the plants can help retain soil moisture and deter weeds.

Pest and Disease Control: Watch for slugs, snails, and aphids. Remove them manually or use a suitable organic pesticide if necessary. Proper spacing and watering practices can prevent diseases like leaf spots and powdery mildew.

Harvest: You can harvest chard about 50-60 days after planting. Cut the outer leaves so that the center can continue producing. Chard can be harvested continually until it bolts (sends up a flower stalk), which often happens in the summer heat.

Post-Harvest Care: Remove any remaining plant material after harvesting to keep the area clean and prevent pests and diseases.

Always follow specific seed packet instructions for best results, as there may be variety-specific recommendations. Enjoy your chard-growing journey!

How to grow Strawberrys in Containers

10. How to Grow Strawberries in Containers

Strawberry plants thrive outdoors and in containers, and both day-neutral and everbearing varieties produce abundant juicy berries over summer when exposed to enough sun and consistent moisture.

Strawberry planting containers come in all shapes, sizes, and materials imaginable - hanging baskets and window boxes being the two primary options - while strawberry jars provide another viable option with their upright design featuring multiple small pockets on either side.

Unfortunately, it's difficult to maintain consistent soil moisture levels due to quick-dried pockets drying out rapidly while their planters often contain very warm soil temperatures.

For optimal results, select a container at least 12 inches across and 8 inches deep that can fit three or four plants, depending on their variety.

A sunny spot with good drainage should be chosen for planting; to prevent rot in your pot line the bottom with pebbles or sand before adding soil; mix your mix of soilless potting mix and compost together for this project, fill your container up until full, spacing your plants 8 inches apart from each other.

Once planted, water the container and cover it with a light mulch to maintain moisture in the soil. Remove this covering when your strawberries start ripening, as this will make harvesting easier.

At first, when planting new seeds or seedlings, add a light coating of fertilizer every two weeks or as necessary - more frequently in dry or hot climates.

After one year has passed, change to using well-balanced liquid fertilizer or organic granular organic fertilizer on an ongoing basis to keep plants fed through summer growth cycles.

Like other fruit plants, strawberry plants are susceptible to diseases caused by fungal pathogens such as botrytis and verticillium wilt.

While open gardens experience these issues more than container gardens, paying careful attention to soil conditions and using appropriate fertilizers will help minimize fungal outbreaks.

Strawberries enter dormancy during winter, appearing dead but remaining alive with a reduced metabolism. If kept in warm environments, no special care needs to be given at this time.

In cooler regions, however, protection from freezing temperatures is key; move containers from storage places such as garages to covered spots in your garden to prevent freezing temperatures from damaging planters.

Harvest strawberries when they have reached full ripeness - when their red skins are bright red and firm to touch - but avoid overharvesting as this will reduce future production of berries.

Once all berries are ready to harvest, remove any that aren't and consume as soon as possible to promote new blooms and more fruit for subsequent harvests.

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Table of Contents
  1. "Container Gardening Delights: 10 Easy-to-Grow Plants for Beginners"
    1. Introduction:
    2. 1. Tomatoes
    3. 2. Using Herbs to Add Flavor to Low-Fat and Low-Salt Meals
    4. Recent Featured Articles: