Vegetable Gardens in Pots

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Gardens in small spaces do well with pots, and vegetables can be added to the mix.

It feels too humid to work outside in Houston, and my summer cold does not help matters. My spring garden was not as vibrant as my winter garden, which I imagine is due to my lack of focus on flowering plants this year. I had flowers, just not as much as desired. Since redoing my patio, I have been adding more pots to the spaceto have this space feel alive. My girls have enjoyed working with the plantngs here. I guess that these are gardens which suit their size; although they do miss digging. Some work this past week was dedicated to cleaning up after the storm. My yard was not hit so bad, but I saw some serious damage to trees around the neighborhood..With the weather and work, having fun with pots seemed a good way to work in the garden. I wanted to add vegetables into the mix, then I heard that there are vegetable gardens in pots by city hall, so I jumped in.
    Summer is not a time when most people consider plantings for the vegetable garden, yet we do have a longer growing season in Houston, so there are plants that can be started now. As for vegetable gardens in pots, I think your choices may be limited. I have not been around all of the nurseries. Based on what I found at one, your choice for a pot will be herbs, tomato and pepper plants. This is if you want the instant garden. You can plant seeds, but who wants to wait when you have the pot on the porch. There is one plant that will add interest in your vegetable pot that you may not consider: purslane. Sometimes sold as portalucca or moss rose. This beauty is not considered a vegetable in the US (in fact, we consider it a weed growing from the cracks of our sidewalks), but it is eaten as a vegetable in Europe and the Middle East. I find purslane for sale at Phoenecia. This plant is often called salad herb. It does have a strong flavor, so go lightly on its use if you are not familiar with it.
    I have pickled the leaves, and this was well liked by the family. You can eat the plant raw in a salad, but it can be steamed. I added purslane to a pot containing a habenero  plant, and to a pot containing an eggplant. Eggplants grow well in pots, but I did not see them available at the store. Parsely is nice in pots, but I think chard with its yellow and red stems can be dramatic. The more that I look at vegetable gardens in pots, the more that I like the idea. They are great for those who do not want a new garden bed. Children like working with them. Vegetables can be quite beatiful. Finally you can have some produce to harvest just outside your door.

    Check out your local nursery. You may find some plants to make up a nice vegetable garden of your own for pots. I have never heard of anyone putting beans in a hanging basket, but I wonder how that would work. A tomato would flow down nicely from a hanging basket, so maybe I will try out some hanging baskets next.

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This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank


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