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66 Things You Can Grow At Home: In Containers, Without a Garden

February 24, 2012


Growing your own food is exciting, not only because you get to see things grow from nothing into ready-to-eat fruits and veggies, but you also don’t have to worry about the pesticides they might contain, and you definitely cut down on the miles they—and you—have to travel.

As it turns out, with pretty minimal effort, anyone can be a gardener. My boyfriend and I are essentially first-timers this season and so far have the beginnings of strawberries peeking out, tomatoes are on their way, the basil’s about ready for a big batch of pesto, and once the last frost hits, the peppers, kale, spinach, chard, and mesclun will be on their way, too. All on a tiny little terrace (with the help of a little DIY carpentry).

If you’re up to the challenge—and it really isn’t much of one—growing your own food can be so rewarding. And so much cheaper! Just be sure to choose the right planter or container, learn how to maintain it properly, and go find yourself some seeds! (Or starter plants.) Like this idea? Be sure to check out these 6 Crazy Concepts for Micro Gardens That Actually Work to get inspiration for designing your own garden in a small space. While you’re at it, check in with our Organic Gardening feature for tons more info on making your garden grow.

Here’s a starter list of all the crazy things even urban gardeners, without space for a garden, can grow at home.

Tree fruits – including apples

1. Apples can be grown in a container; you can also grow them on the balcony or other small space using a technique called espaliering.

2. Kumquats

3. Avocados (plenty of extra tips online if you search)

4. Blackberries

5. Blueberries (sometimes helpful videos are available online) 6. Pomegranate

7. Cherries


9. Pears Photo credit: Photodisc/Thinkstock Citrus fruits Citrus trees in particular are said to be good for beginning gardeners and are easy to grow indoors, so don’t let inexperience or lack of outdoor space stop you from enjoying fresh-picked, hyper-local fruit.

10. Dwarf oranges

11. Grapefruit

12. Tangerines

13.Meyer lemons

14. Limes Tropical fruits Tropical fruits can also be surprisingly easy to grow indoors, even in non-tropical climates.

15. Bananas (look for container gardening tips online)

16. Pineapple


18. Guavas (several varietiesWATCH VIDEO: Living with Ed: Grow It On Site Photo credit: ©

The real surprises

19. Hops—yes, as in the “spice” ingredient in beer. Turns out they’re easy to grow!

20. Aloe Vera

21. Strawberries

22. Tea (well, herbal tea)

23. Quinoa

The non-surprises

24. Tomatoes

25. Summer squash

26. Other squashes, like acorn and pumpkin

27. Hot Peppers

28. Sweet peppers

29. Cucumbers


30. Small cantaloupe

31. Jenny Lind melon (an heirloom cantaloupe)

32. Golden Midget Watermelon


Just about any herb grows well indoors—just be sure that if you’re going to do any container-sharing, you do your research first about which herbs co-habitate well together. (Some will hog water, for example, and leave the others dried out.) 33. Basil

34. Oregano

35. Parsley


37. Chives

38. Catnip

39. Thyme

40. Sage

41. Parsley

 Leafy Greens

42. Kale

43. Mesclun greens

44. Spinach

45. Swiss chard

46. Lettuces (plenty of options there, from micro-greens to head or loose-leaf)

47. Mustard greens

48. Collard greens


Root Vegetables

50. Carrots

51. Beets

52. Potatoes Photo credit: Pixland/Thinkstock Other healthy-sounding stuff 53. Sprouts 54. More sprouts: mung bean and lentil sprouts 55. Wheatgrass 56.Kohlrabi 57. Turnips 58. Rutabagas 59. Celeriac 60. Parsnips 61. Jerusalem Artichoke 62. Sugar snap peas63. Rhubarb (not ideal in a container, but it can work) 64. Mushrooms (again, more tips online if you look) 65. Pole Beans 66. Aaaand… asparagus, although some disagree that it does well in a container. Try it if you’re ok with a risk! Bonus 67: You can grow your own loofah, too, but you’d need a garden rather than a container for that.

  1. Thanks for this, been thinking about growing my own food for AGES but always dissuaded by our lack of space/lack of direct sunlight due to houses on all sides/general apathy.

    This is inspiring 🙂

  2. Loved your article! It’s a great way to get fresh produce with minimal available space.

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