Perfect Patio Plants; List of Small Container Garden Fruits and Vegetables.

Diversity in a small container gardeN is difficult to accomplish; but not impossible.

These plants are: diverse, high yielding, and great for small space gardens.  All plants can be found at Baker Creek.  You just click on the picture to be redirected.

It is important to understand that a plant’s nutrient will be affected by: soil, fertilizer, pesticides, water, sun exposure and atmosphere.  Just like people their diet and environment will affect them.  Space is not the only thing that needs to be taken into consideration.  Keep in the minding the temperature, lighting, growing days, the growing method, and your own gardening abilities.

With those factors in mind here is the list:

Mulberry, Dwarf Everbearing

While this plant can turn into a tree, with proper pruning it can be kept at 2 feet.  This a large space for micro gardening; however, it is maintained in one pot and has a high yield.  Like many fruits there are several health benefits include: aids digestion, circulation, and vision health.

Their high calcium coupled with containing carotenoids makes mulberries unique for a berry.  They boost metabolism and increase vitality.  Mulberries prevent macular degeneration, osteoporosis, and cataracts.(1)  A note of caution when dealing with mulberries; if, you have a tendency pollen allergies; mulberries may not be the right plant for you.  They have a large amount of pollen.

Ginger

The amount of ginger grown in one small container is actually substantial.  You can watch Pinos Jaya,Growing Ginger to see her results from growing ginger in a container.

Ginger is an aphrodisiac and a carminative.  It is the Pepto Bismol of herbs.  It can sooth your stomach, and cure loose bowel movements.(2)  Also, fresh ginger is hard to keep and can be expensive.  This is a great small space herb.

Parisienne Carrot

These carrots were grown in Paris, France in window boxes starting in the 1900’s.(3)   Parisienne are not as long as traditional carrots.  However, they are full of flavor.

Carrots are one of those vegetables you are better growing yourself.  Tiny garden vegetables taste better.  Carrot taste is affected by the bleach and cleaning process they go thru in box stores.  Stack boxes vertically, as a space saver for higher yields in your urban garden.  Carrots can be partially shaded and they taste better when grown in cold weather.  They can survive mild frosts.  So if you are not able to stack boxes 12″ apart think about using a window box.

These carrots also have the health benefits of a traditional carrot.  Carrots are great for people with diabetes; carrots regulate sugar levels.  Other health benefits include immune boosting, and decreasing blood pressure.(4)

Wonderberry

The wonderberry is a black currant and another unconventional small container fruit.  It is classified as an elderberry.  Wonderberries are an extremely, high source in fiber.  Fiber is extremely important for digestion and maintaining a healthy weight.  There are several more health benefits; a few more are; diabetes aid, anti-inflammatory, and has anti-infectious properties.(5)

Wonderberries are generally not eaten fresh, but rather cooked into: jams, syrups, and tarts. They are even cooked into a paste thrown into smoothies. Wonderberries are also used in cosmetics; as the are high in Vitamin C.

Wonderberries do grow up to 2 feet tall and grow little flowers that make them an appealing patio plant.  They are a high yield plant and are relatively easy to grow.  They are from the nightshade family like tomatoes; their nutritional needs are similar.  However; unlike tomatoes, wonderberries are not, as bothered by temperatures.(6)  I highly recommend Wonderberry to a beginner urban gardener.

Naranjilla aka Lulo

A Naranjilla can be eaten fresh.  “A really unique fruit from the Andes; delicious sweet and sour taste, orange flavor; 2″ fruit are round and yellow-orange in color,” according to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.(7)  As a yellow fruit bearing plant, the Naranjilla can make a patio garden pop with color.

While this plant will eat up more space, as it should be grown in a pot at least two feet wide and can reach up to 6 feet tall.  (Most potted versions grow between 2-3 feet.)  This gem can be grown in partial sun, or not.  Unless you have a hot humid environment that never frosts; I suggest growing the Lulo inside.  Naranjilla is not a plant to be grown by novices.(8)  To learn their requirements click .  These plants also have prickles.

The health benefits. far outweigh the challenges of growing these plants.  Lulo has a multitude of health benefits: bone strengthening and it can neutralize free radicals, detoxifies.  The fruit has pepsin fiber.  Pepsin will: relieve stress, insomnia, and boosts white blood cell production.  Also, “It can help eliminate constipation, cramping, bloating, and more serious conditions like gastric ulcers,” according to Organic Facts.  There are more health benefits; some can be substantiated and there are several studies that are moving forward, with studies on the citrus wonder; to substantiate other health claims.(9)

Tzimbalo Melon Pear

A Tzimbalo Melon is similar to a Pepino.  This “pear”, grows in clumps and are a little larger than grapes.  This is the ideal small space fruit plant and is perfect for city growers who are frost free.

Flavor is similar to Pepino but is often described as tangier and more complex, and tart, with subtle overtones of cucumber, melon and other fruit flavors.”  Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

This unique plant only grows to a foot tall.  It is considered an easy shrub to grow.  The plant needs to be kept around 60 F°.(10)  Treat this plant like a tomato; as it is also part of the nightshade family.  For more information on how to grow, click here

There is little: information on this plant, health benefits.  Anyways any sources I felt comfortable referencing.

Pepino

These plants may have originated from the Andes(11), but they have become extremely popular as a garden staple in Australia.(12)  Pepinos are reported to taste similar to honeydew melons or cantaloupe.(13)

The Pepino plant can grow up to three feet or be pruned to make it smaller and stimulate fruit bearing.  You can trellis Pepinos or grow them in a container.  They are part of the eggplant family and will take the same nutrients.  Click here or here; for information on growing Pepinos.

There is this very informative, easy to read article Exotic Pepino: A Shrub for Prophylactic Consequence & Nutritional Regime.  This article breaks down the benefits of a Pepino.  A pepion; aids with diabetes, helps digestion, contains the vitamin your eye needs to reproduce cells, is an anti-inflammatory and has antibacterial properties.

Tom Thumb Garden Pea

This is a unique variety of pea that does not require staking; they only reach up to 9 inches.  It grows in a small bush, that is perfect for container growing.(14)  If you do not have vertical space Tom Thumb Peas are great.  However, if you want to grow vertically you can grow short Sugar Anns that require 12″ deep of soil. If you have a tall growing space Green Arrow Peas will grow 2 feet and are very compact horizontally.

Peas have several benefits according to the University of Florida.  They are an aid to those with celiacs disease and cancer.  Peas are a significant source of antioxidants and phytochemical.  The consumption of phytochemical is directly linked to reducing chances of cancer.(15)

He Shi Ko Bunching (onions)

These are one of the easiest onions grow.  He shi ko bunching onions have a mild flavor and are considered “part of Chinese Cuisine’s trinity,”  according, to food expert Alton Brown.  This container onion has the added benefit of not taking up much space and being able to grow in a compacted space.

He shi ko can be separated propagate more He shi ko or started from seed.  They can grow up to one foot.  For more information on growing them click here.

Humans have been eating onions for seven thousand years; and with good cause, onions have numerous health benefits.  A few benefits are: blood thinning, insect repellent, anti fungal, and antibacterial properties.  The home remedy applications are numerous.  You can check out a few home remedies and more nutritional value for the onion here.

Miniature Bell Pepper

Bell peppers are part of the food trinity for most cuisines.  Growing what you eat only makes sense.  The minis have the same taste profile as their larger counterparts; perhaps, sweeter(16)  Almost any pepper is a good choice for container gardening as most varieties only require 3-gallon containers.  Peppers are meant for full sun and heat.  I grew the best peppers in Arizona.  These mini are high yield and a good use of small space gardening.

Miniature Bell Peppers have a high yield.  They can grow up to 2 feet, however; you can top them to keep them shorter, and speed fruiting.(17)  Miniature Bell Peppers do need wider pots than one might think; here is a video showing the size of an appropriately sized pot with a miniature.  You can use the same nutrients as tomatoes without calcium supplements.
The biggest health benefits to peppers are their anti-inflammatory properties and the large quantity of micro nutrients they provide to a diet.(18)  Bell peppers prevent eye diseases, with one of those micronutrient, zeaxanthin.(19)

Minibel Tomato

Mini, mini tomatoes grow foliage between 6”-12”.  These plants burst with tomatoes in 65 days.  Cherry tomatoes, currently cost four dollars a small cart.  Growing your own cherry tomatoes is easy and rewarding, easy, delicious, and healthy.

These are determinate tomato plants so they will need to be replanted.(20)  For more information on planting them click here.  However, these small bushy plants are high yield and they can be staggard for a continuous source of cherry tomatoes for your garden to table happiness.

Tomatoes contain several minerals and micro nutrients: copper, phosphorus, folate, magnesium, vitamin K, and several other more common nutrients and minerals.  Tomatoes also have coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid; which counteract some of the effects of carcinogens found in cigarettes.  There are several more benefits for tomatoes, click here, for more nutritional information.

If you have any unusual or specific plants that are great for small gardens; please, tell us in the comments below.

Sources:
1 “Health Benefits of Mulberries | Organic Facts.” 2014. 21 Dec. 2015
<https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/mulberries.html>
2 “Health Benefits of Ginger | Organic Facts.” 2014. 21 Dec. 2015
<https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/ginger.html>
3 “No-peel carrots a la Parisienne – Telegraph – The Telegraph.” 2008. 21 Dec. 2015
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1565653/No-peel-carrots-a-la-Parisienne.html>
4 “Health Benefits of Carrots | Organic Facts.” 2014. 21 Dec. 2015
<https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/carrots.html>
5  “Health Benefits of Elderberries | Organic Facts.” 2014. 21 Dec. 2015
<https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/elderberries.html>
6  “Wonderberry – Solanum burbankii – Seeds – Trade Winds Fruit.” 2013. 21 Dec. 2015
<http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/content/wonderberry.htm>
7 “~NARANJILLA~ Nectar of the Gods SOLANUM … – eBay.” 2015. 21 Dec. 2015
<http://www.ebay.com/itm/NARANJILLA-Nectar-of-the-Gods-SOLANUM-QUITOENSE-Andes-Cherry-Tomato-100-Seeds-/361448945423?hash=item542809370f:g:mx8AAOSw-W5Uutre>
8  “Struggles growing Lulo/Naranjilla (solanum quitoense) – GardenWeb.” 2015. 21 Dec. 2015
<http://forums2.gardenweb.com/discussions/1636879/struggles-growing-lulo-naranjilla-solanum-quitoense>
9 “Health Benefits of Lulo | Organic Facts.” 2014. 21 Dec. 2015
<https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/lulo.html>
10  “Tzimbalo 5 Seeds Melon Pear Solanum Caripense.” 2015. 21 Dec. 2015
<http://www.growyoursecretgarden.com/tzimbalo-5-seeds-melon-pear-solanum-caripense-2199-p.asp>
11  “Pepino Melon | Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.” 22 Dec. 2015
<http://www.rareseeds.com/pepino-melon/>
12  “Pepino – a Perennial Fruiting Shrub – Sustainable …” 2015. 22 Dec. 2015
<http://www.sgaonline.org.au/pepino-a-perennial-fruiting-shrub/>
13  “How to grow Pepino fruit from Seeds & from … – YouTube.” 2012. 22 Dec. 2015
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVDoytZ1UyQ>
14 “Tom Thumb Garden Pea | Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.” 2014. 22 Dec. 2015
<http://www.rareseeds.com/tom-thumb-garden-pea/>
15  “FSHN13-06/FS229: Beans, Peas, and Lentils: Health … – EDIS.” 2015. 22 Dec. 2015
<https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs229>
16  “Miniature Yellow Bell Pepper | Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.” 2013. 22 Dec. 2015
<http://www.rareseeds.com/miniature-yellow-bell-pepper/>
17 “Yum Yums Hybrid Mixed Mini Bells Sweet Pepper – Gurneys …” 2013. 22 Dec. 2015
<http://www.gurneys.com/product/yum_yums_hybrid_mixed_mini_bells_sweet_pepper/peppers>
18  “What Do Red Bell Peppers Do for Your Body? – Healthy Eating.” 2012. 22 Dec. 2015
<http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/red-bell-peppers-body-4827.html>
19  “What Are the Benefits of Eating Green Bell Peppers …” 2012. 22 Dec. 2015
<http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-green-bell-peppers-4245.html>
20  “Tomato ‘Minibel’ Plant Care & Growing Information | Folia.” 2015. 22 Dec. 2015
<https://myfolia.com/plants/10-tomato-solanum-lycopersicum/varieties/4240-minibel>

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