April 10, 2014

A well-stocked kitchen has the right pots for sautéing, braising, and making soup. It stands to reason the well-stocked garden should have the right pots for certain crops, too. Lettuces love shallow troughs and planters, while stocky, vining tomatoes crave deep pots for deep roots. And just as a shiny Mauviel copper pot or colorful Le Creuset dutch oven is a statement décor piece in the kitchen, a beautiful container can complete a stylish garden.

With room for a container and at least four hours of sunlight, anyone can grow a simple salad garden. Place a shallow planter atop a table for al fresco décor that also serves as a dinner course. This

With more space for an 18- or 24-inch diameter pot and at least six hours of sun, fruiting vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers are good choices for a productive container garden. Trellis an indeterminate variety like ‘Sungold’ or ‘Chocolate Cherry’ tomato with decorative wooden or iron tuteurs, or train vines along a balcony banister with soft ties for support. Add good garden companions of marigolds, basil, oregano, carrots, and lettuces. In our garden, we’ve enjoyed taste testing a wide variety of basil from sweet Genovese to ‘Spicy Globe’ to anise-scented Thai varieties. While the tomato or pepper plant is young and small, lettuces and carrots will get a head start using the sunshine and benefit from the larger plant’s shade as the season gets warmer.

Beyond choosing the right container, key elements of a recipe for success are using a quality organic potting soil, watering every two days or when soil is dry an inch beneath the soil, and ensuring there is good drainage (unless using a self-watering container). And don’t forget that plants, like people, need good food to flourish. Feed regularly with an organic liquid or granular fertilizer, and drench with a healthy dose of compost tea at least once a month.

Doesn’t it sound as easy as cooking with a crock pot? Our recipe for a fresh dinner is starting with the right pot, adding good ingredients, and giving it a little time. Let us know what you’re growing via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by tagging #CLpickfresh.

You May Like