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Fresh Ideas for Growing Vegetables in Containers

Enjoy tasty, homegrown vegetables on your doorstep, deck, patio, balcony, or garden with these herb and vegetable garden ideas for containers.

Add Color with Containers

Boost your garden's color quotient by using bright pots. These glazed containers in cheery shades of blue, orange, and yellow instantly add interest to a display of purple basil, Hungarian Wax pepper, tomato, parsley, and golden oregano.

Grow Up

Grow your vegetables in hanging baskets if ground space is scarce. Compact or "bush" varieties are best, though many herbs are also perfect picks for baskets. This pairing of tomato and basil, for example, creates a delicious and attractive display.

Test Garden Tip: Set up a drip-watering system to save you a substantial amount of time with a hose or watering can.

Be Creative

Give your plantings personality and save money by using recycled containers. Here, old wine crates provide a perfect home for small varieties, including lettuce, Thumbelina carrots, everbearing strawberries, and signet marigolds.

Stagger Height

Select containers of different sizes and create a grouping to offer additional interest. These four containers filled with cucumber, tomato, pepper, basil, thyme, and parsley add lots of visual appeal to a landscape.

Incorporate Colorful Varieties

Use vegetables with attractive foliage, flowers, or fruits in your favorite planters. Here, red-stemmed Swiss chard, glowing Lemon Gem marigolds, and a hot pepper add great color and texture to a container.

Make an Herbal Window Box

Let great scents waft in your home each time you open a window by growing herbs in your window boxes. This lovely example incorporates variegated sage, variegated thyme, Italian parsley, and sweet alyssum.

Grow Edible Flowers

Add color and cheer to your containers -- as well as salads, dishes, and desserts -- by growing edible flowers. Note how calendula and signet marigolds brighten a planting of Swiss chard, cabbage, basil, and tomatoes.

Use Textural Contrasts

Make a stunning statement even if you're growing all-green plants by combining textures. Here, rosemary's fine, needle-like leaves are a perfect balance to the big, bold eggplant. A potted citrus, lemon verbena, and thyme further enhance the effect.

More on Texture

Grasses seem to go with everything. Get the look in your vegetable garden by incorporating onions and chives. They offer a great contrast to the cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers shown here. And happily, their flavors are a perfect fit, too!

Enjoy Climbers

A scrambling cucumber is the star of this container creation. With its big leaves, bright flowers, and yummy fruits it's a natural showstopper -- especially when paired with an upright plant such as rosemary.

Test Garden Tip: Make harvest easy by letting cucumbers grow along the railing of your deck or patio.

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