The most important step to having a healthy body is to eat healthy food. What better way than to grow your own diet in a pot. Many fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers can be grown in pots on a balcony or a patio and some can even be grown successfully on a windowsill.
Use decorative and imaginative containers for your plants. As long as they are well-drained and deep enough to accommodate the roots of your plants, almost anything goes!
The following nine fruits, veggies and herbs represent good sources of all the healthy vitamins you can grow yourself.
Carrots: (Vitamin A)
Carrots are a root vegetable and traditionally grown in deeply dug soil to allow space for the roots to develop. However, there are many new varieties available these days that will grow in shallower soil or in pots. Grow carrots in a deep trough-like container. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on seed packets, as each variety has different needs. Keep watered and weed-free and you will be able to grow vitamin A literally on your own doorstep!
Potatoes: (Vitamin B1)
Potatoes can be grown in purpose designed containers or old car tyres. A good harvest is possible without the trenching, earthing up and digging so often associated with growing potatoes. And of course, there is nothing as tasty as a home-grown potato. Forget the butter and grated cheese and enjoy spuds in all their natural glory. Purpose built potato barrels can be found at most good garden centres and are well worth a go if you have a little outside space.
Garlic: (Vitamin B2)
Garlic is an ideal crop to grow in containers although they shouldn’t be too shallow. Garlic cloves can be planted fairly early in the year and a few bulbs will go a long way. Use a good organic potting compost and make sure the pots or containers are well-drained. Water regularly but don’t let them become water-logged or the cloves will rot before they start to develop. Wait until the leaves start dying back before pulling and using the bulbs, although if you have quite a few growing, use as you need them.
Mushrooms: (Vitamin B6)
Mushrooms are ideal container foods. Large garden centres and suppliers often have a choice of mushroom kits available, so if you like mushrooms try out different varieties. Always follow the manufacturer’s growing recommendations when you buy your kit to get the most from your mushrooms! Mushrooms contain a number of B vitamins and are a useful ingredient in a healthy diet.
Peppers: (Vitamin C)
Peppers are a great container plant, especially chilli peppers. The plants are attractive and look great in even the most modern décor. Sweet peppers will grow well in containers, but should always have enough light and water to develop the fruits. In a short growing season, peppers grown outdoors don’t always fully ripen, so with a little extra light and warmth, peppers grown in pots can often produce better crops. Use a good potting compost and make sure the pots or containers are well-drained.
Blueberries: (Vitamin E)
Blueberries are particular about the ph level in the soil but make a superb container plant. Keep the growing recommendations that come with your plant when you buy it, as it should have pruning suggestions, as well as advice on keeping your plant healthy. Generally blueberries like a sunny position with a little light shade if necessary. Tap water tends to make the soil less acidic and as blueberries prefer the soil to be on the acid side, you may have to adjust the ph balance every now and then.
Parsley: (Niacin – vitamin B3)
If you are growing garlic in containers, then parsley is a must-have! It helps freshen the breath and is also packed with goodness. Parsley is a heavy feeder taking many nutrients up into the plant itself. Grow in well drained pots or containers and feed with an organic food every now and then. Parsley is a biennial plant and will produce flowers and seed during its second year of growth. Collect the seed if you can, to sow the following year. Finely chop parsley and add it to your dishes rather than using it only as a decorative garnish.
Most leafy green vegetables provide a healthy dose of folate and spinach can be grown in containers or large pots as well as in the veggie plot. Again, make sure the pots or containers are well-drained. Fill with a good potting compost. There are many different varieties of spinach available. Check on the seed packet whether there are any notes about growing in containers before you buy. Some varieties just simply do better out in the open. Spinach can be used as soon as the baby leaves are a couple of inches long, although never strip a plant completely. Grow a few plants and take a few leaves off of each one at a time.
Broccoli: (Pantothenic acid – B5)
Broccoli is one of the more popular super-foods and is packed with healthy minerals and vitamins. It likes the sun, so if you are growing in pots they should be positioned on a sunny balcony or patio. Grow in deep well-drained containers and use a good potting compost. Broccoli won’t thrive if left to dry out, and containers tend to dry out quite quickly so water regularly, but don’t let the pots become water-logged. Plants shouldn’t be grown too close together as they will need space to develop. There are mini-versions of broccoli seed available. Always buy your seeds from a reputable supplier.
There are so many fruits, vegetables and herbs that can be grown in pots, experimenting will naturally help you eat the best possible food on the planet and in turn, create the healthy body you deserve. Check out this quick downloadable guide for more healthy growing ideas…