With the beginning of Spring quickly coming around the corner, we are entering into gardening season! While many of us are lucky enough to dig into the Earth and grow outdoors, the rest of the population is left wondering how they are supposed to produce their own food. Just because you may not have the outdoor real estate to house a full-sized garden bed, does not mean you are restricted from this self-sustainable hobby! Countless crops have been studied for indoor cultivation and it is now easier than ever to sow your own seeds and harvest your own vegetables only using the indoor space already at your disposal.
The technology and innovation around the indoor gardening industry has exploded over the past decade, making way for sleeker designs and awesome enhancements to make growing vegetables inside a breeze. In our opinion, one of the best additions to this area of the market is the Stackable Planter; this design is based off the Vertical Method of gardening, where plants are grown on trellises or in vertically stacked or hanging containers to make use of a small amount of space. The multiple tiers of containers allow for more vegetables and higher yields than ever imagined before, but what exactly are you supposed to grow in such a confined space? We are glad you asked!
Here are out top nine vegetables you can grow in a stackable vertical planter!
The most common vegetable you will find growing in a Stackable Planter has got to be lettuce. This bushy green plant does well for multiple reasons! First, lettuce is a fast grower, so you’ll develop a habit of harvesting and pruning often, allowing it to grow back even quicker and stronger than before. This salad green has a shallow root system, perfect to the smaller soil pockets of a stackable planter.
Finally, this vegetable is not picky with its light preferences; this plant can easily be grown in dimmer, shady spaces either in your home or in the configuration of the planter itself. If the only spot you have available in your container is a pot at the very bottom, underneath the vegetables and foliage of other plants, then lettuce is the perfect plant for your circumstance.
Just like lettuce, spinach is another leafy salad green that can thrive when planted in a Stackable Planter. While the roots on this vegetable are quite shallow, they do enjoy spreading out, so this plant would work best in vertical planters that have slightly wider pockets. If it is given the proper amount of space, then spinach is incredibly low maintenance when it comes to the amount of light it receives. Partial shade is good enough for this vegetable.
It’s easy to start spinach indoors from either seed or starter plants. Either way, this vegetable can do very well in a stackable planter with other plants because it doesn’t often invade its neighbors’ space or take up all the sunlight and block others from receiving their fair share. Harvest leaves from your spinach regularly throughout the Summer to encourage healthy growth and keep supplying yourself with fresh salads all season long.
While it may sound strange because it is known for being a root vegetable, carrots can do surprisingly well in one of our stackable planters! You will want to be strategic with how you plant your carrots in your vertical container, but once you have your seeds sown or baby plants transplanted, the harvesting and care of your compact carrots will be straightforward and easy. In our planters, you can fit two or three plants, depending upon the species, though we recommend opting for the more compact kinds.
When it comes time to harvest, you’ll find that keeping your carrots in a stackable planter will make harvesting easier and more accessible. This could take anywhere between 60 and 80 days, depending upon the species, so keep an eye on the surface of your soil as an indicator. Once you see the very top of the carrot start to poke out of the dirt, then it’s time to harvest!
This is another root vegetable that does well in stackable planters because of how small this plant typically is: radishes. Many types of radishes naturally reach a maximum size of only two to three inches in diameter, making them a perfect addition to containers. The one thing with this plant is that they prefer full sun as much as possible, so make sure they are getting enough light throughout the day, or plant them toward the top of your container for maximum exposure.
Radishes can produce a vegetable extremely quickly in the Summertime, averaging at just 25 days from germination to harvest! Once you’ve picked your radishes, if you are still in the early or middle portion of the season, you can pop more seeds into their place and continue growing them until you make the decision to stop.
Although this crop is technically a fruit, we’re not going to get technical about it. Tomatoes are often the first vegetable people recommend to beginner gardeners to familiarize themselves with caring for plants, and we think this still translates over to stackable planters as well. This plant prefers a deeper container, so make sure the vertical garden you are using offers your tomatoes enough room to dig its roots down into. This is why we recommend cherry or grape tomato varieties most for a stackable container situation.
Tomato plants absolutely love both high sunlight and regular watering, so keep in mind that this vegetable will be a little more hands-on than many other plants. However, if you can care for this plant properly, this crop can easily yield pounds upon pounds of tomatoes for you to use all throughout the season.
The Jalapeño Pepper is the most popular chili pepper grown and sold in the United States today because of its versatility and iconic flavor! Luckily, this is also a wonderful candidate for the stackable planter method of growing plants as well, because of its compact size and low maintenance care requirements. While you may have to wait 65-70 days for your plant to reach full maturity, one or two jalapeño plants can yield dozens of peppers.
This vegetable is originally from many parts of Mexico and Central America, so it’s important to grow it in a similarly sunny and warm environment; we recommend keeping the stackable planter you have this plant in close to a window that naturally receives a lot of light and away from any air vents because these peppers do not like to grow as well in a cold or drafty environment.
While most types of eggplants grow quite large, fear not because there are smaller varieties available at most garden centers and with online retailers that can fit in a vertical garden setting. Just like the tomato plant, this vegetable likes to dig its roots deep into the soil, so each pocket of a stackable planter can only realistically hold one plant without compromising your yield. It’s also good to keep in mind that this plant may require a trellis or support system once it reaches a certain size, so prepare a little extra space if you want to include this vegetable in your planter.
Eggplants enjoy a fair amount of moisture in their soil, making them a great fit for stackable planters with a trickle-down water system that doesn’t require as much attention. Also, consider adding compost to your soil at the beginning of the season and once more half-way through because these vegetables are quick to absorb the vital nutrients and vitamins they need to grow quickly in the Spring and Summertime.
Garlic can be a wonderful option in a stackable planter because of how frequently it is used in the average American kitchen and for how compact its root system can be, even in smaller stackable planters. When you decide to include garlic in your indoor garden, make sure to still sow your bulbs in the early Spring and monitor its growth on a daily basis; if you see leaves growing more than a couple centimeters each day, add a little nitrogen to your soil through compost or a special fertilizer to keep it growing strong.
The most important thing to consider before sowing your garlic is what else you are going to plant with it. Garlic is one of the few vegetables that cannot handle soggy soil for long, so you are going to want to plant other vegetables that eagerly soak up the excess moisture in the soil your garlic doesn’t want/need. For that very reason, we recommend planting your garlic at the very top of your vertical garden.
This specific type of onion is the best option for stackable planters out of all the onion varieties because it is an incredibly compact grower because it doesn’t produce a large, bulky bulb. Because of how tall their stalks can grow, we recommend planting your own green onion toward the top of your container, so it doesn’t get in the way of any neighboring vegetables. The harvested vegetable can be used in any and every recipe you can think of, so you will find yourself rushing to plant even more next season.
It is important to note that green onions can take a significant amount of time to reach maturity with some species needing as much as 120 days before they can be harvested. However, if you have patience and ensure that the proper light and water requirements, you will have a vegetable that is not only fun to grow but just as fun to cook with!
Now that you know the best vegetables to grow in your very own stackable planter, what seeds are you going to sow this season? While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out our other blogs! We like to offer tips and tricks to get the most of your gardening or indoor plant journey each week. Do you have a subject you would like us to write about? Let us know in the comments below or contact us anytime!