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Plant a patio or deck garden for healthy eating

It is not too late to plant a small patio or deck garden this year. Depending on where you live you may not be able to start vegetables from seed after mid-May, but if your local WalMart, Lowes, or Home Depot still has vegetables in pots, you can buy some plants already started and have your own summer and fall garden.

Starting an  herb garden for a patio container garden
Starting an herb garden for a patio container garden
© Kathryn E. Darden. All rights reserved.
Green tomatoes growing in a patio pot
© Kathryn E. Darden. All rights reserved.

What to Plant

What you should plant depends upon the season and the climate where you live. Local nurseries, and gardening centers should be able to offer helpful advice about what plants are best for container gardens each season. In Tennessee, patio gardeners have great success with tomatoes and other vegetables planted in outdoor containers in late April and through mid-May and even into early June if the plants are already established.

If vegetables are out of the question, a small herb garden is always nice and very easy to start from cuttings or small plants. Herb gardens can also often be wintered indoors near a bright window.

Benefits of Container Gardening

Some of the benefits of patio and deck gardens are: the ease of planting in a pot vs. hoeing or tilling a garden plot; the convenience of stepping outside for fresh produce; knowing that no pesticides have been used on the plants; and affordability since it is less expensive to buy a plant that will produce several fruits or vegetables than it is to buy the individual fruits and veggies. There is also evidence that fruits and vegetables allowed to ripen on the vine have more nutrients than many grocery store varieties harvested early and ripened in transit or on the shelf.

So plant a container garden in your patch of sun and enjoy being a farmer for a few hours a month!

Related: How to Plant a Small Herb Garden

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