Growing your own food is exciting, not only because you get to see things grow from nothing into ready-to-eat fruits and veggies, but you also don’t have to worry about the pesticides they might contain, and you definitely cut down on the miles they—and you—have to travel.
As it turns out, with pretty minimal effort, anyone can be a gardener. My boyfriend and I are essentially first-timers this season and so far have the beginnings of strawberries peeking out, tomatoes are on their way, the basil’s about ready for a big batch of pesto, and once the last frost hits, the peppers, kale, spinach, chard, and mesclun will be on their way, too. All on a tiiiny little terrace.
If you’re up to the challenge—and it really isn’t much of one—growing your own food can be so rewarding. And so much cheaper! Just be sure to choose the right planter or container, learn how to maintain it properly, and go find yourself some seeds! (Or starter plants.)
Like this idea? Be sure to check out these 6 Crazy Concepts for Micro Gardens That Actually Work to get inspiration for designing your own garden in a small space.
Here’s a starter list of all the crazy things even urban gardeners, without space for a garden, can grow at home.
Tree fruits – including apples
- Apples can be grown in a container; you can also grow them on the balcony or other small space using a technique called espaliering.
- Blueberries (sometimes helpful videos are available online)
Citrus trees in particular are said to be good for beginning gardeners and are easy to grow indoors, so don’t let inexperience or lack of outdoor space stop you from enjoying fresh-picked, hyper-local fruit.
- Dwarf oranges
- Meyer lemons
Tropical fruits can also be surprisingly easy to grow indoors, even in non-tropical climates. Such as…
- Bananas (look for container gardening tips online)
- Guavas (several varieties)
The real surprises
- Hops—yes, as in the “spice” ingredient in beer. Turns out they’re easy to grow!
- Aloe Vera
- Tea (well, herbal tea)
- Summer squash
- Other squashes, like acorn and pumpkin
- Hot Peppers
- Sweet peppers
- Small cantaloupe
- Jenny Lind melon (an heirloom cantaloupe)
- Golden Midget Watermelon
Just about any herb grows well indoors—just be sure that if you’re going to do any container-sharing, you do your research first about which herbs co-habitate well together. (Some will hog water, for example, and leave the others dried out.)
- Mesclun greens
- Swiss chard
- Lettuces (plenty of options there, from micro-greens to head or loose-leaf)
- Mustard greens
- Collard greens
Other healthy-sounding stuff
- More sprouts: mung bean and lentil sprouts
- Jerusalem Artichoke
- Sugar snap peas
- Rhubarb (not ideal in a container, but it can work)
- Mushrooms (again, more tips online if you look)
- Pole Beans
- Aaaand… asparagus, although some disagree that it does well in a container. Try it if you’re ok with a risk!