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. Which edible plants should I choose for my small greenhouse? Answered

I'd like to start a small greenhouse from ikea in my balcony.
It's an old model called Ort and as you can immagine it does not hold much space (about 1ft deep x 3ft wide x 6ft high with 2 or tree shelves in it).
I'd like to plant something I can eat. and it definetly needs to fit in vases or other similar recipients.

Which plants should I choose? I was thinking about beans, is it possible? Any other sujestion?




7 years ago

Grow things that are expensive to buy in the supermarket, or that you can't get locally.

I think you might be surprised at what all you could grow. There are "table top" varieties of tomatoes that get to be only about 1' x 1' and produce for a very long time. You can also train cucumber to grow on a trellis, and there are smaller varieties of cucumbers (e.g., the lemon cucumber) that don't need as much space. If you need to keep a plant small, you can also trim and train the plant to remain small to an extent.

If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, we're approaching cool season crops, and lots of people are starting their seed for the new growing season which means kale, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, leeks, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuces, etc. All of the ones I listed should do just fine in that amount of space, but you'll want to start them outside the greenhouse because it's probably a bit too warm in there.

Beans are a warm season crop, and depending on where you live, it might not be possible to grow. You could grow bush style beans though if the climate is right.

Herbs are an obvious choice since fresh herbs are expensive and go rotten very quickly. Generally, they're a good first crop because bugs generally don't like them, they're pretty sturdy, and they're inexpensive to grow. Mint would be the absolute easiest thing to grow, and it's good to have at least one plant that grows well.

Pick 3 things (e.g., kale, leeks, and parsley) you'd like to grow. Research each one a little bit so you know what kind of pot and soil to use and so you know when to plant it and how much to water it.

If you need a little help on ideas for your region, and you live in the US, you can contact your local horticultural extension office and explain your goals and resources. They would be your best bet for giving you really excellent suggestions and could help you should you start having problems with any of your crops.

Without knowing where you are in the world and therefore your climate, it's hard to give recommendations. Living in Portland, Maine is very different than Sydney, Australia is very different than San Diego, California, etc.


7 years ago

You got many good suggestions. Iwould like to add another one: Strawberries. They grow well in containers and if you get a few different varieties you will have strawberries all season. You can find info on how to grow straberries here http://www.gardening-advice.net/growing-strawberries.html

Salad leaves:
Lollo Rosso Lettuce
Salad Bowl Lettuce or Lolla Bionda
Pak choi
Lamb's Lettuce / Corn Salad

These are all suitable for picking some of the leaves and then letting them grow on further, so you keep on picking from the same plant, rather than cutting off the whole lettuce head.

Globe carrots - there are short varieties ideal for container growing
Spinach beet or chard - again, pick leaves, not the whole plant.

Have fun


Mostly, window gardens are good for herbs as they don't take up much room, however with some beefed-up planters you could grow larger veggies.

possible herbs:
  • chives
  • wheat grass
  • basil
  • dill
  • mint
  • oregano
  • dill
possible veggies:
  • new potatoes
  • tomatoes
  • carrots
  • green onions
  • leeks
  • carrots
  • beans

consider drainage, light, heat, and weight of apparatus.

I'm a big fan of homegrown veggies- tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, and carrots are good choices for small spaces like you're describing. If you had more room, corn and potatoes are also much better than store-bought, as well as strawberries. Herbs and spices are also popular, but I've never really grown any outside of dill. Be careful, it's quite addicting!

Unless you live in the artic beans will grow quite well in a pot outside.

tomatoes are a favorite - They ripen earlier and grow for longer if well wartered.

Cucumbers need a warm place to thrive.

Chilli peppers

Many exotic fruit - Kiwi, grape, citrus fruits. A=will all grow under plastic and need not be allowed to get too big.