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C ontainer EDIBLE

gardens Growing Big in Small Spaces

Simple Steps to Planting Success

Grow a GREEN GODDESS salad

Container Friendly

super foods





Mix Edibles Ornamentals

P. Allen Smith’s


1 | Container Gardens

2 | Container Gardens







Six Quick Tips for Container Garden Success


Summer Staples

Green Goddess Salad




P. Allen Smith’s Mixed Herb Window Box

Super Foods SUMMER


Jenny Peterson’s Herb Tower

Kid’s Container Cluster


Edibles & Ornamentals

“What I love most about container gardening is the sense of satisfaction from completing a project in just a few minutes.”

-P. Allen Smith

TV Host, Author & Lifestyle Expert eMagazine/eCatalog published by Hortus Ltd./ A P. Allen Smith Company. Content, images and videos are designed, produced and owned by Hortus.

3 | Container Gardens

Six Quick Tips Container Garden Success




START WITH A CLEAN SLATE If you are using new containers, simply wipe them clean. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re reusing a pot from a previous season, use a stiff brush to clean the container. For terra cotta, glazed ceramic, plastic or other washable surfaces, mix one teaspoon of bleach with a gallon of water and soak the containers in the solution for an hour. Another option is to dip a rag in the soultion and wipe down the pot. Rinse thoroughly before use. MAKE PROPER DRAINAGE HOLES Good drainage is essential to growing healthy plants. Most containers will come with pre-drilled drainage holes. If your container does not have one, use a drill to create a one-inch hole in the bottom of the pot. If you are working with a clay or concrete pot, be sure to use a masonry bit.


USE A DRIP TRAY Place a saucer under each container to protect surfaces. These can also function as reservoirs for baskets or other planted pots that benefit from humidity and an additional supply of water.


STAKE YOUR GROUND Some of the edibles you grow will require a stake or cage for support, or a trellis for vines to climb. Choose a large enough container to accommodate the stake, cage, or trellis and train the vine accordingly.

4 | Container Gardens


WATER WITH CARE Plants in containers dry out faster than plants in the ground. Yet overwatering is still the most common gardening mistake; too much water drowns the roots. Water when the top inch of soil in the container feels dry. Vegetables tend to require more watering than herbs.


KEEP UP YOUR GROOMING & HARVESTING Keep herbs neatly clipped to encourage new growth. If you notice the flowers of ornamentals are fading, deadhead them immediately and pinch off any yellowing leaves or foliage. Remember to harvest vegetables when they have matured, just as you would in an in-ground garden.

5 | Container Gardens


green goddess salad containers


arsley and chives both thrive in sunny conditions and have root systems that allow them to share a container without overrunning one another. They do equally well sharing a pot or standing alone. If planting together, place in a 14-inch pot, allowing approximately 6 inches of space between each plant.

Container 1: 14" pot

To allow plenty of room for the bulbs, plant green onions in a container of their own. Plant the bulbs at least three inches deep, allowing only the very tips of the bulb sprouts to extend beyond the soil. Expect to see a crop of green onions in a few weeks.

Container 4: 14" pot


Container 2: 14" pot Chives

Container 3: 14" pot Green Onions

Buttercrunch or Red Sails Lettuce

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Place this quartet in a sunny location and water regularly. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll continue to enjoy its bounty throughout season. To enjoy this combination on your plate, look to page 8 for the Green Goddess Dressing recipe.

GROW IN THE KNOW Clustered pots can help to hide unsightly or distracting elements in and around the garden, such as water spigots, air-conditioning units or coiled hoses.

6 | Container Gardens







Buttercrunch or Red Sails Lettuce Parsley

Green Onions

7 | Container Gardens

Green Goddess Dressing PREPARATION Place the mayonnaise in a small bowl, and mix in the anchovies if you like. Stir in the tarragon vinegar, green onions, garlic, parsley, chives and tarragon, blending well. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate leftover dressing for up to 2 weeks. INGREDIENTS Serves 2 2 Cups mayonnaise 4 Canned anchovy fillets minced (optional) 2 Tbsp tarragon vinegar 2 Green onions, white and green parts, finely chopped 2 Garlic cloves ¼ Cup finely chipped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves ¼ Cup snipped fresh chives (¼ inch pieces) 2 Tbsp chopped fresh terragon leaves Salt and freshly ground Black pepper

8 | Container Gardens


lant three containers—each with a different super food—and you’ll be reaping the health benefits before you know it. Kale, spinach and broccoli will not only add an abundance of vitamins to your diet, but will also bring rich green color to your patio.

Similar to kale, spinach is an excellent source of antioxidants and phytonutrients, which help to protect cellular structures and DNA. Allow at least 6 inches of space around each spinach plant for it to achieve maximum maturity. This leafy green needs a lot of nitrogen, so don’t forget to feed it regularly with liquid plant food. Spinach makes an excellent side dish, a tasty addition to crepes or salads or a healthful ingredient in dips or casseroles

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Kale is a hardy and relatively easy-togrow plant that can give your diet a boost of fiber and antioxidants. You can use its green leaves in everything from omelets to smoothies or simply steam them and add seasoning for a delicious side dish. Plant each plant container-deep for best results,. For maximum potential, provide 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week.

Plant the containers and set out three to five weeks before the last frost, making sure to choose a sunny location. Kale and spinach can be harvested a few weeks after planting, while broccoli will take a little longer. Q

container cluster

For the third super food in this grouping, plant broccoli. It is rich in vitamins A, B, C and K as well as zinc, phosphorous and phytonutrients. Broccoli also likes a steady water supply and should get 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. Combine the broccoli with cheese and rice for a dish the entire family will like or serve it raw with a ranch dipping sauce. Bonus: The leaves are edible, too. Cook them as you would any other green.


super foods

GROW IN THE KNOW Harvest kale when the outer leaves have reached full maturity if you plan to use them to cook. Select smaller leaves for salads. Harvest spinach when the outer leaves are large enough to eat in a salad. Harvest broccoli when the flower head has formed, but its buds remain closed.




DID YOU KNOW? Cooking spinach actually increases its health benefits. This is because the body cannot completely break down raw spinach to receive all its nutrients.


Container 1: 16" pot Kale

Container 2: 12" pot Spinach

Container 3: 14" pot Broccoli


Spinach 9 | Container Gardens


' s r d i e K in

ta er n co lust c

10 | Container Gardens


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ittle ones love to help in the garden. Let them get their hands dirty with a simple trio of vegetables and herbs that will also please their palates. The miniature size of the cherry tomatoes and ‘Yummy Snacking’ peppers is perfect for kids of all ages. For a refreshing treat, add the sweet mint to a bowl of your child’s favorite ice cream, or let them experience the taste by adding a few leaves to a glass of water.




GROW IN THE KNOW Tomatoes thrive when they are able to establish a strong root system. Therefore, you should plant them slightly deeper than other plants by burying 2/3 of the tomato stem.

GOOD TO KNOW An average-size tomato plant will fill an 18-inch planter.

To create the garden grouping, fill all containers 2/3 full with premium quality potting mix. Place the plants inside the container and cover the roots with additional potting mix to anchor them. (Plant according to the depth indicated on the stick tag.) Put the grouping in an area with full sun and be sure to water frequently. As the tomato and pepper plants grow, add a stake or small trellis to the pots and train the vines upward for support. Harvest the tomatoes and peppers when ripe, and the mint as needed. Be sure to pick regularly for maximum growth and maturity

Determinate Cherry Tomatoes

Sweet Mint

Container 1: 18” pot

Determinate Cherry Tomatoes

Container 2: 14" pot Sweet Mint

Container 3: 12" pot

Yummy Snacking Peppers

Yummy Snacking Peppers 11 | Container Gardens




Created By Jenny Perterson Of J. Peterson Garden Design


ometimes a simple idea can lead to amazing (and beautiful) results. That was the case with Jenny Peterson and her Herb Tower Container Garden. “I’m a landscape designer who specializes in small spaces, so I’m always looking for ways to garden vertically to save space,” she says. “I’ve also been reading a lot recently about herb spirals, in which more drought-tolerant herbs are planted on the top so they drain well—and suddenly I had the idea to put the two projects together!” Follow the steps below to create your own version. Place a lavender plant in the center of the smallest of the three containers. Make certain the pot has at least one good-sized drainage hole, as lavender grows best when it has the proper drainage system and air circulation. Do not overwater. When the lavender blooms, you can enjoy it as an ornamental piece of the garden tower or clip its blooms for culinary or aesthetic purposes.



A quartet of kitchen herbs comprises the second layer of the tower. Plant the onion chives, lemon thyme, Thai basil and boxwood basil along the edges of the container as shown in the diagram. (Feel free to substitute thyme or basil varieties.) Keep the pot well watered, especially as temperatures begin to rise. In the largest of the three containers, plant three types of mint as outlined in the diagram. Plant along the outer edge of the container, and allow 4-6 inches of space between the different types of mint. It will quickly fill in to create a full circle.

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When you have planted the three individual pots, transport them to a sunny location in your yard and stack to create the graduated tower.


GROW IN THE KNOW Mint is known for being a plant that spreads quickly and will even spill out from containers. To keep it in check, harvest the leaves regularly and pull out any wayward fingers of the plant.

12 | Container Gardens


Container 1: 24â&#x20AC;? pot

Sweet Mint, Chocolate Mint, Spearmint

Container 2: 18" pot

Onion Chives, Lemon Thyme, Thai Basil, Boxwood Basil

Container 3: 14" pot Lavender



Lemon Thyme Thai Basil Boxwood Basil Onion Chives

Sweet Mint Chocolate Mint Spearmint







Jenny Peterson of J. Peterson Garden Design


is a garden designer, blogger and author living in Austin, Texas. She began writing three and a half years ago with her blog, J. Peterson Garden Design. Here, she shares design tips, DIY projects, healthy living ideas and recipes from the garden. She loves to make gardening accessible, and is passionate about using it as a way of connecting to the world around her. Her recent creation, the Herb Tower Container Garden, was a winning entry in an edible container garden challenge held by P. Allen Smith and Bonnie Plants.

13 | Container Gardens


SUMMER staples


o matter the size of your garden, there are a few must-haves on almost everyone’s list. For many people, these include tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and basil. It’s no wonder they are so popular, since with just these four simple ingredients you can create numerous salads and side dish options. Here’s how to get started growing the staples in your container garden.

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For the first three containers ( tomatoes, basil and bell pepper), fill your container half to 2/3 of the way full with premium quality potting mix and place the plants in the soil. Add potting mix to fill the remainder of the container and anchor the plants. The plants should be planted at the depth indicated on each stick tag. Insert a cage or stake for support at planting time. As the tomato and pepper plants grow, secure the stems to the support.

In the same manner, plant the cucumbers in a fourth container. You’ll need to include a trellis in the pot to give vines plenty of room to spread out and mature. This feature will also add height to your grouping. All of these containers need lots of sun, so place in an area that gets at least six to eight hours per day. Make sure they have proper drainage and air circulation to help them thrive. Give them at least 1-inch of water per week, keeping the soil moist at all times.


GROW IN THE KNOW Cucumbers were referred to as “cowcumbers” in 18th and 19th century England. In fact, the well-known novelist Charles Dickens often referenced them by this name in his literary works.

14 | Container Gardens





Container 1: 24" pot

Mid-sized Determinate Tomato

Container 2: 16" pot Bell Pepper

Container 3: 14" pot

Mid-sized Determinate Tomato

Greek Columnar Basil

Container 4: 16" pot Cucumber

Bell Pepper

Greek Columnar Basil

15 | Container Gardens


P. Allen Smithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s


16 | Container Gardens



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GROW IN THE KNOW You can maintain these same herbs in an indoor garden by practicing light feeding, being careful not overwater, placing the container in a sunny location, and being sure to repot each year. 17 | Container Gardens

P. Allen Smith’s




ooking to bring a little flavor into your kitchen? A window box filled with German thyme, lemon thyme, parsley, sage and rosemary provides a variety of savory flavors to season everything from roasted new potatoes to grilled chicken. This grouping’s mix of textures and fragrant aromas is sure to excite the senses. What’s more, the convenience of a window box means the herbs will always be close at hand. To plant the container, begin by filling it 2/3 full with premium quality potting mix. Plant rosemary, sage and parsley plants (one each) along the back of the window box as shown in the diagram. Next, fill in the front and sides with two lemon thyme plants and two German thyme plants. Fill in the remaining areas with potting mix and press down to anchor the plants. Place the box in a sunny location and water regularly. Harvest the leaves by clipping the stems with garden shears or scissors. LEMON THYME





Rosemary Sage

Parsley German Thyme Lemon Thyme Container 1: 16" x 4" window box Lemon Thyme, German Thyme, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary

18 | Container Gardens

O & planting



Edibles G

et ready for beautiful fall color—and a few delicious edibles as well. This container combines dark blue-green kale and vivid green parsley with pansies, one of fall’s favorite ornamentals. For a savory fall dish, harvest the kale and cook with bacon. Use the parsley and pansies for a garnish that also happens to be edible. Fill the container 2/3 full with premium quality potting mix. Place the plants in the container as shown in the diagram, and add additional potting mix to cover the root systems and fill in the container. Set the container in an area that receives at least six hours of daily sunlight for best results. Harvest the kale and parsley as needed (being sure to keep them trimmed for the best results) and enjoy the color throughout the season. Container 1: 16" pot Lacinato Kale, Curled Parsley, Pansies


Lacinato Kale

Curled Parsley


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GROW IN THE KNOW Lacinato kale is sometimes referred to as dinosaur kale. The bumpy texture of its leaves is said to resemble dinosaur’s skin.

19 | Container Gardens

20 | Container Gardens

Edible Container Gardens  

Growing big in small spaces

Edible Container Gardens  

Growing big in small spaces