Grow Your Own

Sep 6, 2011
Outside Magazine
Herb Garden

Herb garden to go.    Photo: Kim Love/Flickr

The key to maximizing garden production in a city: small pots equal big yields. Here, Colin McCrate, co-owner of the garden-design firm Seattle Urban Farm Company, dispenses advice on what to plant.

1. Salad greens. Fresh-picked arugula, spinach, and mustard greens can add kick to a store-bought salad. They grow fast in the cooler spring months, allowing you to reuse pots for hot summer plants.

2. Tomatoes. One or two plants is enough. "Cherry tomatoes are the best way to start," McCrate says. "They're the most vigorous, highest-yielding crops you can get." Go with Sun Gold for the plumpest results.

3. Beans. To avoid stringing bean poles, get the bush variety. They produce a ton.

4. Herbs. Most grow quickly and thrive in containers. Basil is a great producer, but be sure to buy it as a transplant rather than starting with seeds. Add oregano, rosemary, and thyme to turn your planter into a traditional Italian mix.