You may not have a sprawling backyard or even a medium-sized balcony or patio, but growing delicious, nutritious food is still possible! As the grow-your-own movement catches on around the world, so is the trend of micro food gardening, and in many cases, all you need is a sunny windowsill and some small pots to make it happen!
What’s A Micro Edible?
A micro veggie, fruit, or herb is any plant that is 18 inches or smaller by the time it reaches harvest.
Many compact and dwarf varieties of plants are available today that can accommodate people living in urban areas or small spaces.
These tiny plants not only yield a surprising amount of food but also look great when placed in a selection of cute containers.
I’m a big fan of the Orange Hat and Micro-Tom tomato varieties, both of which max out at about 8” tall. Despite their small size, they’re prolific, and you’ll be enjoying sweet, baby cherry tomatoes all season long!
Where To Find Micro Edibles
You’ll likely have an easier time finding micro fruits and vegetables in seed catalogs. Still, well-stocked nurseries and garden centers will also have at least a small selection of compact edibles.
Look for labels that indicate the plant grows well in containers, and then look to see how big it will grow.
Micro Varieties To Try
- ‘Little Prince’ eggplant
- ‘Redskin Patio Bell’ pepper, ‘Purple Jalapeno’, or ‘Pizza My Heart’ bell pepper
- ‘Early Girl’ or ‘Patio’ tomatoes
- ‘Patio Pik’ cucumber
- ‘Bibb’ or ‘Merlot” lettuce
- ‘Cherry Belle’ radish
- Mini Cabbage
- Bok Choy
- Any microgreen
- Any herb
Choosing Containers and Placement
Whether plastic, terra-cotta, glazed, or fabric, there are many different types of pots that suit different tastes and needs.
Select something in the one to five-gallon range, depending on the plant. The Orange Hat tomato, for example, does perfectly well in a two-gallon or 6-inch pot. The same applies to ‘Patio Pik’ cucumbers.
Place the micro veggies, fruits, or herbs in a sunny spot, and somewhere that’s well-traveled so you don’t forget about it. Daily observation and care are critical!
Micro Gardening Resources
If you’re looking for a great read on growing micro edibles, check out Micro Food Gardening: Project Plans and Plants for Growing Fruits and Veggies in Tiny Spaces by Jen McGuinness.