Plant a one-pot vegetable garden

Get 3 classic dishes from a single planter

one pot garden

'Early Girl ' tomato, 'Purple Ruffles' basil, garlic chives, and jalapeño chiles all have a spot in our large galvanized planter.

Thomas J. Story

fresh gazpacho soup

Garden Gazpacho

Iain Bagwell; food styling by Kevin Crafts

roasted tomato sauce recipe

Garden Pot Papardelle

Iain Bagwell; food styling by Kevin Crafts

Bloody Mary recipe

Garden Bloody Mary

Iain Bagwell; food styling by Kevin Crafts

Not everyone has the room for a big edible garden. But even if you’re limited to a lone container, you can still enjoy a summer’s worth of homegrown produce—especially if you keep a few favorite dishes in mind while you’re planning.

Pick popular ingredients: When we tried this in Sunset’s test garden, we knew we’d want three summer standbys: pasta with tomatoes and basil, gazpacho, and Bloody Marys.

So we planted a galvanized water trough (purchased at a livestock feed store) with tomatoes, chile peppers, chives, and basil.

For more tips on choosing vegetables for your home garden, see our gallery of the 21 best crops to grow at home.

Leave enough space: Giving each plant enough room to grow is key. Use a large container with drainage holes, or drill your own; our trough measured roughly 2 feet tall by 2 feet wide by 3 feet long.

Get a good start: Set it in a location that gets six to eight hours of sun a day, and fill it with fresh potting mix.

After any chance of frost has passed, start plants from seedlings in 4-inch pots—we grew one tomato, one chile, three chives, and four basil plants—and keep soil evenly moist.

In just a few months, you’ll have enough produce for an endless combination of dishes.

Easy ways to enjoy your crops:

See more small-space kitchen gardening ideas in our small garden section.

 

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