Vegetable gardens often have a reputation for being bland or ugly, which is why so many aspiring gardeners choose to leave fruits and vegetables out of their outdoor planters. But besides providing you with a tasty and healthy snack, these productive plants can also be beautiful with the right planning and attention. These are four tips to help you enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables from your planters while still maintaining the appearance of your yard.
Layering Your Plants by Height
Just like with flower planters, layering your vegetables will create a richer and more complex look than plopping a single tomato plant into a pot. Choose short plants that don't need much space to ring the outer edge of your planter, such as lettuce, carrots, radishes or beets. Taller plants like peppers, herbs or tomatoes should be placed in the center, where they won't block light but will still be prominent. Depending on the size of your planter, you may even be able to fit in a mix of small-, medium- and large-sized plants within the same container.
Incorporating Edible Flowers
It can be difficult to keep fruit and vegetable planters colorful, but there are certain flowers that are both delicious, attractive and prolific. Dill, nasturtiums, begonias, marigolds and chives all have edible flowers and are small enough to grow in a planter. Always double check that any species of flowers you buy are in fact edible before consuming them.
Planning for Foliage and Colors
When choosing fruits or vegetables, particularly from seeds, keep in mind the colors and foliage they will bring to the planter. Bright pepper mixes are a popular option for containers because of their vibrant fruits, delicate flowers and broad leaves. If you buy peppers that will mature into red, orange and yellow fruits, pick the other plants in the planter to complement these tones. Blueberry bushes, rosemary, carrots, cilantro, strawberries and tomatoes are also popular options for anyone looking to add a little color and texture to a vegetable garden.
Choosing Elegant Planters
Of course, the actual plants make up only half of a planter, and the second half can significantly impact the overall appearance of your garden. When buying large outdoor planters online, choose elegant designs that will underscore the greens of the foliage. Rustic-style planters made from wood or woven like a basket are particularly charming when paired with edible plants. By keeping your plants groomed and healthy and choosing the right mix of seeds or starts beforehand, you can create a vegetable garden that any landscaping enthusiast would envy.
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