Grow these 22 best Green Leafy Vegetables in Containers in your balcony or patio for the supply of fresh homegrown salad greens!
Who can resist fresh and organic, homegrown leafy greens in the salad? Grow them in your apartment without the garden.
Also Read: Growing Tomatoes in Containers
The rich, hearty flavor of crispy young spinach leaves lends well to salads, both cooked and raw. And the best part, growing spinach in pots is one of the easiest things.
How to Grow: Check out our spinach growing guide here.
This popular low-calorie vegetable is good to go in your salads. It’s good for weight watchers and helps in improving digestion; celery is a member of the same family that includes carrots, parsnips, and parsley.
How to Grow: Like other green vegetables, celery is also not difficult to grow. Choose a bowl or a planter that is at least 8 inches deep. Keep the soil moist and regularly feed with liquid fertilizer.
Also Read: How to Grow Herbs in Tin Can
3. Swiss Chard
A close cousin of the beetroots, Swiss chard has glossy green leaves borne on vivid leaf stalks that are stunning to look and good to eat. The delicate baby leaves can be used to brighten up the salads, while the mature ones can be tossed in soups; their crispy stalks are an attractive addition to stir-fries.
How to Grow: Chard benefits from full sun, so place it in a spot where it’s likely to receive at least 6-8 hours of sunlight, especially in climates where the sun is not intense.
4. Chicory, Belgian Endive
Chicory and Belgian endive are different cultivars of the same plant Cichorium intybus (Botanical name). If you appreciate the slightly bitter flavor, chicory is must grow and can be enjoyed in salads, soups, and dips.
How to Grow: Chicory is a cool weather crop and can be grown in early spring and spring. If the summers are cool in your area, keep growing it till fall. If you live in a climate where winter is not harsh, grow it in winter and early spring. As you’re growing chicory for its leaves, choose a shallow pot and keep the growing medium slightly moist all the time.
The most beloved leafy green of health freaks, kale is used to add color, texture, and nutrition to meals. Its thick, dark-green leaves are fortified with vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
How to Grow: The best part, it’s very easy to grow in your balcony or patio and even indoors. You can plant up to 2 kale plants in a standard 12 inches (5-gallon) pot and move it easily around in the shade or out of the cold in winter. In fact, growing kale indoors is a great way to ensure a fresh supply of this delicious green all year long.
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Radicchio is also a type of chicory, a variety of Cichorium intybus, also known as Italian chicory. This bitter-tasting vegetable is a favorite of salad lovers, and it’s not difficult to see why. Its striking deep garnet leaves add a unique color to salads, while its pungent flavor is often used to offset the sweetness of other ingredients.
How to Grow: Growing it is similar to lettuce as both belong to the daisy family. Start the radicchio seeds in spring and again in summer for the fall harvest. You can also plant it in mid-fall for winter harvest if you’re keeping it indoors or in a protective balcony environment. As radicchio is a cool weather crop, begin planting radicchio in late fall and winter in hot climates.
7. Mustard Greens
Though not an appealing option for kids, mustard green is one of the healthiest foods you can put on your salad platter. Its attractive red or green foliage and deliciously succulent stems make it suitable as a core ingredient for any recipe that calls for pungent mustard taste and low calories.
How to Grow: Surprisingly, mustard greens are very tolerant of frost and heat, and remarkably easy to grow in pots, indoors or outdoors. Get a shallow 6 to 8 inches deep pot; a window box would be fine, fill it with regular potting mix with a lot of organic matter.
Native to Japan, this petite mustard green is very decorative in salads, a suitable candidate for container gardening. The pointy-serrated leaves come with impressive health benefits that rejuvenate your body from deep within.
How to Grow: Mizuna adopts a compact growth form and takes less than 40 days to mature. It doesn’t demand much besides full sun to part sun and moderate drainage and grows well in 6-8 inches deep pots. It grows just like spinach so you can sow the seeds in early spring to enjoy its mild peppery serrated leaves in summer.
9. Endive and Escarole
Endive and escarole are the members of the chicory family. They share the same botanical name–Cichorium endivia. Endive has a curly and prickly texture with a crisp and slightly bitter flavor. Whereas, escarole has a more broad and flat leaf, comparatively less curly and bitter than endive with a hint of nutty flavor.
How to Grow: Start these bitter greens in containers for a quick summer harvest. While endive is quite tolerant of temperature fluctuations, it thrives best in moderately cool conditions.
A celebrated member of the mustard family, watercress features crisp, small leaves that are characterized by a dark green color and pungent, peppery flavor. It’s really healthy when you toss it in salads. This Epicurious.com article is a good read if you want to learn how to eat watercress.
How to Grow: The secret of growing this super healthy plant is to keep it in part shade and give it regular water. Regular trimming, good drainage, and optimal potting mix are all factors that encourage new growth and help your watercress thrive in pots.
Also known as rocket or roquette, arugula carries rich peppery flavor that is often used to spice up a light salad or garnish other meals. This popular green features flat and fuzzy leaves that are rich in vitamin K and vitamin B complex. They are ideal for people suffering from anemia and gastrointestinal problems.
How to Grow: Growing arugula in pots is an easy task. You can grow it almost every climate, though planting time may differ. Make sure to use a quality potting soil and keep it moist but not wet. Also, space out the plants 4-6 inches apart, when they grow a bit tall. Start harvesting the mature greens after six weeks. Arugula performs well in moderate conditions and bolts rather quickly in sultry weather.
Also Read: How to Begin a Salad Bowl Garden
12. Collard Green
A cruciferous vegetable related to kale, collard green is a staple in many Southern dishes. It’s prized for its crunchy texture and pungent taste that is often used to lend sophistication to bland meals.
How to Grow: Collard greens perform well in containers in partial sunlight. If you are planting during summer, don’t forget to move it to a shaded spot during the hot afternoon.
Also Read: How to Start a Container Vegetable Garden
With colorful, profuse blooms, the nasturtium plant paints a pretty picture, but don’t go by its appearance alone. This seemingly delicate salad green is a born survivor and literally thrives on neglect.
How to Grow: As long as you place it in full sun and supply enough water, it stays healthy and growing. Nasturtiums prefer poor soils, and detest fertilizers, so you can easily grow them in your kitchen garden and pluck a few leaves and flowers to decorate your salads.
Also Read: 13 Best Edible Flowers
14. Dandelion Greens
A hardy and humble garden weed, dandelion is edible from root to flower. As a leafy green, it can be grown in containers throughout the year for a continuous harvest. Dandelions are hardy in USDA zones 3-11.
How to Grow: Being inherently invasive and quick to establish, this perennial plant survives in neglect and poor soil, although it needs a lot of sunlight to thrive. You can choose a small 8 inches deep pot to grow it.
Also Read: Best Edible Weed
15. Broccoli Rabe
No, this is not another name for broccoli. Broccoli rabe got that name due to its dark green florets, which resemble those of broccoli. As a cool season crop, it thrives best in spring and fall.
How to Grow: While it does tolerate partial shade, it shows vigorous growth in full sun, so it’s best you place it in the porch or deck. While it’s not a stickler for water, it does demand moist, nitrogen-rich soil to develop its full potential.
16. Brussels Sprouts
With an appearance of miniature cabbage, Brussels Sprouts are flavor-packed and rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, as well as antioxidants. This vegetable can be an interesting addition to your salad platter.
How to Grow: Growing Brussels sprouts in a pot is not difficult. For every information, check out our detailed growing guide here.
17. Bok Choy
Bok choy or pak choi is a delicious leafy green that belongs to the cabbage family. It’s thick long white stems and glossy green leaves are enriched with folate, carotenoids, and calcium. Nascent bok choy is a delectable addition in salad and also makes for a scrumptious coleslaw.
This crispy salad green is packed with vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber that make it perfect for people who have kidney problems and nervous disorders. You can also grow it indoors on the windowsill, here’s our article for that.
How to Grow: Growing lettuce in pots is the best way to harvest the freshest leaves in no time without a regular garden. Use shallow but wide planter. For growing lettuce in pots, read our detailed article here.
Also Read: 8 Vertical Garden Ideas for a Balcony
How can you miss sorrel, when we’re talking about growing salad greens? A popular ingredient in European cuisine, sorrel vanished from the culinary scene for hundreds of years. Now, this tart and tangy leafy green have found its way back in the kitchens and gardens.
How to Grow: Like other green leafy vegetables and herbs, sorrel is an easy choice for container gardeners. Grow it as an annual in a wide pot that is at least 8-10 inches deep. Keep the soil slightly moist, and maintain the sunlight by moving the container according to the temperature and intensity of sun–the main advantage of growing sorrel in a pot.
Purslane is actually an edible weed, which is often neglected and uprooted mercilessly by gardeners. It’s one of the healthiest green leafy vegetables. Surprisingly, the richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids in all the leafy greens and has more Vitamin E and Vitamin C than Spinach. You can toss it in salads or prepare a sumptuous curry.
How to Grow: There are obvious reasons why purslane is considered a weed. It’s very invasive and easy to grow. Check out this article to learn how to grow it in containers.
21. Mache (Corn Salad)
Mache, also known as corn salad has a bit sweet and nutty taste, nice addition with other salad greens. The delicate flavor and texture of leaves make it perfect for eating raw.
How to Grow: This cool-season crop grows quickly and gets ready for harvest as early as 40 days. To grow, get a tray or window box that is wide enough, 12-18 inches across and 6-10 inches deep. Provide it full sun but avoid the afternoon sunlight, if the weather is warm.
Fresh and crisp shredded cabbage can be the most delectable addition to your salad. The star of the budget and versatile salad recipes around the world is known for its crunchiness and peppery taste when raw.
How to Grow: You can grow cabbage in all the climates, but the planting time may differ. Also note, growing cabbage is not easy as compared to all the other vegetables in this list. Choose a standard 12 inches deep pot for planting. It’s fertilizer, and soil requirements are similar to cauliflower.
Also Read: How to Start a Salad Garden