12 Most Versatile Vegetables & Herbs Every Container Gardener Must Grow

Sheri Dorn is a versatile homesteader and culinary artist with a strong focus on organic and heirloom gardening. Holding a Master's degree in Culinary Arts, she combines her love for cooking and gardening in a unique way. Sheri is an active contributor to online gardening communities and enjoys quality outdoor time with her family and pets.
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Whether you’ve got a big backyard garden or a small balcony container garden, these Versatile Vegetables & Herbs are must grow and used in every cuisine.

Even if you don’t have a backyard to start a full-fledged garden, you can start a small “urban garden” by growing vegetables and herbs on your patio or balcony with a few simple supplies. A few pots, some potting soil, and plant seedlings or seeds are really all you need.

Just imagine how good it would be if you were able to harvest homegrown juicy tomatoes and fresh basil leaves instead of buying tasteless tomatoes and shriveled basil from your local grocery store.

All these versatile herbs and vegetables in this list are most commonly used in almost all cuisines. You can grow them and utilize them fresh in your breakfast, lunch, or dinner recipes.


1. Basil

A sweet must be a part of your herb garden. As nothing is better than fresh basil sprinkled on a homemade marinara sauce, homemade pizza, or Caprese salad. You can also add it to soups, dips, and curries. Learn how to grow basil here.

2. Rosemary

Any devout carnivore will agree that a sprig of rosemary can turn a great steak into the most amazing and flavorful steak. The flavor is simply out of this world. If you haven’t tried lamb or steak with a rosemary skewer, add it to your to-do list.

3. Cilantro

One of the most powerful herbs, but for anyone who loves homemade salsa (tomato or mango) or enjoys authentic Mexican & Indian food, cilantro is a must grow. No Indian curry can be complete without it, and you can also garnish your salad with it or make a chutney.

Also Read: How to Grow Cilantro in a Pot

4. Oregano

most versatile vegetables and herbs

No self-sufficient Italian cook can survive without a readily available source of fresh oregano. A must-have for anyone who regularly makes their own homemade pasta sauces. But you should know there are different species of oregano (e.g., Mexican, Greek, Italian) so make your selection based on the type of foods you cook most often.

Also Read: How to Create an Italian Container Garden

5. Chives

For that perfect blend of raw onion like taste without the crunch, chives add a level of subtle flavor that most people can’t quite figure out. Goes great with garlic mashed potatoes. Also, is one of the easiest to grow herbs, which grows well in small pots.

6. Parsley

You can grow either Italian or Flat-leaf parsley or Curl-leaf parsley, or both, according to your food choice. The flat-leaf parsley has a more strong flavor and mostly used in Italian cooking, in Pasta and Pesto recipes. Whereas, curl-leaf is mild and less flavorful and used for garnishing and salad dressing. Here’s more about growing parsley.

7. Mint

You can even grow mint indoors on a windowsill. This aromatic herb needs a few hours of direct sunlight and slightly moist soil all the time. Mint taste awesome when used for yogurt dressing and on cucumber salad. Mint pestos, chutneys, and dips are already famous. It’s also used in smoothies, juices, and many Asian recipes.

Also Read: Creative and Trendy Container Garden


8. Mesclun

The mixture of assorted salad greens is called Mesclun. Grow them together in a wide container or bowl; a window box would be fine. For this, purchase mesclun seed mix or make your own by adding seeds of your choice like lettuce, mustard, arugula, mizuna, cress, or spinach; the list is long.

It’s extremely easy to use a pair of scissors to snip off a bowl of mesclun, give it a rinse, and in 5 minutes or less, you’ve got a healthy dinner ready to go after you add some goat cheese and walnuts. If you clip off the top 2/3 of the plant, it regrows within a few weeks, so it basically does all the work for you after you plant the seeds.

Also Read: How to Create a Salad Bowl Garden

9. Bell Peppers

Bell peppers (green, yellow, or red) are a popular ingredient in many recipes. In salads, noodles, pasta, pizza, soups, and curries you can’t miss their role, and if you start counting the recipes that require them, on the web, your research will not be complete soon. We must agree they’re a must grow vegetable on your balcony and growing them is not difficult.

10. Tomatoes

Tomatoes, how could we miss them. The most favorite vegetable (or fruit) of many and most used as well. Homegrown tomatoes taste so good that much that you can’t explain unless you experience. They’re one of the productive container vegetables but need some care, a regular dose of fertilizer, and water. All the essential tips on growing tomatoes in containers are here.

11. Scallions/Spring Onions/Green Onions

12 Most Versatile Vegetables & Herbs Every Container Gardener Must Grow

One more in this list of most versatile vegetables and herbs! Depending on where you live, these great little onions can have multiple names. They are a cinch to grow if you’ll follow this article. Use them in various dishes like omelets and scrambled eggs. Add the chopped leaves to salads, pasta, noodles, naans, etc.

Also Read: Easy Container Vegetables for Balcony

12. Hot Peppers

If you love spicy food and want to add some zing to your food. Don’t miss the chili plants. The hotness and size of the hot pepper fruits depend on the varieties you’re growing. You can enjoy the chilies in many recipes. Learn how to grow it here.

Just by growing these 12 versatile vegetables and herbs, you’ll be able to prepare a variety of meals and salad recipes.

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