Did you know that miniature vegetables don’t require any special care? They only need what other ordinary varieties require: good soil, sufficient water, nutrient, and light. Miniature or dwarf vegetables are not only cute but planting dwarf versions might give you the room that you need to squeeze in more vegetables.
Many vegetables that grow in soil can be grown in a pot or container. Container vegetable gardening is ideal for small spaces, balconies and it also has many advantages. You can easily control the growing conditions by moving the plants to a new place and the soil moisture is also better than open ground. Not to mention the problems with slugs and snails that you would have to deal with outdoors.
Consider these cute midgets for side-dishes, stir-fries and salads, they will look lovely on the plate! TOP Inspired have selected ten miniature vegetable crops that are well suited for containers. Try it now or next spring time!
Purple Dwarf French Beans
Try this funky looking purple dwarf bean variety. It grows 20 inches (50 cm) high and grows more quickly than other beans. The seeds germinate in 7-10 days, and you will have beans to harvest in 10 weeks. Make sure to use rich, well-drained potting soil and choose a sunny place. Dwarf bean is a compact habit plant that don’t need staking like runner beans or peas.
Miniature Bell Pepper
These miniature bell peppers are deliciously sweet, excellent in salads, on veggie platters, stuffed with cream cheese or eaten whole. They grow 2 1/2 inches wide by 1 1/4 inches long. There are yellow, red orange and chocolate color varieties available. The plant will grow around 35cm (14in), ideal for patio or indoor as well.
The compact growing variety is great for containers. The tennis ball sized glossy, black fruits are not only cute but tasty as well. The plant grows about 18-24 inches tall and it needs a warm sunny place. You can harvest the beautiful oval fruits 60-65 days from transplant. There is also white type of egg plants available with very sweet fruits that are good for short season locations and ready in 72 days.
Being a cold weather crop, kale is the most reliable, nutritious winter vegetable. They are attractive little plants with an abundance of coloured leaves, which are ideal for stir frying, salads and juices. While cold weather is kale’s preference, you can actually grow it during any season. Kales have incredibly high nutritional values and they are also very easy to grow. The growth time from transplanting to harvesting is around 55-65 days.
Baby beetroots are wonderful because you can use the whole plant. The fresh and tender leaves are tasty, make great salads or stir fries. The roots can be used same way as the regular beets but you don’t need to chop them. Roast them whole or pickle them, they are sweet and delicious. Beetroot grows well in pots and containers, including window boxes. It is easy to grow, and can be sown directly into moist ground from March to July. Make sure to thin the seedlings to about 3-4cm apart. This way you will have beautiful colorful beetroot from May to September to harvest!
The short-rooted baby carrots do very well in pots. Once the seeds are sown (sow it thinly 2-3 cm apart) make sure to keep the soil damp. Two months later you can harvest the sweet and crispy carrots! Try the variety called ‘Babette’. It can be harvested at 3-4” (7-10 cm). If you want, allow to grow larger but make sure to pick the suitable pot size. These mini carrots are deliciously rich you can serve them whole as well.
Cabbage is a fall vegetable meaning that it grows best in cooler temperatures of spring and fall. The best temperatures are 50-70º (10-22º C) to grow them. Cabbage needs plenty of water and most varieties can handle light frosts. We recommend these miniature cabbages for bigger containers on the balcony. You can plant them 12-18 inches apart, and harvest tender 1-2 pound heads.
Homegrown tomatoes and what we can buy in supermarkets are worlds apart and can’t be compared. It is very easy to grow your own tomatoes. Try the Micro Tom variety, the smallest tomato plant in the world, it grows only 4-7″ high and it is very productive – a 6″ plant can produce up to a couple dozen fruits. You can grow it in a 4-6″ pot on the windowsill. What tomatoes need is some sun, some fertilizer, regular watering and you to to be around when the tomatoes ripen!
Ball Shaped Courgette
Courgettes or zucchinis produce particularly well in containers. You can plant them into large terracotta pots – two plants in one pot and harvest the cute grapefruit size, dark green round fruits. Its bush habit makes it suitable for smaller areas or container growing. They are perfect for stuffed courgettes recipes as the shape is ideal.
While Cucamelons are not the miniature version of watermelons, they are still tiny and cute. They taste like a slightly tangy cucumber. Perfect is salads, salsa or pickled as well. Although slow starters, cucamelons will grow up to ten feet so make sure to provide a trellis or wire in order to get beautiful thin vines. Click here for our tips on how to grow your own cucamelon!