Beginner’s Guide to Growing an Edible Garden

edible gardening

Are you ready to grow your own edible garden? There are many benefits to growing fresh vegetables and herbs right at home. It is a great way to save the time and money spent running to the grocery store, it will help you relax and connect with nature, and freshly picked vegetables have a richer taste and a better nutritional value. Plus, you don’t need a lot of outdoor space to grow vegetables and herbs! Create an edible container garden for healthy eating.

Unsure of where to start? Here are some tips to help you start an edible garden and grow with success!


Organic Gardening for Your Favorite Ethnic Cuisine

growing food for ethic cuisine

One of the coolest parts of vegetable gardens is that you can grow exactly what you want! You know what you like to eat and what you need. Try planning a garden around your favorite cuisines so you will always have easy access to fresh and delicious ingredients.



Enjoy the fresh flavors of Italy on every pasta night and create an edible Italian garden. Herbs and vegetables are a staple in any Italian recipe. At Calloway’s and Cornelius, we have a vast selection of Chef Jeff’s® Vegetables to suit your taste buds.

tomato plants

Tomatoes are essential to any Italian dish and a vegetable garden must have. They are used in sauces, on pizza, or in a refreshing caprese. Roma Plum tomatoes are a popular and useful variety. They have a thick, meaty flesh with fewer seeds which makes them ideal for cooking. They have vigorous compact vines that are ideal for growing in small space gardens and patios. San Marzano Tomatoes are an Italian classic. They are an heirloom variety that originated from the Campania region of Italy. They are one of the best paste tomatoes. San Marzano has a tart flavor, firm pulp, minimal seeds, and easily removed skin.

vegetables for italian themed garden

There are many other common vegetable garden plants to utilize in your Italian garden. Eggplants are the heart of many tasty dishes including eggplant parmesan, caponata, and pizza. It is a high-fiber, low-calorie food that pairs well with many ingredients.

Zucchini and Squash are sometimes referred to as “Italian squash”. They have thin skin and can be eaten raw or cooked. The best part of these vegetables is the squash flowers which are a popular addition to many meals.

Peppers are another important element that adds a tasty kick and extra flavor. Bell Peppers adds gorgeous color and you can roast them to make antipasti.

italian herbs

Herbs are important to Italian cooking and used it most dishes. When planning your edible garden, include these 7 basic staples to ensure all your favorite recipes are covered.

  1. Basil
  2. Oregano
  3. Thyme
  4. Sage
  5. Parsley
  6. Rosemary
  7. Marjoram


salsa garden

There is something special about freshly made salsa or perfectly cooked vegetables for your fajitas. Make your favorite Tex-Mex meals even better with homegrown vegetables.

salsarific vegetables

Chef Jeff’s Salsarific™ collection has you covered. They are the best things to plant in a garden for this type of cuisine. Take your homemade salsa up a notch with fresh Tomatoes or Tomatillos. Tomatillos add a fruity flavor to salsa and guacamole, and they are high in vitamins C and K.

Get spicy in your garden with Peppers! Plant Jalapeno, Poblano, and Serrano Peppers to use other dishes like stews, chili, or in mole sauce.

mexican herbs

When creating your salsa garden, remember your herbs! This ethnic cuisine is about creating as much flavor as possible, try these 6 essential herbs for a better tasting meal.

  1. Cilantro
  2. Mexican Oregano
  3. Thyme
  4. Rosemary
  5. Parsley
  6. Marjoram


asian food

People are cooking more Asian cuisine than ever before! From Thai to Chinese, we love the spicy flavors and fresh ingredients. Create a delicious stir fry or bold curries with the right vegetables and herbs.

vegetables for asian cuisine

Start with spice and plant peppers! Try the Hungarian Hot Wax peppers from Chef Jeff’s® or make things insanely hot with the Trinidad Scorpion Pepper.

Eggplant is important for your Asian-themed garden. In fact, it originated from Asia and is used in almost every type of dish. They can be stewed, grilled, made into chutneys, and more! Okra is a popular choice for Thai dishes. It is used as a thickener in soups or can be sauteed. Long beans like the Black Wax Pencil Pod from Chef Jeff’s® can be found in many Chinese dishes or stir-fries.


Complete your meals with fresh herbs. Try planting these 4 essential options in your garden.

  1. Mint
  2. Basil
  3. Cilantro
  4. Chives


Container Gardening for Small Space Edible Gardens

small space gardening

Do you have limited outdoor space? No problem! Start a small space garden with edible container gardens. This is a fantastic method for beginner gardeners and it allows you to have flexibility as to where your garden is located. Using vertical space or edible container garden accessories for a complete look, you can have a thriving garden in no time!


tomatoes in pots

Tomatoes are a summer garden must have in Texas. Provide them with full sun and regular water and they will treat you to delicious, juicy fruits. Choose a large container when planting tomatoes. They have a large root system. For dwarf, vine, or bushy varieties, use a 3–5-gallon pot and use one plant per pot.


Okra has an earthy taste like no other vegetable and they thrive in edible containers. They have delicate foliage with showy blooms which makes it a fine choice for an ornamental touch. For growing Okra, choose a planter that is at least 10-12 inches wide and deep.


Eggplant, also known as aubergine, is one of the best vegetables to grow in pots. It will grow effortlessly in our warm Texas weather. Eggplants love evenly moist soil and growing edible container gardens allows you to control moisture levels effectively. They require a large pot that is at least 12 inches deep per plant.


Cucumbers can be grown in medium to large pots. In fact, both bush and vining varieties do well in containers. Pick a planter that is 14-18 inches wide and deep for the best results.


Bell Peppers and Chili Peppers are great edible plants to grow in pots. They add a little spice and color to your small space garden display. For Bell Peppers use a planter that is at least 10-12 inches deep and wide. You can grow 2-3 plants at a time. For Chili Peppers, a 5-gallon pot is ideal for a single plant.


Zucchini and Squash are summer staples. They love full sunlight and are highly productive in edible container gardens. Plant one of these warm-weather crops in a large 12-14 inch deep container.


Beans really are a magical fruit. Both bush and pole beans thrive in edible containers. Use a standard 3–4-inch container and space each plant 3-4 inches apart.



Herbs are easy edible plants to grow in pots. In fact, they perform best in containers and can even thrive in your kitchen on a sunny windowsill. You can plant multiple herbs into one edible container garden and then show it off in fabulous pottery.

herb garden

Placing your herb container gardens around your vegetables will benefit the health of your plants and promote healthier growth. Companion planting is helpful to deter pests and attract beneficial pollinators.

Basil can ward off flies and mosquitoes. Parsley blooms and Dill can attract pollinators. Chives and their strong smell repel a range of pests that might bother your Tomato plants. Mint keeps ants and cabbage moths away.

small space edible gardens

Growing edible gardens is fun. Take your display to the next level with colorful pottery. At Calloway’s and Cornelius, we have a vast selection of premium planters for all your gardening needs! Choose decorative designs or try stylish plastic pottery from Bloem® or Japi! These containers are made for lasting durability, and they are extremely lightweight.

For more tips on small space gardening, visit our blog here!


Care Tips for Growing Edible Container Gardens

When planting, use Calloway’s Organic Container Potting Soil for all your edible container gardens. Our organic potting soil is made with water-saving ingredients. The organic ingredients include composted rice hulls, pine bark, earthworm castings, and peat moss to provide good aeration. This helps promote rapid root growth.  Other beneficial ingredients feed your plants and improve their overall health, naturally.

watering herbs

Maintaining a proper watering schedule is a must. Containers dry out quickly, unlike plants in the ground. Vegetables need water to produce their fruit, especially when they will spend all day in the bright Texas sun!

organic plant food

Feed your plants to help them thrive. Try Espoma® Organic® Garden-tone® Herb & Vegetable Food. It is a natural and organic granular fertilizer that gives a long-lasting, slow-release feeding.

For your herb gardens, try Jobe’s® Organics® Herb Plant Food Spikes. They are pre-measured with nutrients that herbs need. These mess-free spikes nourish the plants at their roots.

tomato plant

Don’t forget your important edible container garden accessories. Heavy fruit bearing plants need support. Plant them with a garden stake or tomato cage so they can have the support they need as they grow. Our Galvanized Heavy Duty Tomato Cage gives your tomatoes and other sprawling vine and top- heavy plants adequate room to flourish while keeping them secure.

Always keep your plant tags for easy access to proper plant care and needs. This will help you keep track of the varieties you are growing and how to keep them thriving.


Shop with Ease

picking tomatoes

At Calloway’s and Cornelius, we are here for all your edible gardening needs! Visit us today and explore our entire collection of seasonal blooms, fantastic pottery, indoor plants, fresh vegetables, and so much more! Shop one of our 28 neighborhood stores, serving our loyal customers for over 35 years.

Have questions? Ask our Texas Certified Nursery Professionals; they are here to help!






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