I've only been using our container vegetable garden for about 2 years. I'm always wondering and researching what plants to grow next. Last year, most plants were starter plants either from the market or from our local Lowe's store. Some came from seed packets. This year, I decided to grow everything from seed. Piper helped me pick out our seed packets back in December. We picked the following plants to grow: broccoli, asparagus, black seeded Simpson green lettuce, rainbow swiss chards, eggplants and cauliflower.
So far, I'd say the seeds have done wonderfully. I say this because I just started with the same soil that was used last year. Yes, I should have added more potting soil and I will definitively do that when I start my next bed. I'm what you might call a "hands off" gardener. I am not good at watering the container garden every day. It's too much pressure, and honestly I don't have the time. Even my daughters had to chime in when I planted new seeds and didn't water them right away. I figured, it was a watering day, so the sprinklers would water them soon enough. I also do not add fertilizers or pesticides to my container bed. If it's going to grow, it will grow. That's my motto.
I've had great success with the Black Seeded Simpson Green Lettuce. The Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce is very tender with a beautiful green color and has a nice taste. It's an early lettuce, so it will take about 45 days or less to grow from seed. Since planting it back in December, I've harvested it twice. Both times, I filled up 1 1/2 one-gallon ziploc bags.
Another great plant to grow in your backyard garden container is the Rainbow Swiss Chard. I grew these from starter plants last year and was so successful, I decided to grow them from seed this year. Not only does Swiss chard taste amazing, the beautiful mixture of fuscia, gold, orange and red looks wonderful in any garden. The leaves will mature into bunches in about 50 to 60 days. I harvested mine a few weeks back when we had a cold front coming in and I was able to fill up 1 one-gallon ziploc bag.
The broccoli plants are looking really good. They have grown about a foot and a half and have the most beautiful grayish blue green color. Broccoli takes 50 to 60 days to mature, so mine should be coming up soon. The cauliflower plants are also doing pretty good, but they have only grown about a foot. Cauliflower matures in 50 to 70 days, so I have a bit of time to go. As for the eggplant seeds we planted, those have not come up. I believe they didn't survive.
The most interesting seed packet out of this bunch is the asparagus. We decided to grow it mostly out of curiosity. These cute little "fuzzy trees" started coming up and I couldn't figure out if it was asparagus or just some weed. After searching through Google, I think I have some asparagus seedlings growing! Let's keep our fingers crossed and maybe in two years, I'll actually be able to harvest it.
Here are some good sources to help you decide what plants to grow: