Grow a Salad on Your Own Front Porch

By Ms. Natasha Haynes, MSU Extension Service

Choose container-friendly varieties of veggies and herbs that are naturally limited in size, or that are specifically cultivated for potting. Look for varieties described with words like:

  • Compact

  • Midget

  • Good for containers

  • Dwarf

  • Bush-type

  • Tiny

  • Baby vegetable

Plant your potted vegetables and herbs at the same time you plant your regular garden! Start with seeds or nursery transplants. Follow the spacing recommendations listed on the packets and in vegetable guides.


Moderate-sized containers, 8 to 18 inches in diameter, can hold:

- beans

- beets

- cabbage

- carrots

- corn

- cucumber

- eggplant

- lettuce

- onions

- peas

- peppers

- potatoes

- radishes

- spinach

- squash

- tomatoes

- basil

- chives

- oregano

- parsley

- rosemary

- sage

- tarragon

- thyme



To grow a salad, you will need:

  • A 16-inch terra-cotta pot

  • Sterilized potting soil

  • Rocks

  • Time-release fertilizer granules

  • One patio tomato starter plant or seed packet

  • One Italian parsley starter plant or seed packet

  • One sage starter plant or seed packet

  • One sweet basil starter plant or seed packet

  1. Fill your pot with potting soil mixed with fertilizer granules within 2 inches of the rim.

  2. Plant the tomato plant in the center of the pot. Make sure you place the plant deeper than it was in its original container. Pat the soil down firmly.

  3. Plant parsley at the back of the pot. Position it so the parsley has plenty of room and will not crowd the tomato as it grows.

  4. Plant basil opposite of the parsley in front of the pot. If you have several basil seedlings, plant the extras in other containers.

  5. Plant the sage on one side.

  6. Move your pot to its final location and water it well.

  7. Enjoy your herbs and tomatoes as they mature!

The information given here is for educational purposes only. References to commercial products, trade names, or suppliers are made with the understanding that no endorsement is implied and that no discrimination against other products or suppliers is intended.

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