Gardening 101: Garden-to-Table Guide

Inspired by Bay Meadows’ community garden and commitment to sustainability, we’re excited to announce our new blog series: Gardening 101!

For the first post in our “Gardening 101” blog series, we’ve gathered the best tips, tricks, and how-to’s for your summer garden-to-table projects. You can start a vegetable garden anywhere—front porch, boutique backyard, or apartment balcony. And now is the perfect time to start your at-home garden. Plant your garden today, and enjoy fresh vegetables in just a few short months! Sunset magazine has put together a fantastic garden-to-table guide, focused on small space vegetable gardens . We’ve shared some of our favorite tips below. Enjoy!


The One-Pot Vegetable Garden
Ideal for tomatoes, herbs, and peppers.

Pick popular ingredients: Before planting, ask one question: what do I want to eat this summer? Sunset recommends you choose ingredients you want to use throughout summer—tomatoes and basil are a summer staple for pasta, gazpacho, and Bloody Marys. So you’ll want to plant tomatoes, chives, basil, and peppers.

Leave enough space: Giving each plant enough room to grow is essential. Use a large container with drainage holes, or drill your own; Sunset recommends a feeding trough, measuring roughly 2 feet tall by 2 feet wide by 3 feet long.

Get a good start: Put your one-pot garden in a place that gets six to eight hours of sun a day, and fill it with fresh potting mix.

Best Crops for Pots
Ideal for tomatoes, leafy greens, herbs, squash, and peppers.
Pot depth: 18 in.
Soil temperature: At least 70°.
Spacing: One plant per pot.
Bush types like ‘Bush Champion’ and disease-resistant ‘Salad Bush’ take up half the space of trailing types. ‘Lemon’ cuke (shown) also bears well on a trellis.

Pot depth: 14-16 in.
Soil temperature: At least 70°.
Spacing: One or two plants per pot.
With their colorful fruits and attractive foliage, eggplants have outstanding ornamental value. Try ‘Black Beauty’, an American heirloom with bulbous, purple-black fruits, or ‘Little Fingers’ (shown), an Asian type with slim fruits.

Pot depth: 14-16 in.
Soil temperature: At least 60°.
Spacing: One or two plants per pot.
Choose from an amazing array of colors, shapes, and heat levels, from mildly spicy ‘Anaheim’ to searing hot ‘Thai Dragon’. Among sweet peppers, try ‘Ariane’ (shown), an orange bell, or ‘Giant Marconi’, a long, red one that’s great for grilling.

Want more tips and planting info? Check out Sunset magazine’s detailed planting guide for the Bay Area.