Many people believe that you can’t grow root vegetables vertically. And that’s true for some vertical planters, but not GreenStalk. Whether you have a three, four or five tier GreenStalk Vertical Garden you can grow a variety of root veggies. Some of our favorite root vegetables to grow are sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, radishes and turnips. We highly recommend growing root crops because you typically get the best of both worlds – leafy greens and root vegetables!
If you want your bulb-like vegetables to reach full size, just plant one per pocket. If you like to harvest when they are smaller and more tender, you can plant 3 per pocket. It just depends on your personal preference. Always use a lightweight, peat or coconut coir – based mix for growing vegetables in a container garden.We like Pro-Mix or Happy Frog, but you could use your favorite container mix or ask your local garden center what works best in your area.
Each GreenStalk tier is 11” deep, so you can grow full length carrots. We love to plant 3-5 carrots per pocket and harvest periodically. We end up getting some small and some fully-grown carrots. Always grow carrots from seed – they will grow better, and it will save you money!
Sweet potatoes grow best from slips (basically starter plants). We plant every other pocket of the GreenStalk Vertical Planter and that’s more than enough for the entire tower to be covered in beautiful green leaves. Did you know that you can also eat the leaves?! We did a whole post about growing sweet potatoes vertically here, and we did an update here.
Onions are another favorite because you can cut off a few of the tops and use them in the kitchen as green onions. Just be sure to leave most of the green intact so the plant can continue to focus energy into growing an onion. Pull the onion plants when the tops start to die back.
If you’re new to gardening or just love the flavor, radishes are a great crop to plant. They are quick to grow and easy to harvest. Plant 3-5 per pocket and harvest whenever you want. Just don’t let them bolt. You will know when they are bolting when the center of the plant starts to grow a thick, tall center stem that flowers. You’ll want to grow these mostly for the roots since the leaves can be prickly!
Beets are one of our favorites to grow vertically. Both the leaves and roots are edible. Just like the onions, be sure to only harvest a small portion (about 1/3-1/4 of total leaves) to make sure that the plant still has energy to produce the root. You could even grow beets just for the look of the greens. They produce beautiful leaves with deep green and dark red veining.
Turnips are a new crop for us this year, but they have done well in the GreenStalk Vertical Planter. Literally growing like a weed. They produce a lot of green leafy growth and crisp bulbs that are great for roasting.
Most root vegetables need full sun (at least 6 hours daily), but with carrots and beets you may be able to get away with some shade.
Of course, you can mix and match any of these plants in your soil-based vertical planter. You can also mix them with some non-root vegetables such as tomatoes or lettuce. The GreenStalk Vertical Planter has anywhere from 18-30 planting pockets depending on if you have a three, four or five tier so you can grow a ton of vegetables!
What are your favorite root vegetables to plant?