One of the best things to grow in a GreenStalk Vertical Garden is root vegetables! Some of our favorites 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!
You can grow full-length carrots in the GreenStalk Original Planter, which has 10” deep pockets, or a GreenStalk Leaf Planter, which has 7″ deep pockets. We love to plant 3-5 carrots per pocket and harvest periodically. We end up getting a variety of small and fully-grown carrots. Always grow carrots from seed directly in the GreenStalk Vertical planter as they do not transplant well. Growing from seed will save you money!
Sweet potatoes grow well from slips (basically starter plants) or from seed. We plant one plant in every other pocket of the GreenStalk Vertical Planter and that’s more than enough for the entire vertical garden to be covered in beautiful green leaves. Did you know that you can also eat the leaves?! Click on the links below to read our Sweet Potato blog post and to read our update.
Onions grow best in bulb form. We suggest one plant per pocket for a traditional full-size bulb harvest. 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 on growing an onion. Pull the onion plants once 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 seeds per pocket and harvest whenever you want. Just take care that they do not bolt. You will know they are bolting when the center of the plant starts to grow a thick, tall center stem that flowers. Usually, radishes are grown just for the bulbs, but you can also make radish pesto or add the leaves in a smoothie for added nutrition and bite.
Beets are one of our favorite crops to grow vertically because the leaves and the roots are edible. Unlike radish leaves, beet leaves don’t give as much “bite.” Just like with 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 have done very well in the GreenStalk Vertical Planter! They produce a lot of green leafy growth and crisp bulbs that are ideal for roasting. Just like with other root veggies, you can carefully harvest the leaves prior to harvesting the vegetable. Turnip leaves are delicious in salads or you can add them to a smoothie!
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 GreenStalk Vertical Planter. You can also mix them with some non-root vegetables such as tomatoes or lettuce. The GreenStalk Vertical Planter has anywhere from 18-42 planting pockets depending on if you have a three, four, five, or even a seven tier planter, so you can grow a ton of vegetables!
What are your favorite root vegetables to plant?