Front Porch Food

If you don’t have acres or even a lot of square footage to spare, you can still plant fruits and vegetables that will keep fresh food on your plate all season long.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

What better way to make sure you eat your fruits and veggies than by growing them on your porch?

Here in southwest Missouri, our official frost date is May 2 this year. That means right now it’s prime time to get your green thumb on and try your hand at a little gardening. If you don’t have the space or maybe the energy to invest in a full-blown garden, then try your hand at some simple container gardening. There are plenty of things you can grow that will fare well in pots right outside your door.

Fruitful Harvest

Let’s start with fruit. You probably aren’t going to start an apple tree on your porch, so you’ll want something smaller. Let’s go with strawberries.

These sweet little nuggets are great for a porch garden, and you can even buy special strawberry-
growing pots at Wickman’s Garden Village (1345 S. Fort Ave., Springfield). They have a funky shape that includes terrace-like holes for the strawberries to poke out of as they grow. 


Herbs are some of the easiest things to grow in pots, and their fragrance is incredible. You can plant multiple kinds of herbs in a single large pot to save space, or give each one its own little home. Oregano and mint are especially easy to cultivate and require very little attention. At Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds ( in Mansfield, you can find some more unusual herbs that offer up some flavors you can’t find in the produce section of the grocery store, like lemon balm and Thai basil.

Containing Your Climbers

Plants like cucumbers love to climb and can wind up taking up a whole lot of space in the garden. But that doesn’t mean you can’t grow them in a smaller space. You just have to give them what they need to thrive. That means building a little trellis to stick inside the pot or using a tomato cage, which (you might have already guessed) will make porch-grown tomatoes possible, too. These will give your plants a place to go, but you have to make sure you also prune them.

Pep in Your Step

Sweet and hot peppers make great container plants. As long as you have plenty of sunshine, they are easy plants to take care of. And if you think big, heavy bell peppers might be a little much in a container, don’t worry. You can find pepper seeds in all shapes and sizes. Baker Creek offers fun and uncommon varieties, like the very hot and very beautiful Chinese Five-Color peppers or the sweet and bright purple Lilac Bell Peppers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More Articles Like This

What to Eat Now

Forget your old favorites and prepare your palate for something new—these food trends are taking 417-land menus by storm.

Best Lawyers 2018

The law can be a complicated and stressful topic, especially when you find yourself in a courtroom, so you want the most qualified attorney at your side. With this list of top local lawyers, find the expert who can help you navigate the system.

How to Wear Velvet

Local fashionistas share their tips on how to rock velvet this winter.
Edit Module
Edit Module
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Sign up for our newsletters Follow us on Instagram

Edit ModuleShow Tags

  1. Why Pickleball is the New “It” Sport
    The number of places to play pickleball has doubled since 2010. Digital Director Dayle Duggins...
  2. Fall Festivals: 25 Way to Celebrate Fall Fun in 417-land
    We’ve rounded up the most delightful, most bizarre and most timeless fests around to add to...
  3. Republic’s Scuffed Edge Flea Market
    At Scuffed Edge in Republic, one creative maven shares her passion for refurbishing home decor.
  4. Goat Yoga is Your New Favorite Workout
    Our managing editor got bendy with some goats, and somehow among their bleats and bucks, her...
  5. 50 Things Every 417-Lander Must Do
    When do you know you’ve become fully initiated into your home? You can start by trying all the...
Edit Module
Edit Module