28 Plants to Grow for a Chef Tower Garden

What kind of Tower Gardener are you?

That’s what Tower Garden asked growers in a Facebook poll in April. Of the 4 poll choices (which were based on growers’ food preferences and lifestyles), the most popular—with 413 votes—was the "Chef Tower."

Here’s the description for chef Tower Gardeners:

You grow a variety of veggies, fruits and herbs for culinary masterpieces. You’re frequently going Tower-to-kitchen with plump tomatoes, bold basil, crisp peppers and more.

After the poll closed, some of you asked about growing guides for the Tower Gardens described. So here we are, starting with the Chef Tower!

Reasons to Grow a Chef Tower

In case you’re wondering why you might want to grow a Chef Tower, here are a few great reasons Tower Gardeners shared:

"There are so many different fresh recipes that you can make just by using your Tower Garden vegetables." – Jeff
"Love being able to walk out and grab veggies for all my favorite recipes!" – Jennifer
"I love cooking with fresh ingredients, and having them at my fingertips is very convenient…Tower Garden allows me the convenience of growing a lot of different veggies, herbs and fruit, and not having them run out or go bad between getting a ride to the store." – Jill
"I love heading out to my Tower Garden and picking things for cooking. It feels great to be using MY ingredients, with no pesticides, etc., to cook a meal." – Kelly
"We love having a variety of veggies to try on our Tower Garden!" – Rebecca

Many other Chef Tower voters echoed one particular sentiment. It was this: "I love to cook!"

Good enough for me!

Top 28 Plants to Grow in a Chef Tower

You have a number of questions to consider when planning your Tower Garden. Among these is, "What plants will you grow?" To help answer that question, here’s a list of 28 fruits, vegetables and herbs to grow for the ultimate chef’s garden.

Why 28? Because that’s how many plants you can grow with the Tower Garden extension kit. (If you don’t have the extension kit, don’t worry. Just pick your favorite 20 plants from the list!)

Grow these plants for a steady supply of cooking ingredients:

  1. Basil – easy-to-grow herb, common choice for pesto base
  2. Beans – wonderful whether raw or cooked in stir-fries or soups
  3. Broccoli ­– a personal favorite, steamed or stir-fried
  4. Cabbage – often steamed, primary ingredient in slaw
  5. Chard – delicious, versatile green and top superfood
  6. Chives – deliver a delicate hint of onion, suitable for omelets and soups
  7. Cilantro (Coriander) – both an herb and a spice, cornerstone in Mexican and Asian dishes
  8. Collards – southern staple, packed with nutrients
  9. Cucumbers – essential in chilled cucumber soup, refreshing salad ingredient
  10. Cumin – core ingredient in curries
  11. Dill – adds a light, buttery taste to foods like grilled fish and fried eggs
  12. Eggplant – popular meat substitute, commonly found in all types of cuisine
  13. Hot peppers – easiest way to spice up any dish, range in heat levels
  14. Kale ­– arguably more of a movement than a green, great in salads and stews
  15. Leeks – member of the onion family, often added to soups
  16. Lettuces – add an unmistakable crunch to sandwiches, salads, tacos and spring rolls
  17. Mustard greens – spicy and quite tasty when stir-fried
  18. Oregano – called for in virtually all Italian dishes
  19. Parsley – more than a garnish, complements stews and potato dishes
  20. Peas – delightful alone or in potato salad, stir-fries, curries and more
  21. Rosemary – reach for this herb when roasting potatoes or grilling chicken
  22. Sage – associated with the holidays, but useful year-round
  23. Savory – lesser known herb, brings bean dishes to life
  24. Spinach – commonly eaten in salads and stir-fries
  25. Squash – appetizing uses include steamed yellow squash and zucchini bread
  26. Sweet peppers – enjoyable stir-fried or stuffed, fun way to add color to dishes
  27. Thyme – amazingly aromatic herb, pairs well with most everything
  28. Tomatoes – most popular crop grown in America, with endless culinary applications 

There are many more plants I could add. What would your list look like? Leave a comment to let me know!

How to Arrange a Chef Tower

Now that you know what to plants to grow, here’s how you should arrange them. Again, this plan assumes you’re using Tower Garden extension kit and have 28 planting spots. But if you don’t, just plant what you’ll use the most.


Stay Tuned for More

Did you find this Tower Garden planting recipe helpful? (I too like to cook, so it was fun to write!) I’m planning to create more recipes like this one. Which type of Tower would you want me to cover next?

Share your thoughts with me below, and check back soon for another planting recipe!

P.S. Once you start harvesting from your awesome Chef Tower, remember to browse this cookbook created by Tower Gardeners for a little inspiration in the kitchen.

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