Grow Vegetables in a Container Garden

Edited by Robbi, Lynn, Eng

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There are a wide range of foods that you can't find in the winter time. If you're someone who loves fresh fruits and veggies, you can get a lot accomplished if you plant it in the house or even in a cold greenhouse.

Everyone knows you can grow a variety of flowers and even small trees in containers and pots, but few people realize they can grow a vegetable garden on their patios or even in their homes.

If you have a small yard or worse, no yard at all, you may have given up on the idea of fresh vegetables in season; thankfully there is a better option.

Simple steps to grow vegetables in a container.

Herbs in a container garden
  1. 1
    Your first order of business is to make a few decisions - what types of plants do you want to grow and do you want to start with seeds or seedlings
    The answers to these questions will tell you what size container you will require.
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  2. 2
    Choose your planting containers
    You can grow any vegetable in containers, but what you grow will determine the depth and required size. A good rule of thumb is to calculate 1.5 to 2 times root depth. Flowerpots, barrels, old dresser drawers and even coffee cans can be used, depending on your chosen vegetable.
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  3. 3
    Do not forget to create drainage holes in the bottom of your containers
    Plants prefer to keep their feet dry and a few well-placed holes is all you need.
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  4. 4
    Determine the location for your containers
    Will they need to be inside or do you have enough room on your balcony, backyard or patio for container vegetables? Some vegetables require full sun for a good majority of the day so choose your location wisely.
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  5. 5
    Choose your soil by first considering your climate
    Even though you are raising vegetables in a container, your climate is important. In damp climates, you may want to start with a layer of gravel to prevent soil drainage. On the other hand, if you live in a dry climate you may want to include a water retaining products such as a plant saucer or synthetic water crystals.
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  6. 6
    Choose a Good Location
    The right location will determine whether you have to move the plants regularly to ensure that they get plenty of light. Indoor container gardening will do well in a south window. Outdoor container gardening will depend on the surrounding area and the kind of plants that you will be using for your container gardening.
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  7. 7
    It is a good idea to consider companion planting - basil and tomatoes tend to play well together
    Avoid pairing fennel, as most plants do not care for fennel! Also, avoid pairing plants that share a pest together, as you will create a larger target.
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  8. 8
    What vegetables do you use the most
    While you may be tempted to grow all the vegetables in the alphabet, even if you never use lemon grass or eggplant, there isn't much point.
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  9. 9
    Once you have your containers set up and planted, it is time to think about food and water
    There are several commercial fertilizers you can use, or simply create your own compost. Container growing usually requires weekly "feeding".
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  10. 10
    As you can imagine, watering is super important
    Unfortunately it also often overlooked. When you water, remember you want to reach the bottom of the pot, so you should add water until it runs freely from the bottom.
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  11. 11
    Your final steps to container gardening success are care and harvest
    You may need to stake some vegetables, such as tomatoes, or prune during the growing season to get the maximum harvest.
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Finally, harvest and enjoy!

Tips for Container Gardening Success

  • If you are planting outside, consider testing the area to ensure the sunlight by using a sun calculator to find the amount of hours of sunlight that you have every day.
  • If you are planting inside, for the sake of convenience, use the small plant casters that go under your pots so that you can move the plants around if you need to get them out of the way for a while.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


Article Info

Categories : Gardening

Recent edits by: Lynn, Robbi

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