Can you grow veggies in pots?
This is a popular question that most people ask online. The answer? Absolutely. Container vegetable gardening doesn’t really differ from gardening on the ground. In fact, it can even be considered as a more accessible and convenient planting technique compared to the latter. Interested to find out why? Keep reading!
Table of Contents
- What vegetables are good for container gardening?
- What are the easiest vegetables to grow in pots?
- What vegetables grow well together in containers?
- Seedlings vs transplants
- How do you make a vegetable garden container?
- What kind of soil should I use for container vegetable gardens?
- Light and temperature
- Pest control
What vegetables are good for container gardening?
Surprisingly, you can grow just about any vegetable in containers, provided you use the appropriate container size. Generally, although it isn’t necessary, you can also choose to plant smaller varieties just to save even more space. Moreover, keep in mind that different vegetables also have different requirements, so make sure to plant those that are appropriate for your space, climate, and available resources.
What are the easiest vegetables to grow in pots?
Below are a few of the most common and easy-to-plant vegetables that thrive really well in containers, perfect for container vegetable gardening newbies!
- Tomatoes. Most tomatoes are at their merriest when grown in bigger pots. Just make sure to stake them appropriately—this is so they have enough support and refrain from bending. Moreover, take note that even a single tomato plant can already produce hundreds of fruits—appropriate nutrition, therefore, must be given. Among the different tomato plant varieties available, you can consider planting cherry tomatoes for a start—they can be grown in small to medium pots, their yield is high, and they’re small so they don’t take so much space.
- Lettuce. Salad crops are very ideal for beginner gardeners. Because of their shallow roots, they can be planted in any container. Moreover, they’re quick to grow too. Lettuce seeds are best sown on the surface of your compost and sealed over just a thin layer of more compost. In this way, they get enough light that they need in order to germinate. Additionally, they don’t require much sun and are best grown in cooler weather. In summer, however, you can still keep them growing but under a good shade.
- Peppers. Both hot and sweet peppers grow easily in containers, not to mention how pretty they look with their bright hues. They thrive better in larger containers exposed to a good amount of sun, provided with good drainage, and showered with regular watering. One of the best benefits of planting peppers in containers is that you can easily transfer them anywhere you please. They’re also a good ingredient for most of your food recipes!
- Radishes. In just a month, you can already harvest your very own radish. They grow really fast yet they don’t need much space too—perfect for your cramped up windowsills. Just make sure to not expose them to too much heat, if not, you can easily control this by moving them to shade and providing them with enough water to cool down.
- Potatoes. Homegrown potatoes taste different compared to those sold in the market. Growing potatoes in containers add extra protection against the fungus that spreads easier among plants grown under the ground. Although container-grown potatoes require a larger space, a lot of soil, and more water, they’re definitely worth every effort and resource. For better yields, make sure to expose them to full sun and provide them with good drainage and loamy soil.
What vegetables grow well together in containers?
When choosing what vegetables to grow together in a pot, it is best to match those with the same needs and requirements.
However, take note that such a method is not totally fool-proof. Other plants, despite being in the same family, are not good to plant together since they may have the tendency to compete for the same nutrients.
Gardeners.com presents a short guide for this concern:
Good plant combinations:
- Beans, Carrots, Squash
- Eggplant, Beans
- Tomatoes, Basil, Onions
- Lettuce, Herbs
- Spinach, Chard, Onions
Plant combinations to avoid:
- Beans with Onions and Garlic
- Carrots with Dill or Fennel
- Tomatoes or Squash with Potatoes
- Onions with Beans and Peas
Seedlings vs transplants
There are 2 planting options that you can choose from for your garden, these are: seedlings and transplants. Both have their fair share of strengths and weaknesses. Either way, with the right planting care, you would definitely experience success.
Planting from seeds can be crucial and may even take longer before you can see visible progress as it basically calls you to start from scratch, but trust me when I say that it can also be very rewarding—not to mention all the benefits it comes with. First, buying seeds online gives you more access to wider varieties in contrast to choosing transplants from your local nurseries. Second, buying seeds costs so much less than buying already grown plants. Furthermore, it can even cost you not a single penny if you opt to prepare them your own. Your options for this, however, can be limited, as it would depend on what vegetable you have available. Anyway, make sure not to overdry your seeds for optimal results. Finally, growing your own seed starters can be a fun activity to share with your kids.
The most obvious benefit that you can get from transplanting or replanting is that they’re easier to manage and take less time to thrive. Your options, however, depend on what your local nurseries have available. Also, this technique can be quite pricey since you’re basically paying for the long wait that it would usually take to grow seedlings.
How do you make a vegetable garden container?
Selecting the perfect containers
This step can greatly impact your plant’s growth and success. But, don’t be too overwhelmed just yet. You just have to remember 3 things: that it’s big enough, it has good drainage, and it’s made of nontoxic material.
Many people can be quite skeptical when it comes to planting in plastic containers—which is understandable because of their chemical properties that might pose harm to your plants. However, most of these chemicals that they release are at very low levels and considered perfectly safe. Plastic containers are durable, light-weight, and flexible.
Get additional information here: Growing Plants in Plastic Containers: Can You Grow Plants in Plastic Pots Safely?
Since ceramics are porous, they allow better air and water movement for your plants. Air movement stimulates root growth, which then enriches your plants’ health. The clay, however, takes moisture from the soil. Thus, it requires more water. It’s perfect if you have the tendency to overwater your plants or if your plants don’t really need water in the first place.
Wood containers look very sophisticated. In fact, they look even better when used as containers for your vegetables. To keep them from rotting, make sure to line them with plastic, or elevate them from the ground and not allow the soil to get too mushy.
Resulting in self-watering containers can be another option for you too. There are different self-watering pots available but they all work the same; all you have to do is to keep the water reservoir full.
Below is a simple illustration of just about any self-watering container:
In this case, you can up-cycle just about any container you have at home. All you have to remember is to make sure that they’re large enough to house your vegetable plants. Using DIY containers is perfect as interesting conversation-starters and unique pieces scattered all over your home.
Importance of good drainage
In any container, you have to make sure to provide them with good drainage. A hole in any container—small or big—is critical. Drainage holes help remove excess water and prevent your plants from drowning. They’re also crucial to protect your plants’ roots from fungus and rot.
What kind of soil should I use for container vegetable gardens?
In container vegetable gardening or container gardening in general, remember: do not use garden soil. Garden soil does not offer enough air, moisture, or nutrients to container plants.
Is potting soil good for vegetables?
Potting soils are specifically formulated to answer to the limitations that garden soils can’t cover. They’re a soil-less blend used not just in container vegetable gardening and but in any container plants generally.
Fertilizers are your plants’ vitamins to help them thrive. Since your container vegetable plants can’t seek help from neighboring plants unlike how they usually would when planted on the ground, they would need a lot of help from you. The easiest way to go about this is to prepare a nutrient solution that you can easily pour over whenever necessary. The faster your plant grows, the more fertilizer they’ll be needing. Remember not to overfertilize!
When watering your container vegetables, all you have to remember is to keep your soil evenly moist but not waterlogged. To check, stick your finger down into the soil for about an inch. If you feel that it needs moisture, then you can add water accordingly. Remember that watering can be pivotal for your container vegetable gardening’s success.
Light and temperature
Most vegetables like just enough warmth, not scorching hot but not too cold either. During summer, you might want to avoid getting them directly exposed to the hot sun. Be sure to shade them especially during noon, when the sun is usually at its peak. Moreover, for cooler seasons, be sure not to leave them freezing. In most cases, their soil’s temperature needs to be about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although container vegetable gardening gives you a better experience when it comes to dealing with the presence of pests, know that it still isn’t foolproof.
- Distinguish the good garden pests from the bad ones
- Keep your container vegetable gardening clean
- Constantly inspect your garden from time to time