Do you want to grow your own vegetables, but have no yard space? No problem! You can plant your vegetables in containers. Grow them in your patio, rooftop, balcony, alleyway, or even on your window sill.
Here are some container gardening ideas for vegetables that will help you begin.
Table of Contents
- What vegetables grow well in containers
- How to select containers
- What soil to use
- How much water to put
- Where to put your vegetable containers
- Fertilizing your vegetable plants
- Companion planting
What vegetables grow well in containers
The following vegetables and herbs grow well in pots and planters:
How to select containers
You can use almost any container you have at home for vegetable gardening. Store-bought pots, self-watering planters, buckets, window boxes, wooden half-barrels, hanging baskets, troughs, old bathtubs – you name it. There are just some general rules you need to remember when selecting containers for your vegetables:
- Plants need enough room to grow. Make sure you do not overcrowd your vegetables in one container.
- Choose bigger pots that help store more water for your plants to thrive on hot days.
- Put holes at the bottom of your pots to ensure proper drainage. This will help avoid root rot that causes plants to die. Most store-bought pots already come with drainage holes, but if you want to recycle some containers at home, do not forget to put enough holes in them.
Here are other helpful tips when it comes to selecting containers for your vegetables:
- Choose a deep pot that will allow roots to grow.
- Plastic pots hold water better than clay pots.
- Clay pots look more attractive.
- Black posts absorb heat when under the sun.
- Fabric pots are also great for growing vegetables.
- Hanging baskets are great space-savers. They are good for growing herbs.
- Pick heavier pots if you need to put trellis or other plant support.
What soil to use
In container gardening, we use soilless potting mix and not actual soil or dirt. A potting mix will ensure moisture retention and aeration for healthy root growth. Actual soil, such as dirt and topsoil, tends to get dry, compact, and hard. Actual soil is also heavy, which may get waterlogged, causing plant diseases and root rot.
Just remember- the lighter the potting mix, the better. It would be easier for the water, air, and fertilizer to travel to the roots of your vegetables.
You may use a combination of any of the following to make a potting mix:
- coco coir
- peat moss
- granular fertilizer
How much water to put
You need to consistently water your vegetable plants in containers so they will grow healthy. Otherwise, problems such as poor root growth, insect problems, leaf curling, blossom drop, and rotting may occur.
You may water your potted vegetables twice a day. Alternatively, you may use a self-watering pot to ensure they get enough moisture all the time. Just remember to fill in the water reservoir every few days.
Another idea is to double-pot. It means putting a smaller pot inside a larger container. You then fill the gap of the two containers with moss or crumpled paper soaked in water.
Where to put your vegetable containers
Location is another vital thing to consider when it comes to vegetable gardening. Do your plants get enough sunlight? Is the area too windy? Does your vegetable plant need trellis or other support?
You have to ensure that your vegetable plants get enough sunlight. Most vegetables like tomatoes, beans, cucumber, and peppers need at least six hours of sunlight. Some vegetables like salad greens may require fewer hours. You may need to transfer your containers from one place to another during the day. You can use a caster for your pots so you can easily slide them when required.
Ventilation and wind
Vegetable plants need good ventilation. You need to look out for the wind and keep them protected as needed. Wind may batter their leaves and dry them out. One tip is to place them by a wall where they are protected from the wind. You may also set up a portable protective fence or arrange your pots so that larger plants can protect those in smaller containers.
Support and trellis
Some vegetables like cucumbers may need some trellis or other support. Make sure that you have enough space to accommodate the growing and trailing vegetables. You might also need to put your containers in a place where you can secure your trellis for support.
Fertilizing your vegetable plants
It may be hard to grow vegetables and herbs in containers without fertilizers successfully. Fertilizers provide the needed nutrients that are usually washed away when you water your potted vegetable plants. The potting mix nutrients may also be not enough for the amount of foliage your vegetable grows in a limited container.
When planting, you may mix granular organic fertilizer with your potting mix. You may then feed your vegetable plants with liquid fertilizer for edibles at least twice a month, starting about a month after planting.
One of the most fun container gardening ideas for vegetables is companion planting. This means planting your vegetables along with other vegetables or plants. Not only will your containers look bright and lovely, but your vegetables will also thrive better with compatible companions around as they protect and help nourish each other.
Here are some tips you can consider in companion planting:
- Combine plants with similar needs for water and fertilizer (e.g., high-water needs: cucumber, onions, pepper; low-water needs: spinach, lettuce, and most herbs).
- A trailing plant can go well with an upright plant.
- Combine your vegetables and herbs by following the companion chart below shared by trees.org.
We hope you enjoyed our post on container gardening ideas for vegetables. Just remember that almost any container will do for your vegetables. Do not forget to also use soilless potting mix; give them the right amount of sunlight and ventilation; feed them with fertilizers; and if you want, plant them with compatible companion plants. Just don’t forget to watch out for weeds and insects that may damage your vegetables.
Do you have other container gardening ideas for vegetables you want to share? Let us know about them!
You may also want to read this: Container Gardening Ideas: The Best Guide for You.