So you’d like to grow your own vegetables and get them from the garden to the kitchen table, but you’re facing one or more barriers to that. Perhaps your yard is too small for the goals you have. Maybe the soil or weather conditions aren’t ideal. Maybe you’ve been having trouble with insect pests. Or maybe you just don’t have the time even though you have the desire.
What Can I Plant?
The good news is that just about any vegetable that will grow in a home garden will grow in a container garden. Naturally, you’ll want to go with plants that take up less space (consider root growth as well) and which are easier to grow.
Here’s a list of vegetables that do really well in a container gardening setting: beans, broccoli, carrots, eggplant, green onions, lettuce, parsley, peppers, radishes, squash, and tomatoes. Cucumbers also do well but require quite a bit more space.
Since there are so many vegetables that are compatible with container gardening, use your available spaces– once you get going, you’ll find more than you might expect– and plant a variety of vegetables. You’ll be able to create salads, sides, and even entire meals. While you’re enjoying the delicious, nutritious vegetables you’ve grown right at home, you’ll also be saving money!
Dos and Don’ts
Next, let’s look at some tips that will lead to successful container gardening:
- Choose the right sizes for pots and planters. Before you purchase your containers, make sure you know the space requirements of the vegetables you want to plant. Lettuce, for example, doesn’t need much space. Carrots, on the other hand, require a deep container. Too big usually isn’t a problem growth-wise, but too small is.
- Drainage is important. Pots need to have good drainage or things won’t grow so well. In addition to choosing pots that have good drainage, you can add gravel or small potting rocks to the bottom of a pot to improve drainage.
- Use good potting soil. Don’t fill your pots with soil from the garden or yard. That dirt will just compact and cause the plant to suffocate. Buy a proper potting or planting mix from a garden center.
- Take note of sun and shade requirements. Different plants require different amounts of sun and shade. This will help determine where to locate pots, whether you have to move, whether you need to have manually adjustable shades by the pot, etc.
- Fertilize on a regular basis. Potted plants get watered more frequently, which means nutrients don’t last as long as they do out in the yard. Learn what the container-specific requirements for your plants are.
- Be on the lookout for pests and disease. Vegetables grown in containers are less susceptible to these problems, but they aren’t immune. Check for signs of trouble and treat accordingly.
Container gardening can be about more than just growing vegetables. There’s no rule saying that you have to stick to traditional plain-looking pots and planters. Instead, you can get all the function you need while also adding color, style, and beauty to your home. Following are some of our favorite container ideas:
- Tiered planters. These make more use of space, look great, and can add more support for the plants growing in them.
- Rolling containers. Planters on wheels make changing locations easy, especially if you have to chase sun and shade.
- Hanging lettuce baskets. Planters don’t have to always be on the ground. Hanging ones help make a deck or patio look great!
- These add a rustic look to the setting.
- Go for this stylish way of growing tomatoes; it’s much nicer than a cage!
No matter what your space and time limitations are, container gardening is a fun and easy way to grow your own fresh vegetables. We hope these container gardening ideas have been helpful, and if you’d like to check out more landscaping and gardening tips and ideas, please check out Curb Appeal: The LandArt Solutions Blog!