Growing vegetables in containers is an easy way to experience the flavor and freshness of home-grown vegetables. Here’s a little-known secret: Most vegetables actually grow really well in containers. And by picking the right plants, you can create your own vegetable container garden and grow a fair amount of food in just a few pots!
Most vegetables grown in a vegetable container garden do best in full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sun a day). Tomatoes, peppers, and other varieties that often get diseases usually stay healthiest in an open spot with plenty of air circulation. If you live in a cold part of the country, you can give your vegetable container garden a head start by placing the pots near a south-facing wall.
If you live in a warmer part of the country, be cautious about setting your vegetable container gardens on a cement patio, which may grow too warm for optimum growth. Put larger containers on tables or carts; you can move them to various locations depending on the conditions at the time.
Happily, most vegetables aren’t fussy about what kind of vegetable container garden they grow in. The only basic requirements is that the vegetable container garden is large enough to hold the plant and that it has drainage holes so excess water can escape.
A patio vegetable garden with containers can help you make the most of your patio and provide you with a daily supply of home-grown herbs and vegetables. It’s important to ensure that you place the containers in such a way that they get plenty of sunlight. Use nutrient rich soil, water your plants well, and use containers with holes in the bottom to drain out excess water.
If you don’t have room for a traditional garden, a patio vegetable garden using containers is ideal as container vegetable gardening eliminates the need for tedious chores such as raking, hoeing or tilling. Almost any type of container can be used to grow garden vegetables. Plastic storage bins, plastic buckets, wooden boxes and gallon cans can all be used as containers. You can also use wooden baskets, washtubs or large food cans for which you no longer have any use.
The size of the container depends upon the plant you want to grow in it. Tomatoes and peppers can be grown in 5 gallon containers while green onions, carrots, cucumbers and herbs can be grown in smaller 1 gallon containers. Plants such as beets, eggplants, green beans and broccoli can be grown in 2 gallon containers. You should ensure that these containers have drain holes in the bottom so that excess water is drained out. Water retention can impede the growth of the plant in the container. Drain holes in the side of the container, an inch above the bottom, are also ideal.
Plants in containers should be watered more often as containers contain less soil and this soil can be easily dried out by the sun. Light color containers are preferable to dark containers as the latter absorbs too much heat and this can damage the roots of the plants growing in them.
A container vegetable garden is ideal in urban areas as it requires less space, maintenance, and it can meet the family’s daily requirement for vegetables.