How do I Plant a Vegetable Container Garden?

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  • Written By: Henry Gaudet
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2019
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A vegetable container garden can be a good option if backyard space is limited. A patio, deck or even a windowsill can be turned into a vegetable patch. For the best results, you’ll need to select a spot that gets plenty of direct sun. Ideally, your vegetable container garden will be in a spot that gets at least six hours of sunlight daily.

Just about any container can be used to make a vegetable container garden. Some people choose containers as a decorating feature, and others choose from available objects lying around the house. When selecting your container, though, there are a few points to remember. Dark-colored or metallic containers can get hot in direct sunlight and actually can cook your plants’ roots. Your container also will need holes in the bottom to allow for drainage.

Any soil will do for a vegetable container garden, but synthetic mixes typically give the best results. Peat and vermiculite mixes work especially well. You can find these synthetic mixes in any garden center. Your vegetables also will need fertilizer, which is included in many mixes. This might be a good option for novice gardeners to prevent plants from scorching because of overfeeding.


When selecting vegetables, you will need to consider the size of the container. Small window boxes are perfect for herb gardens, but larger containers will be needed for larger plants. Dwarf varieties of many common vegetables are available and make great additions to a vegetable container garden.

Carrots, lettuce and radishes are good options for beginning gardeners, and they use minimal space. Tomatoes, peas, onions and cucumbers also are easy to grow in container gardens. Large or sprawling plants, such as pumpkins, watermelon or corn are not recommended.

Vegetables in planters will require more watering than those in the ground. Depending on the climate and the exposure to sun, your vegetable container garden might need watering once a day or more. To see if your plants need watering, stick your finger in the soil to your first knuckle. If the soil doesn’t feel moist, it’s time for more water. Over-watering can be just as damaging to plants, but if containers have adequate drainage, excess water will flow through the bottom.

Like any gardener, you will have to keep an eye out for insects or disease. A quick inspection of leaves and fruits during watering is sufficient to alert you to any potential problem. These problems can be quickly and safely addressed by using approved insecticides or fungicides. If you need help selecting a treatment, or if you decide to avoid chemical treatments and want advice on alternatives, the employees at your local garden center should be able and willing to help you.



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