You don’t need expansive acreage to grow a thriving vegetable garden. In
fact, growing vegetables in pots can be very productive and can bring a
delicious, healthy harvest to your home no matter what type of garden
you may – or may not – have to work with.
Why Grow Vegetables in Pots?
Whether you have a balcony, fire escape, small patio, narrow stoop, or
windowsill for your gardening efforts, there is always room for a pot or
two of vegetables. Yet vegetable container gardening is about more than
just saving space, and there are many benefits to using pots for your
When using pots, for example, your garden space is much less likely to be
overtaken by weeds, saving you time and effort. Pots are also easier to
move around your space in order to take advantage of the best positioning
for sun, rainfall, and weather protection. Pots and containers can also be
more comfortable for you to tend without needing to bend down or kneel as
much to reach your plants and harvest your vegetables.
Easiest Vegetables for the Container Gardener
There are many options for container garden vegetables. Ideally, choose
cultivars that are dwarf, miniature, or compact whenever possible, as they
will be better adapted to lush growth in pots and small spaces. Popular
Because you may have less growing space than a traditional garden, choose
vegetables you love and that you will use to make the most of your
gardening space. Also be aware of how much sunlight your pots will receive,
how deep the pots are for roots or root vegetables, and whether the plants
will need vertical space for climbing before you plant them. The more
familiar you are with each vegetable’s growing needs, the better choices
you can make for vegetables that will flourish in your urban garden.
Tips for Growing Vegetables in Pots
No matter which vegetables you choose to grow in pots, they will need
proper care to reach their full potential for a bountiful harvest. To help
your container vegetables thrive…
Choose the Proper Pot – Consider the root system of your favorite
vegetables and choose a pot deep enough to allow the roots to flourish. If
you are planting root vegetables, you will need a deeper pot that allows
more space for veggie growth. Bear in mind that ceramic or clay pots can be
very heavy, so plastic pots or fabric containers may be a more convenient and easier option.
Position the Pot for Good Sunlight – Many leafy vegetables do well
shade conditions, while other vegetables need greater amounts of
sunlight for the best harvest. Putting pots on a plant caddy or stands with
casters can make it easy to move each container for maximum sunlight
throughout the growing season.
Provide Necessary Support – Vining and tall vegetables may need
stakes, cages, netting, or trellises to support the plant and help itstay
healthy. Using proper supports will also maximize your vertical growing
space. It is best to have that support in place when the plant is young, so
you do not accidentally damage roots when adding a support later.
Use the Best Soil– Because container vegetables don’t have as much
soil to draw nutrition from, it is critical to use a high
mix like Master’s Pride when growing veggies in pots. Choose a mix that will maximize water
retention to help with watering and mix in compost or appropriate
fertilizer with the soil before you add your vegetable plants.
Water Adequately – All vegetables need adequate water for lush
growth and veggie production. Depending on the pot size, plant type, and
climate conditions, you may need to water vegetable pots daily or even
twice per day to ensure they have good moisture. Consider self
containers to make this garden task even easier.
Feed Plants Properly – The right fertilization and feeding schedule
can improve your plants’ health and increase the yield of even small
vegetable pots. Choose a liquid fertilizer or a slow release organic fertilizer like Gardner & Bloome that will meet your plants’
needs and apply it according to the label directions for the best results
that maximize the productivity of your vegetable plants. Osmocote is another great container fertilizer.
Consider Combination Planting – It’s easy to plant different
vegetables in the same pot, but take care to group plants with similar
water, fertilization, and sunlight needs so each pot can get the proper
care. Themed pots can be a fun way to add flair to your vegetable garden as
well – try a salad pot, a pizza pot, or even a pot for pickles, each one
with related herbs and veggies.
Stay Alert to Pests – Unwanted pests can invade even container
gardens. Inspect your pots weekly for pests such as slugs, aphids, and leaf
hoppers. Take a picture or bring a sample to the nursery for a recommendation of an organic pest control. Also, animals such as stray cats, dogs, or
even rats can also be a problem and you should use cages or other techniques to protect your plants if necessary.
Growing vegetables in pots can bring you a delicious, nutritious harvest no
matter what the size or location of your gardening space. By choosing
vegetables adapted to containers and giving your pots the best of care,
you’ll soon have an amazing crop to enjoy.