Determine which vegetable plants you wish to grow in your containers. Vegetable plants that do well in containers include tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and peppers. These may require staking.
Broccoli, leafy greens, spinach and soybeans also do well in containers. Include root vegetables as well, such as carrots, radishes and onions.
Select containers for your vegetables. Light-colored containers are suitable for Phoenix as they reflect the heat, thus avoiding "cooking the roots" in an overheated pot. Choose only containers that have drainage holes.
Choose containers no smaller than 12 inches in depth and 18 inches in diameter. This size allows for one "bush" plant such as tomato or broccoli.
The larger the container, however, the better the root growth. Containers with larger diameters and more depth also allow for multiple plantings, such as mixing in herbs with the vegetables or leafy greens in with tomato or cucumber plants.
Use potting soil and fertilizers for your containers. Potting soil is lighter and airier than garden soil and so will reduce the chances of compressing the confined plant roots. Select fertilizers that are slow-releasing, as this will ensure your plants have a consistent supply of nutrients.
Plant your seedlings as you would in a soil garden. Water the plants using a watering can until the water begins to run from the drainage hole.
Check your container plants daily for pests. Look at the underside of leaves as well as on stems for aphids, spider mites, hookworms and other common garden pests.
Remove any infected plant, in its container, away from the other plants. Treat with an organic pesticide. When the infestation has been killed off, return the plant back to the container garden.
Push your finger down into the potting soil to check for watering needs. If the soil feels dry all the way down to the tip of your finger, water the plants.
Monitor your vegetables for over-exposure or under-exposure to sunlight. If the plants are wilting at midday, move them to a location that provides shade during that time. If the plants' growth appears delayed or stunted, move them to a location that will increase their exposure.
Harvest your vegetables just as you would from a soil garden. Do not allow vegetables to overripen as this will attract pests such as flies and ants.