Growing vegetables does not require that you own a plot of land; you can grow vegetables on your patio or balcony. Known as container gardening, this type of gardening works well with a number of different vegetables. Follow a few guidelines to learn how to grow container vegetables on your porch or patio.
Obtain containers for the types of vegetables you are growing. Use pots or containers at least 6 to 8 inches deep for shallow-rooted vegetables, such as herbs, peppers, lettuce or radishes. Use larger containers for vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, squash or pole beans. Always use containers with drain holes.
Select the location(s) on your patio for your plants. Vegetable plants require full sun at least 5 hours a day. Place the containers in the sites selected, and move them around until you find spots providing lots of sun for most of the day. Make sure that you can easily reach the containers to water and care for the vegetables without having to move them around.
Fill the pots with a good of quality potting soil or compost. Plant the vegetables (seeds or transplants) at the time recommended for a standard outdoor garden. Space the vegetables according to the instructions given on the seed packet or plant marker.
Water the planted vegetables thoroughly. Cover the tops of the containers with mulch to conserve moisture in the soil. Check the pots daily to see if the top 1 to 2 inches of soil is dry; the amount of water required will vary among vegetables. Supply water as needed to each plant when the soil is dry.
Apply a time-release fertilizer at the time of planting or water-soluble fertilizer after planting. Use a standard vegetable fertilizer as directed every two or three weeks during the growing season. Water the vegetables after applying the fertilizer.