There's nothing like the taste of fresh vegetables out of your own garden, but not everyone has a big back yard in which to plant one. There are still ways for an apartment, townhouse or condominium dweller to create a viable vegetable garden in a patio area. Start by measuring the planting area of your patio. Decide which vegetables you will grow and in what space they'll be placed. Make sure the area gets at least six hours of sunlight per day.
It won't be necessary to run down to your local nursery or garden center and spend a lot of money on containers for your vegetable garden. Check at garage sales. Ask friends for unused containers. Look around your home for usable containers that can be used as planting pots. If the containers don't have drainage holes, drill some in the bottom. It is important container vegetable plants have good drainage so the roots don't have sopping water around them. Consider the size of the container in relation to the mature vegetable. Radishes can grow in an 8-inch flower pot, but potatoes will need a large container, such as an old garbage can or half wine barrel. Make sure any reused containers are scrubbed with soap and water and a bleach mixture. Use 1 tbsp. bleach per gallon of water.
If you are handy with tools, you can create wood boxes usually thought of for flowers. A simple, long frame can be made from lumber, with a plywood bottom. Drill holes in the plywood for drainage. Attach two small scrap lumber pieces at the bottom end of each side of the wood box, so the water can drain freely. Seal the wood before filling the box with soil. You can use a clear polyurethane, inside and out, that lets the natural color of the wood show through. For a more decorative appearance, use an exterior paint. You can even freehand artwork or use stencils to further decorate the wood vegetable boxes. Make sure to build them deep enough for the size of vegetable you will be planting.
Lattice or Trellis
Vine vegetables, such as peas and green beans, can be planted in containers in front of a lattice or trellis. There are many decorative lattices found at garden centers, nurseries and online that will add interest to your patio. The vegetable vines will travel up the lattice while they grow, and you can pick the vegetables from the vines when they mature. Look for vine cherry tomatoes as another option.