How to Grow Vegetables on a Porch

Overview

Gardeners who don't have a plot of land to work can still produce a crop of vegetables on an unused porch. Even a small slab of concrete can be transformed into a productive vegetable plot. Use intensive gardening methods and take advantage of specially bred smaller hybrids to get the most out of your small space. Combine planters on the ground and hanging pots in the air to create a lush green environment that produces enough food to feed you all summer.

Step 1

Make a list of all the vegetables that you want to grow and look for smaller versions to put in your porch garden. Many vegetables have a smaller variety bred for containers. Choose each plant with that in mind as much as possible. If you want to grow tomatoes, think about Patio or Sweet 100 growing in hanging planters. If you like cucumbers, Bushmaster is a good choice for planters.

Step 2

Fill your planters with a potting soil mix. Do not use topsoil, even though it may be less expensive. Topsoil often contains weed seeds, and potting soil has the right mix of ingredients for the needs of container gardens.

Step 3

Push a trellis into the planters that will hold cucumbers, pole beans, melons and other vining plants. Make sure that the legs of the trellis are firmly buried in the soil so that the trellis is secure.

Step 4

Plant your seeds and seedlings after any chance of frost is gone. If you are not sure of the average frost date in your neighborhood, check with Farmers' Almanac or your local Extension service.

Step 5

Plant seeds and seedlings closer together than they would normally grow in a garden. Read your seed packet to discover the minimum amount of space between plants for successful growth. Carrots usually need 3 inches between plants, so you can fit 16 carrots in a 1 sq. ft. planter. By slightly crowding the plants, you will shade out weeds and take advantage of every inch of planter space.

Step 6

Water your containers with liquid fertilizer. Make sure that the soil is saturated.

Step 7

Hang your upside down planters and other hanging containers where they will get full sun but where you can reach them easily. Arrange your containers on the floor of the porch with the larger plants, like cucumber, in the back and smaller ones like carrot in the front.

Step 8

Water your containers whenever the soil gets dry. In the middle of summer, you may need to water more than once a day. Every time that you water the plants, turn the container 1/4 turn. This will ensure that all sides of the plant receive the strongest sun on different days.

Step 9

Pick your vegetables when they are still small but smooth and filled out. Keep picking every two or three days to encourage the plant to continue producing.

Step 10

Pull dead plant material out of your planters at the end of the season.

Things You'll Need

  • Planters
  • Hanging pots
  • Hangers
  • Trellises
  • Potting soil
  • Fertilizer
  • Seeds
  • Seedlings

References

  • Organic Gardening: Urban Gardening Ideas
  • Texas A&M University: Vegetable Gardening in Containers

Who Can Help

  • Farmers' Almanac: Average Frost Dates
Keywords: porch vegetable garden, porch container garden, container plants

About this Author

Anne Baley is a writer and photographer living in Southeast Michigan. She has written dozens of articles about places she has discovered while traveling throughout the United States. Baley's work has appeared in a variety of online outlets, including EndlessSunday, GardenGuides and Travels.