When a gardener does not have suitable growing space for placing vegetables and flowers into the soil, a resourceful gardener turns to container gardening. As long as you have a sunny spot that is large enough to hold containers, you can make a container garden and grow almost any vegetable or flower. Use containers of varying sizes and shapes, and place the plants into the potting soil in the same way you would place them into the ground, waiting until the weather has warmed sufficiently in the spring.
Select a location for the container garden. Depending upon the light requirements of your plants, situate the container garden in full sun or in partial sun. Plants needing full sun require between eight and 10 hours of sunlight each day. Plants needing partial sun require between three and four hours of sunlight each day.
Place the containers in the area where you will create the container garden and arrange them while they are empty. Once you have filled them with soil, many of them may be too heavy to move. Situate them in a pleasing arrangement. If you will grow climbing flowers or vegetables, install small trellises behind these containers to support the climbing plants.
Use small containers to grow beets, carrots, Swiss chard, lettuce and green onions. Use medium containers to grow beans, peppers and cherry tomatoes. Use large containers to grow cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes and summer squash. Fill the containers to the top with potting soil. Plant flower plants in any size of container, filling the containers with an abundant grouping of flower plants that will grow attractively together.
Sow the seeds in the containers or plant the plants in the containers according to the specific planting instructions for each seed or plant. Follow instructions for seed spacing and depth to place the plants into each container.
Water the soil generously immediately after you finish planting. Keep the soil moist by watering the containers every day until water runs out the bottom drainage holes.
Thin the seedlings when the second set of leaves appears by pulling the weakest plants out of the soil to create the final spacing required for each kind of plant.
Fertilize the plants by mixing the fertilizer with water according to the recommended strength for the size of the containers. Pour the fertilizer over the soil to fertilize the plants every three weeks.
Add 1 to 2 inches of mulch to cover the soil, if you desire. The mulch will keep the soil moist and keep the roots of the plants cool.
Deadhead flowers growing in containers when the blossoms fade on the plants. Clip the blossoms from the plants immediately beneath the blooms. Harvest vegetables when they ripen by pulling or clipping them from the plants.