Vegetables are easily grown in containers when there is not enough room in the backyard. There are a few simple guidelines to remember about growing vegetables. They like four to six hours of sun per day, nutrient-rich soil and good watering routines. Check the soil frequently for dryness and watch for leaf wilting with tomatoes and squash. Salad greens do well when shaded by bigger plants. Container vegetables thrive when given a side dressing of compost once a month.
Half barrels are used as water gardens and are sold with black plastic liners. Holes need to be drilled in the bottom to ensure good drainage. Filled with high quality soil such as commercial compost, a half barrel can grow both tall and small vegetables. Place a trellis in the middle of the barrel for plants such as tomato, tomatillo, cucumber, cantaloupe and winter squash. Smaller vegetables, like habanera chili, carrots and beets, do well around the perimeter.
Coconut fiber liners in a hanging basket help retain the moisture necessary to grow vegetables. The coconut fiber is held together with tree sap, which is not harmful to vegetables. Choose dwarf variety tomatoes such as summer cherry and Tiny Tim, and cucumber varieties such as lemon apple. Lettuce of all kinds grow well in a hanging basket container garden placed in the partial shade, including heirloom varieties such as baby oakleaf' and Amish deer tongue. Hanging baskets need frequent watering.
Olive Oil Can
Empty olive oil cans make attractive container gardens because of their colorful labels. Check with a local Italian deli for their empties, or transfer the oil to a plastic container. Make a drainage hole in each side of the can with a can opener. Fill the can with nutrient-rich compost or commercial potting soil. Summer crookneck squash, radish, basil and parsley are a good combination for this size can.
Asian food markets sell rice in 10 to 25 pound reinforced or laminated poly-cloth bags that can be used for a small container garden. When the bag is filled with soil it creates a flat, sturdy bottom. Cut three 1 inch round holes in the bottom to serve as drainage holes. Fill the bag with homemade compost mixed with garden loam to 3 inches from the bag top. Fold down the bag top towards the outside to make a neat edge. The bag can hold one full sized tomato plant and several lettuces around the edge.