Container Vegetable Gardening Tips

Growing vegetables can save the cost of buying fresh vegetables, but not all gardeners have the luxury of space to till a garden. When outdoor space is limited, vegetables can be grown in containers on a patio, deck or balcony. Containers elevated on cinder blocks or a bench can be helpful for physically impaired to enjoy gardening even if there is space for a ground garden.

Container

The container can be made of any nonrusting material like plastic, cement or clay. The container needs to have drain holes and be the appropriate size for the vegetable's root system. Radishes and corn can be grown in a window box size container no deeper than 8 inches. Onions and peas need a container 12 inches deep. Tomatoes and squash need a container 24 inches deep.

Sunshine

Choose a full sun location for the containers. Depending on the size of the container, you may want to place the container in the desired location before filling the container with potting soil. If the sunlight is limited to morning sun on one side of the house and afternoon sun on the opposite side of the house, consider placing the containers on a child's wagon to roll the pots from one side of the house to other to get the optimal amount of sunshine.

Water

Vegetables planted in containers will need more frequent watering than ground-planted vegetables. The containers will become heated by the sun, causing the soil to dry out faster, particularly in smaller pots. The vegetables may need to be watered daily. Check the soil by pushing your finger down into the container about 1 inch on small containers and about 2 inches on large containers. If the soil is dry, then water the vegetable. Mulch, like leaf mold, can be place on the top of the soil in the container to help retain moisture.

Fertilizer

As the plants grow and subsequently produce vegetables, nutrients are depleted from the soil. Fertilizer can help to replace needed nutrients. Starting about one month after planting, apply a water soluble fertilizer. Use more water than the manufacturer's instructions since the fertilizer cannot leach into surrounding soil.

Keywords: container gardening, growing vegetables, container garden

About this Author

Barbara Raskauskas is a certified e-learning specialist and certified Microsoft Office specialist. She has written web content, technical documents and course material for a decade. Raskauskas now writes how-to's, product reviews and general topics published on several websites, including Demand Studios.