Container Vegetable Gardening Ideas

Many gardeners who are short on space turn to containers to grow more varieties of vegetables than will fit into their garden bed. However, container-grown vegetables need more attention than those grown in the ground. Check them daily to determine if they need watering, and feed them weekly with a water-soluble, all-purpose plant food mixed at half the strength recommended by the manufacturer.


One of the easiest grown and most prolific producing of all garden vegetables, tomatoes are easily grown in containers. Although most often planted in 5-gallon pots, tomato plants will grow quite well in a 2-gallon container or even a 12-inch hanging basket, providing the potting soil is fertile and friable. Grow determinate (bush) varieties with a wire tomato cage poked into the soil and indeterminate (vining) varieties with a 4- to 6-foot stake inserted into the soil when potting up the tomato plant.

Lettuce/Salad Greens

One of the first vegetables planted outdoors in spring, lettuce and salad greens are shallow-rooted and well-suited to container growing. They can be started extra early and the container brought indoors if severely cold early spring weather is predicted. Scatter seeds of lettuce and salad greens on the surface of the soil and cover with about 1/4 inch of additional soil. As the lettuce grows, harvest the largest plants when they are about 4 to 6 inches high, leaving room for the smaller ones to grow larger. This will extend your harvest over several weeks.

Root Vegetables

Containers are ideal for growing root vegetables, particularly if your garden soil is heavy clay or riddled with rocks. The pure, friable soil in containers is the ideal condition in which to grow root vegetables. Choose a container deep enough to accommodate the mature length of your carrots or beets, the best root vegetables for growing in containers.

Keywords: container vegetable gardening, grow container vegetables, vegetables in containers

About this Author

Sharon Sweeny has a college degree in general studies and worked as an administrative and legal assistant for 20 years before becoming a freelance writer in 2008. She specializes in writing about home improvement, self-sufficient lifestyles and gardening.