How to Garden Vegetables in Containers


Container gardens are more than just pretty flowers. Several vegetable plants grow well in a container environment, which opens the possibilities for people living in apartments or limited sized yards. Container grown plants are lower in cost to grow, as they require less labor to establish and maintain and reduced amounts of fertilizer and organic matter amendments to the soil. Use excess space in the container by adding herbs along the outside edge to make a complete kitchen container garden.

Step 1

Choose planting containers for growing vegetables that are a minimum of 12 inches tall with a diameter of 12 inches. Verify the bottom of the container has adequate drainage holes. Drill 3 to 4 holes into the bottom of the container with a 1/4- to 1/2-inch drill bit if there are no holes.

Step 2

Add a high quality, nutrient-rich potting mixture to fill the containers two-thirds full. Moisten the potting mix with water to make it the consistency of a damp sponge.

Step 3

Remove the vegetable seedling from the seeding pot and set the root ball in the center of the container. Add more potting mix under the root ball to place the top of the root ball one inch below the top edge of the container. Fill potting mix around the root ball and pack lightly to hold the plant in place.

Step 4

Set the vegetable containers on blocks of wood to elevate the drainage holes. Place the containers in an area that receives full sunlight for a minimum of 6 to 8 hours each day.

Step 5

Water the vegetable plants immediately after planting until water flows through the drainage holes. Apply water to the containers every 1 to 2 days to maintain an evenly moist soil throughout the growing season. Monitor the moisture level as container-grown vegetables dry out more quickly than garden beds.

Step 6

Fertilize the soil every two weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble vegetable fertilizer. Follow the package instructions based on the type and size of plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Planting container
  • Drill
  • 1/4 or 1/2 inch drill bit
  • High-quality potting soil
  • Vegetable seedlings
  • Water
  • Water-soluble vegetable fertilizer
  • Wood blocks


  • Colorado State University: Container Gardens
  • National Gardening Association: Container Classics
  • West Virginia University: Container Gardening
Keywords: plant vegetable containers, grow container vegetables, container vegetable garden

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.