Container gardening is a very popular form of gardening, as it combines the best of both worlds. There are no hours of strenuous digging in the yard, but you can still harvest a large amount of food at the end of the season. Seed growers have created many hybridized vegetables specifically made for container gardens, with smaller stems and vines and full-sized results. Today's container gardener can grow enough food for her family in the space of a porch or patio.
Wash the containers with warm water and a stiff brush if you use used pots. This process removes mineral deposits stuck to the inside container wall from last year's crops.
Place a piece of broken pottery or a large irregular rock over the hole in the bottom of your pot. Doing so keeps the contents from falling out the hole in the bottom of the pot, while allowing drainage water to seep out.
Add 2 inches of gravel or small rocks in the bottom of the pot. This will help keep the soil well drained and prevent roots from rotting as they often do when soaked with water.
Fill the pot with a good-quality fresh potting soil. Never reuse potting soil from another season, as the nutrients in the soil are probably depleted. Stop filling the pot when the level of the soil is 1 inch below the edge of the pot.
Insert a trellis if grow a vining plant like peas, tomatoes or cucumbers. Always place the trellis in the pot before you plant the seeds, so that you don't disturb any growing root systems.
Plant your seeds or seedlings in the container. Do not grow only one single plant in a container, unless the future grown plant is certain to grow large. Take advantage of the growing room in your containers and plant seeds in relatively close proximity. Check your seed packet or seedling marker for the minimum amount of space that the plant requires and plant accordingly.
Water the containers with water soluble fertilizer. Check the seed packets or seedling markers for additional fertilizer needs that your plant may have.
Position the container to get at least six hours of sun daily.