How to Garden in Pots on Your Deck


Gardening in pots allows you to have a garden even if you don't have room for regular garden beds or if you want to grow the plants closer to your home. Decks provide a suitable place for many plants, as long as there is enough sunlight in the area. Growing on decks provides protection for the plants, as they are less likely to succumb to weed problems in the pots, and the plants are likely protected from heavy wind and bad weather.

Step 1

Place pots on top of drip trays before planting, which helps protect the deck from water damage. Use water heater drip trays for large planters that do not have their own drip tray.

Step 2

Fill the pots with a well-drained potting soil. Leave a 2-inch space between the rim of the container and the top of the soil, which prevents the water and soil from overflowing the pot and soiling the deck when you irrigate.

Step 3

Plant the seedlings into the pot at the same depth they were growing at in their nursery containers. Most vegetables require a 10 inch soil depth and are spaced at the recommended spacing on the plant label. Flowers usually require a 6 to 8 inch soil depth and are spaced in the pot at half the recommended label spacing.

Step 4

Water the pots once a day until the excess moisture just begins to drip out of the bottom of the pot. Check the soil moisture before watering, especially in cooler weather, and only irrigate when the top 1 inch of soil begins to feel dry.

Step 5

Fertilize plants every two weeks with a soluble fertilizer formulated for the type of plants you are growing. Vegetables usually require nitrogen-rich fertilizers, while flowers prefer phosphorus-rich formulas. Follow label application rates.

Step 6

Deadhead ornamental flowers to encourage further blooming and to prevent old plant debris from littering the deck. Pinch off the old flower heads and dispose of them before they begin to set seed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Water that collects under planters can cause damage to wood decks or cause the paint to peel from the wood. Elevate containers by placing them on top of bricks, which allows airflow under the pots so the deck dries out.

Things You'll Need

  • Drip tray
  • Pots
  • Potting soil
  • Plants
  • Fertilizer


  • Colorado State Extension: Container Gardening
  • West Virginia University: Container Garden
Keywords: gardening in pots, deck container garden, growing potted plants

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.