How to Plant a Patio Vegetable Garden


Growing vegetables in containers on a patio allows homeowners with limited backyard square footage to produce their own food and enjoy gardening as a hobby. Containers come in many different styles and materials. Plastic planters are lightweight so you can move them around easily. Porcelain vessels with glazed finishes, available in many different colors and patterns, add a colorful touch to your patio garden.

Step 1

Sketch out a garden plan that maximizes the use of available space. Hanging baskets allow you to take advantage of overhead space. Try wall pots, containers with one flattened side that affix to the wall, extending your available space and making the wall more attractive.

Step 2

Choose containers that are wide and deep enough that the plants' roots have plenty of room to extend down. The soil in shallow containers tends to dry out too fast. Use containers of various sizes to add visual interest. Choose containers that have a drainage hole so the plant roots don't become waterlogged.

Step 3

Select plants that work well in containers and have a high crop yield relative to their size. Grow vegetables with shallow roots or those that don't spread so much that they will be constricted by the pot. Try tomatoes, beans, peas, carrots, lettuce or sweet peppers. Mix herbs and vegetables in pots to create more of a flower garden look.

Step 4

Fill containers three-quarters full of potting soil. When planting, loosen the root balls of the plants if they look compacted. Plant deep enough that soil covers the top of the root ball. Fill in soil around the plants and press down firmly. Then water well.

Step 5

Check containers frequently to see if the vegetables need watering. Dig down with your fingers to a depth of two inches to check for dryness. Add water if needed. During the summer you may need to check the pots once every two days.

Step 6

Apply half-strength water-soluble fertilizer once a week.

Tips and Warnings

  • Vegetables need at least six hours of sun each day. They do even better with 10 hours. If your patio is shaded for most of the day, growing vegetables might not work.

Things You'll Need

  • Containers
  • Hand shovel
  • Potting soil
  • Vegetable plants or seeds
  • Water-soluble fertilizer


  • "Great Ideas for Your Garden"; Jane Courtier et al; 2003
Keywords: small space gardening, vegetables in containers, patio vegetable gardening

About this Author

Brian Hill's first writing credit was the cover story for a national magazine. He is the author of three popular books, "The Making of a Bestseller," "Inside Secrets to Venture Capital" and "Attracting Capital from Angels." Among his magazine article credits are the March 2005 and June 2008 issues of "The Writer." His interests include golf, football, movies and his two dogs.