Container vegetable gardening works well if you lack adequate yard or garden space. Although you have to make some modifications, you can successfully grow most vegetables in containers. Container vegetable gardening allows you to reap the benefits of growing vegetables without having to sacrifice valuable yard space.
Several easy-to-grow cultivars allow you to grow tomatoes of almost any size in pots. Cherry tomatoes and patio varieties do well in containers and are easier for those just beginning with vegetable gardening. Plant tomatoes in a 5-gallon container for best results. The bigger the container, the more opportunity the tomato has for developing an good root system.
Place tomatoes in full sun exposure. Plant in well-draining, fertile soils. Water frequently during the summer. Consider using a tomato stake around the plant to help stabilize it as it reaches greater heights. Once the fruit is fully colored and firm, the tomato is ready for harvesting. Tomatoes are a warm season crop and are typically grown during the summer.
As a cool season crop, grow and harvest spinach during the spring and fall. It takes well to containers and will grow in gardens with limited sun exposure because it tolerates partial shade. Plant spinach in well-draining soil. For best results, apply fertilizer during transplanting. If planting from seeds, chill the seeds in the refrigerator for seven to 14 days before sowing into the ground. Plant in 5-gallon containers or window boxes. Spinach comes in three different varieties for the home gardener: crinkled leaf, savoy and plain leaf. Plain leaf is the most popular variety grown in home vegetable gardens since the leaves are much smoother. Harvest spinach leaves while young for best taste.
Another cool-season vegetable, broccoli is a hardy crop and does well in containers. Plant seeds 18 to 24 inches apart, 1/2 inch deep. Plant broccoli in 5-gallon pots for optimal growth and harvest. Well-draining soil and partial sun is also required. Broccoli is a vertical grower and reaches a height of 2 1/2 feet tall. Once the head is fully mature, harvest broccoli by cutting 5 inches of stem along with the head. Harvest before the flowers open for best results. Broccoli can also be grown in the winter as long as temperatures do not dip below 20 degrees F. Popular varieties include Green Comet, Crusier and Green Goliath.