How to Buy Seeds for a Patio Vegetable Garden

Overview

With new varieties of vegetables to choose from, growing vegetables in pots or bins on the patio is easier than ever before. Although growing in containers does require more consistent watering, as soil in containers dries quickly in the summer sun, they require less weeding and cultivating. Producing fresh vegetables is relatively easy if you choose the right seeds for your crops.

Step 1

Write down the vegetables you wish to grow. Although large plants such as corn may not be practical, you can grow nearly any vegetable in pots and containers. Making a list of your favorites is the first step to setting up your patio garden.

Step 2

Browse seed catalogs or visit your local garden supply store and look through the selection of garden seeds.

Step 3

Look for those labeled “patio,” “dwarf” or “miniature” vegetables. Some, such as cucumbers and squash, may be labeled as “bush” varieties. These plants are smaller versions of full-size plants, but typically produce full-size fruit. Some labeled as miniature may produce miniature fruit. Tomatoes may be labeled as patio tomatoes, but any "determinate" tomato is suitable for containers.

Step 4

Read the label to determine the number of days to maturity. Choose varieties with fewer days to maturity than the number of frost-free days in your area. Many seed packets contain a zone chart for reference and indicate which zones are suitable for the plants. (See resources for USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map.)

Things You'll Need

  • Pad of paper
  • Pen/pencil
  • Seed catalogs

References

  • Kent State University Extension: Growing Vegetables in Pots
  • Ohio State University Extension: Vegetables

Who Can Help

  • Cornell University Outreach: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: patio garden seeds, container garden seeds, patio vegetable plants

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.