How to Grow a Container Vegetable Garden


Do not let a lack of space keep you from growing vegetables at home. Plants thrive in containers and buckets just as they would in the ground. Container gardens are beneficial to people who cannot physically work in the garden or to those who live in an apartment or condominium.

Step 1

Select a location that is sunny. Vegetable plants should be placed in full sun. Container gardens give you the advantage of moving the plants around to obtain the maximum amount of sun during the day.

Step 2

Choose containers to accommodate the size of the plants that you wish to grow. Common garden vegetables such as tomatoes, squash, carrots and potatoes should be grown in a 5-gallon container or larger. Smaller plants, such as peppers or herbs, can be grown in shallow window boxes or planters.

Step 3

Allow for proper drainage by making sure the holes at the bottom of the container are sufficient enough to accommodate the amount of soil and plants. Ideally, there should be one drainage hole for each gallon the container holds. For example, a 5-gallon bucket should have five holes for drainage. Elongated window boxes should have a drainage hole on each end.

Step 4

Fill containers with light weight potting soil. Light weight potting soil allows the water to drain easily. Top soil or regular dirt is heavy and will retain water. Water retention in container gardens will likely cause the plant roots to rot.

Step 5

Plant vegetable seeds in the wells of an egg carton. Simply fill each well with potting soil and plant two to three seeds in each. When seeds grow to seedlings, transplant them to the intended container using a handheld spade. Root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes should be planted in a separate container to allow them room to grow properly.

Step 6

Water the plants daily. Vegetable plants that are grown in containers tend to dry out faster than those planted in the ground. Soil should be moist all of the time, however, standing water in the container can be harmful to the plants.

Step 7

Fertilize the plants a minimum of every two weeks. Fertilizer can be organic but too much of any fertilizer can burn the roots of the plants.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you choose to place your container garden on a balcony, be sure that the drainage does not interfere with your neighbors below.

Things You'll Need

  • Containers
  • Potting soil
  • Hand spade
  • Seeds or plants
  • Egg cartons (if planting seeds)
  • Watering can
  • Organic fertilizer


  • Container Gardens
  • Container Garden Seeds and Supplies
Keywords: vegetable garden, space saving garden, container garden

About this Author

Angela Robinson is a work at home mom who is currently pursuing a career in freelance writing. She enjoys the challenge of researching and writing on topics such as home and garden, travel, education and health issues. Angela enjoys the expansion of knowledge as well as the flexibility that freelance writing offers.