Container gardening offers you the opportunity to have a lush vegetable garden in very little space. Use your apartment patio or balcony for your garden, or if you have little space or bad soil in your yard you can use your home patio. More and more vegetable varieties are being developed specifically for container growing. Check with your garden center when purchasing seeds or seedlings for the plants that do best in the limited growing space.
Purchase containers or use clean 5-gallon buckets or plastic storage bins that are at least 8 inches deep. Drill four to six one-quarter-inch wide holes in the bottom of containers that don't have drainage holes.
Place the container on top of bricks or wooden blocks set inside a drip tray. Use large lids, foil baking sheets or drip trays to catch the excess water from the pots.
Fill the pots with a standard potting soil to within 3 inches of the container's rim. Make your own mixture by combining 1 part peat moss, 1 part compost and 1 part vermiculite.
Mix in a general-purpose liquid fertilizer with the soil, following the label directions. Fertilize container plants every four to six weeks thereafter.
Plant the seedlings or seeds in the containers. Plant most seedlings to the same depth they are in their nursery container, except for tomatoes, which are planted 2 inches deeper. Sow seeds at the depth and spacing indicated on the envelope.
Keep the soil moist at all times. Water until excess water runs from the drainage holes. Container plants require more frequent watering than garden bed plants.
Place a trellis or stake in the pot at the time of planting for climbing plants or those that need support such as beans or tomatoes. Place these taller plants behind the shorter ones so they don't block the sun.