How to Grow Potted Vegetables


Growing vegetables isn't just for farmers or folks with big backyards anymore. All you need are some large pots, sunshine and water and you can have a bountiful harvest right on your deck or patio. Use the largest pots that you can find for your container vegetable garden, at least 12 inches in diameter. According to horticulturists at the University of California at Davis, an additional 2 inches in pot depth can double your vegetable yield. Then, make sure you choose vegetable plants that will grow well in your area.

Step 1

Choose vegetable varieties that grow well in pots. Although most vegetables can be grown in containers, tomatoes, squash, beans, carrots, eggplant, radishes, lettuce and peppers are the most common.

Step 2

Pour the potting mix into the pot, leaving room for your plant so that, when planted, it will sit 1 inch below the rim of the pot. An exception is tomatoes --in that case, place the stem of the plant at least 2 inches into the soil.

Step 3

Water the plant when the first inch of soil is dry to a finger poked into it. Water deeply, until the water runs out of the bottom of the pot.

Step 4

Provide adequate sunshine for your vegetables. Most types of vegetables need a full day of sun. Leafy vegetables such as lettuce can tolerate partial shade.

Step 5

Fertilize your plants for the first time two weeks after planting and then every twi weeks after that. Use fish emulsion or other organic fertilizer, according to the package directions.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting mix
  • Planting pots, with holes in the bottom for drainage
  • Water
  • Fish emulsion or other organic vegetable plant food


  • University of California at Davis
  • University of Illinois Extension
  • Ohio State University

Who Can Help

  • Texas A&M University
Keywords: growing vegetables in pots, container vegetable gardening, growing food

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.