Growing fruits and vegetables in a container garden on a patio is possible and relatively easy to do for the average gardener. The plant selections are the most important choice. Choosing fruit and vegetable seeds or starts that are specific for container gardening will provide the best results. A patio is a great place to create a viable fruit and vegetable container garden.
Choose a container that has drainage holes and that is made out of either wood or plastic. Drainage at the bottom of the pot will inhibit mold growth, root rot and fungal diseases. Choose the containers first for functionality and then for aesthetics; the health of the plant is the main concern. Generally, vegetable plants will require pots at least six to eight inches in diameter for successful growth, while a dwarf fruit tree will require a planter from 18 to 24 inches in diameter.
Purchase vegetable seeds that are specific to container gardening. These are engineered for container gardening. Types of vegetables naturally suitable for container gardening include tomatoes, bush beans, lettuce, beets, cabbage, broccoli, onions and peppers of all varieties. These plants are naturally compact and easy to care for in a container garden. Less compact but equally successful plants available in seed form are cucumbers, zucchini, peas and eggplant. These plant seeds are available in form specifically for a patio container garden.
Prepare the soil in the planters by filling up the container to one inch from the top of the planter. Using a packaged soil specific for container gardening is a vital step; the soil is designed specifically to retain water and hold its shape more so than traditional soil. Amend the soil with a 5-20-10 fertilizer blend before placing the seedlings or seeds into the soil. Follow the planting directions specific to the plant you are placing in the container. The needs of each plant including depth and compaction of the seeds will vary.
Place a mulch blend on the top of the soil or around the base of the seedlings, mulch will slow evaporation and hold the water necessary for the plants.
Water each container thoroughly after planting the seeds or seedlings. Water will activate the fertilizer and feed the plants. Watering generously will also fill the mulch with moisture that will inhibit the soil from drying out in between waterings.