Vegetable gardening is a time-consuming process that involves clearing and tilling the earth in preparation for vegetable plants. A vegetable gardener needs to be vigilant about keeping the garden bed weed-free. An easier alternative to traditional gardening is growing vegetables in containers on the patio. Several varieties of vegetable plants grow in containers just as easily as in a traditional garden.
Lettuce and Salad Greens
Lettuce and salad greens grow well in shallow containers. These plants have shallow root systems, so containers as shallow as 5 inches will suffice. Lettuce and salad greens are fast growers, and grow easily from seed. They prefer cooler weather, so if you're in the south they will do better if they're located on a covered patio with filtered sunlight.
Grow tomatoes in large 5-gallon buckets or plastic bins. To grow tomatoes on the patio, all you need is a large container, potting soil and tomato seeds or seedlings. You will also need a staking system (a cage or several bamboo poles lashed together with twine).
Carrots and Radishes
Carrots and radishes are rooting vegetables that grow well in patio containers. Several hybrids of carrots grow only 4 to 6 inches in length. Carrots need only 1 extra inch of length for growing room. For instance, if you choose a 6-inch hybrid, use a 7-inch-deep container.
Radishes are small vegetables with very short root systems. Radishes grow easily in containers as shallow as a dish pan.