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How To Raise Fruit & Vegables in Containers

By Alexis Lawrence ; Updated September 21, 2017
Many of the same vegetables grown in a garden can thrive in a container.

If you think that raising your own fruits and vegetables is impossible just because of a lack of yard space, think again. Living in an apartment or condo doesn’t make growing your own garden impossible. It just means that you have to do it on a smaller scale. Many fruits and vegetables do well when planted in containers, so, as long as one spot on your patio, balcony, or in your home gets plenty of sunlight, you can still grow your favorite fruits and vegetables.

Start the seeds in mid-spring. To start seeds, fill small pots loosely with potting mix, spread two to five seeds in the mix, add water just until moist, and cover the top of the pot with a piece of glass or plastic. Place the pot in a warm location in your home, and remove the glass or plastic when green appears above the soil.

Place the started seeds in a location that receives direct sunlight during the day, such as a windowsill, until they have grown into saplings. Water the saplings to keep them just moist at all times and keep them inside until all threat of frost has passed for the year.

Replant the saplings into larger containers. Get one pot for each vegetable that you want to plant. Larger pots, around 20 inches in diameter, are necessary for items like tomatoes, which grow large and heavy. Smaller pots, around 8 to 10 inches in diameter, can be used for smaller vegetables, like peppers and chilies. If you want to plant vegetables such as potatoes, onions and carrots, you must get deep containers, at least 2 feet in height, to provide the necessary space in which these vegetables can grow.

Plant the saplings with potting mix instead of soil. Due to the limited drainage in containers, soil can become easily waterlogged and clog the holes of the container.

Move the saplings outside if you have outdoor space that receives direct sunlight. Once outside, container plants can be treated just as standard garden plants. Water the plants several times a day to keep the potting mix constantly moist. Leave the containers sitting where they get the maximum amount of sunlight throughout the day.

Harvest fruits and vegetables as soon as they grow to an average size on the plant. If you fail to harvest the fruits and vegetables regularly, they will weigh the plant down and possibly break the branches.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Seeds
  • Small pots
  • Larger containers
  • Potting mix
  • Glass or plastic cover

Tips

  • Use only containers with good drainage for raising fruit and vegetable plants. The Horticultural Society recommends containers with drainage holes that are at least 2 cm, or approximately 1 inch, in diameter.
  • When planting fruit trees, get dwarf trees that won't grow to full height. These trees are ideal for limited space.

About the Author

 

Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.