Container garden for vegetables

Not a lot of space? A deck or patio that receives several hours of sunlight offers a great spot to try gardening in containers arranged in groups. No bending over is required if you put them on pedestals, stands and benches, or in wall pots and window boxes. Make sure the container is large enough for the plant, provides good drainage and gets at least six hours of sun. If the container is too small, the plant becomes root-bound, dries out faster and might fall over.

What kind of container to use? Unglazed terra cotta containers are inexpensive. Wooden containers require more watering but provide insulation from cool temperatures. You may use anything for a container as long as it has a hole in the bottom for drainage.

To take out some of the guesswork, I recommend a bag of good soil mix that contains fertilizer and extra water-holding capacity for your pots. Do not use dirt from the garden.

Now be adventurous and try something different. An early-maturing dwarf or baby type of vegetable is perfect for patio gardening.

Colletta Kosiba is an advanced master gardener and master naturalist. She writes a gardening column for My Indiana Home.

See Also:  Tips for Harvesting Summer Produce


  1. I disagree on your advice of not using dirt from the garden. Why not? It is much healthier than the stuff you buy in the store, as long as you don’t spray your garden with a ton of pesticides but mulch it. THere you go and have the best soil anyway. If you mulch with lawn clippings or autumn leaves or the greens you don’t use in kitchen, then you save a lot of money AND get better results 😉
    But then again: Why would I start a garden in pots if I have a garden???

    There are a number of reason why you shouldn’t use dirt from the garden. But the main ones include the fact that most peoples garden dirt is very low in nutrients and full of parasites (like slug eggs) and bacteria. I agree with the author of this article and recommend people use freshly purchased compost for as little as a £1 to fill a container. The compost will contain most of the nutrients needed to get the vegetable plant you want established, and is a clean sterile environment for you vegetable plant to grown in and will not contain random garden weeds that may sprout up alongside your pepper plant. Only little but make a big difference.

    Of course garden dirt is cheap


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