Vegetable container gardening plans

Built-in planter designs can easily transform your outdoor living space from boring to beautiful. When you add these planters to your backyard, deck, or patio, you can add lots of greenery while saving on space. That is why these 33 built-in planter ideas are perfect for smaller outdoor living spaces.

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33 Creative Built-In Planters

Try one of the tiered projects on this list to really save on space. Want to add some seating to your deck but don’t want to sacrifice that planting space? Try the built-in planters that are both features in one! Climbing plants are a beautiful addition to a garden and with a planter with a built-in trellis like the ones on this list, you can grow these plants without the use of a wall.

If you are on a budget, never fear; many of the projects on this list are made from affordable materials like wooden crates and concrete blocks. If you want to give your outdoor space a natural, earthy feel, try one of the built-in planter ideas using stones and rocks. They are pretty, practical, and inexpensive. Read on to learn more about making all 33 DIY projects!

1. Deck Bench with Built-In Planters

Source: diy50.com

Bring the classic dark with white tuxedo look from your kitchen out to your deck, and tie the two areas together. To further coordinate the look, take extra posts from your deck fencing, saw them in half, and use them as the legs for your benches.

2. DIY Concrete Built-In Deck Planter

Source: smallbackyardlandscaping.com

Use plywood to create a mold for the size planter that you want and quick-setting, concrete-countertop mix for your planter. Customize your planter with a translucent stain that complements your décor. The sleek, contemporary look of concrete is popular for outdoor décor as is mixing textures and mixing rustic furniture and accessories with contemporary elements.

3. Stacked Stone Planter with Bench

Source: sanfranvic.com

Before starting, sort your stones into three piles – large, medium, and small. Use larger, less attractive stones as a foundation, and then overlap where stones meet in lower layers with the next layer. Mix stones of different sizes and colors for a random look. Mortar isn’t needed for a wall under 18 inches, but use mortar or use a caulk gun to apply beads of masonry construction adhesive between layers, or courses, to strengthen higher walls. Before applying the mortar or adhesive, switch stones around and try different stones in different locations until each course helps to create a look you like. Natural materials, especially locally sourced materials, are popular for decks.

4. Built-In Wooden Box Deck Planters

Source: kendinyapsana.com

Privacy is often an issue for small patios, decks, and balconies around urban areas, apartment buildings, and apartment complexes. These tall, narrow planters made from wood slats add design interest with their repeated horizontal lines without requiring much floor space. Add the tall grasses, and you have a privacy screen that still lets in the sun and the breeze.

5. Flower Bed with Built-In Stone Planter

Source: pinterest.com

This attractive light stone planter uses mortar, which frames the individual stones, but it is low enough that it could be dry-stacked without mortar. It provides textural contrast with the fence, the stove, the candleholder, the grass, and the feathery, fern-like leaves of the plant.

6. DIY Wood Bench with Planters

Source: brittanystager.com

This cedar bench, with its asymmetrical planters, was coated with a varnish to let the grain of the wood show. This treatment gives it a casual, natural look, and the staggered placement of the boards for the planters adds to the open, airy feel. It’s an inviting look that could blend well with a rustic, coastal, or contemporary décor, or it could fit into a look that mixes styles.

7. DIY Rusty Metal Garden Planters

Source: brokohan.com

Some feel that gardens in the United States should reflect our cultural heritage, so they tuck cast iron manual pumps and hand plows into garden nooks instead of replicas of Greek and Roman statues. These rusty planters reflect that idea. The planters are made from recycled corten steel, which can be purchased in rolls so that you or a metalworker can cut it and weld it to create any size and shape planter you like. It takes three to six months to achieve the rusted look on the exterior, but the interior remains protected from the weather which means these planters last a long time.

8. Wooden Planter for Small Spaces

Source: pinterest.com

If you have a small space or you would like an attractive way to hide an air conditioner or a garbage can that occupies part of your patio, you can save work and make this narrow planter from shipping palettes. You need only add the boards at each end, the base, and a cap around the top. Finish it with varnish, stain, or paint to create the look that best coordinates with your décor.

9. Tiered Concrete Built-In Deck Planters

Source: groundswelldesigngroup.com

If your home is on a hillside or mountainside or it has a steep slope and you like a contemporary look, these tiered concrete planters might be your answer. They can act as a retaining wall, and they eliminate the need to mow a difficult and potentially dangerous area.

10. DIY Stacked Stone Plant Beds

Source: gobeyondthegrid.com

It’s easy to create stacked stone planters in just about any shape you like. Decide on a location for the planter, and then lay out a garden hose or a length of clothesline rope in the shape you want. Use spray paint to spray around the outline of your shape. Then clear a one-foot wide space just inside the outline. Tamp down the soil inside the space you have cleared to provide a firm base for your wall. If the area you choose for your planter slopes, tier two or more planters. Start with building the lowest tier, and link the tiers by running the capstone of lower layers under the foundation of the next higher tier.

11. Built-In Planter Half-Wall with Bench

Source: katrinaleechambers.com

If you have the ugly side of someone else’s high fence that you want to hide or a high wall that you want to soften, try building this long planter and bench against the wall. Fill the planter with dwarf trees, and consider pruning them espalier-style, or try tall plants like tree kale. You also could add a trellis to your planter and grow climbing vines.

12. DIY Tiered Wood Planter Boxes

Source: homesthetics.net

If you’d like to grow flowers, herbs, or salad greens and other shallow-rooted veggies but you think that you don’t have the space, think of vertical space. Use two-by-fours, wood wall-shelf supports, and small, cedar window boxes to create a vertical garden that you can attach to the cross supports on the interior of your fence. Fill as many of the spaces between the vertical posts as you like.

13. Concrete Block Planter and Decoration

Source: amazinginteriordesign.com

Create this dramatic statement planter using concrete blocks and half blocks. Paint the blocks black or some other strong, dramatic color that fits your décor. Stack the blocks with the holes facing up in some intriguing shape, placing some of the full blocks so that they extend out from the front of the planter. Leave open spaces between some of the blocks. When you have the blocks arranged in an interesting shape, place potted plants in the visible holes.

14. Planter Boxes with Climbing Trellis

This planter offers another solution for an area where you might like a privacy screen but where you also want to let in sunlight and a breeze. Place a row of planters along the area that you want to screen, and then attach lattice work trellises to the planters. Grow flowering vines or vining vegetables using the trellis to the back of the planter with more flowers or veggies to the front.

15. Built-In Patio Planter Boxes

Source: bhg.com

To create the feel of an outdoor meadow or garden on an urban apartment balcony or patio, arrange planter boxes of varying sizes and heights around the walls and railings bordering the space and fill them with dwarf trees, shrubs, and flowers. Use tall plants, trellises and vines, or hanging baskets with vines around areas that you want to screen, or use the planters to create an urban vegetable garden.

16. Built-In Deck Planters for Privacy

Source: sarahakwisombe.com

If you have a backyard with a larger deck that you would like to screen, you have enough space to mold concrete planters large enough to grow small trees. Intersperse the trees with shrubs or taller plants that are native to your area, the types of plats that you might find growing under the trees in the shaded areas of local woodlands and forests. This creates the natural look of a woodland glade for your deck.

17. DIY Wood Crate Planter Boxes

Source: manmadediy.com

To create this asymmetrical statement look, decide how tall and wide you want the arrangement to be and how you deep and long want the individual boxes to be. Cut boards of the desired height, width, and length for the sides of each section of planters and for the bottoms of each planter, and cut enough slats of the desired length to make up the height of each planter front and back. Nail the planter bottoms and slats to the sides in the correct position for the way you want to arrange the planters. You could create planter columns or a planter arch to create an entrance to an area of your outdoor space, a privacy screen, or a vertical herb or vegetable garden.

18. Green Wall Backyard Planter Project

Source: homeimprovementpages.com.au

This Gro-Wall is a modular system for vertical gardening that permanently attaches to a wall or fence. Because it’s modular, you can easily create a wall that is as tall and long as you need it to be. It can be single-sided or double-sided with an attractive wall of greenery on each side. The watering system is contained within the modular units, and it is designed to conserve water by preventing and capturing leaks. In addition to creating vertical gardening space, a two-sided wall would provide a lush, attractive privacy screen.

19. Built-In Patio Planter with Bench

Source: homedit.com

Create molds for the planter and the end and corner support for the L-shaped bench. Again, use quick-drying, concrete countertop mix and choose a stain to complement your style and home décor. Use a caulking gun and masonry construction adhesive to attach the bench supports to the planter. Build each length of the bench seat, place the straight ends of the bench in the notches, and then attach the mitered ends to the square of wood that caps the center support. To soften the look, add pillows.

20. Built-In Rock Garden for Succulents

Source: conceptlandscape.tumblr.com

This planter is the center strip in a rustic patio side table. Each half of the top of the table was created from the two sides of a repurposed, shallow crate that was used for shipping art work. The short succulents require little care, and they create an interesting contrast in textures with the smooth stream pebbles and the weathered-looking wood. This table would fit in well with a southwestern or rustic look or with a look mixing the contemporary and the rustic.

21. Tiered Wooden Crate Built-In Planter Boxes

Source: decorandthedog.net

These crate-like planters are easy to create. You can mix shallow ones with deeper ones and place them in a symmetrical or asymmetrical arrangement. Fasten them to your patio or deck posts to create a railing, or fasten them to your fence posts to soften or disguise your fence.

22. Built-In Planters with Water Feature

Source: weeklytechnology.com

Add a pump, filter, tubing, and waterfall features to this planter, and place it beside an above-ground or in-ground pond to add the pleasant sound of splashing water to your backyard. Include fish and water plants for a soothing effect. This planter could be the centerpiece of a meditation garden.

23. Deck with Built-In Planter Boxes

Source: ahigo.net

To create the look of a woodland boardwalk, place tall box planters around the sides of your deck. The planters should be just slightly higher than the edge of the deck. Add small or ornamental trees, flowering plants, and ground cover to the planters. Native woodland plants would be a particularly good choice for this look.

24. DIY Metal Tub Planter Boxes

Source: gardeners.com

Metal tubs are a natural choice for raised-bed planters. Use old tubs if you have them, so long as you know that they have contained no toxic chemicals. If you don’t have old ones, you can purchase new ones in a number of different shapes. Plant them with flowers, herbs, or vegetables. Raised beds are especially handy for those with mobility issues because they can reach the plants more easily to care for them and to gather flowers for vases or to harvest vegetables and herbs.

25. Easy Planter with Built-In Bench

Source: gardengurus.co.uk

This planter with its inviting, symmetrically centered bench is made from railway ties or sleepers. Railway ties offer an eye-catching contrast in size and shape to other boards, but only use new, untreated ties for your projects. Old ties will have been treated with creosote to protect them from wood-boring insects. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that creosote is a possible human carcinogen and is not approved for treating any wood that is intended for residential use, including for landscaping.

26. Patio with Built-In Planters and Benches

Source: bdphotography.com

This outdoor, rooftop living space uses planters to define different areas for different uses. It features one concrete planter with a built-in bench in the foreground. A pergola with an attached window blind shades this area, and vines from the planter climb the posts. Eventually, the vines could be trained to grow across the pergola for more shade. In a meditation area in the background, another planter in a block “C” shape creates a quiet nook for a second-hand, free-standing bench that sits on a raised pebble-strewn area. The raised area is reached by a ramp. It overlooks a shallow planter that receives a cascading waterfall from a concrete and metal water feature. Pillows soften the look.

27. Concrete Planters and In-Set Grass Patches

Source: dwellingdecor.com

Bring your lawn up onto your roof or deck with the ideas from this rooftop garden. Cut the deck boards to leave circles, or whatever shape you like, for grassy patches of lawn. White and marbled light gray planters provide privacy with dwarf or small trees, tall plants, and vines trained to grow on trellises behind the planters.

28. DIY Wood Planter with Built-In Benches

Source: weeklytechnology.com

The furnishings of this patio subtly play on contrasts between light and dark and a natural, casual, rustic feel versus a sleek, modern vibe. The light-color of the varnished wood of the planters and bench and the dark wood of the table in front of it carry the rustic feel. The two black metal chairs, the two chairs with the plastic seats and chrome legs, and the hanging light strike a retro 50’s feel. The light-colored, round coffee table and the light-colored wood bench with the black cushions combine the contrasting two vibes tying the contrasting looks together.

29. DIY Tiered Wooden Corner Planter

Source: palletwoodprojects.com

If a corner of your deck or patio looks bare and needs a little something to fill it, try this tiered corner planter. Succulents are easy to care for if you want low-maintenance plants, but tall grasses in the planter’s upper section would provide an attractive backdrop for flowering plants that would add color to your corner.

30. Tiered Planter Garden With Waterfall

Source: 1001gardens.org

This arrangement of wood planters, steps, and a slide offers another idea for landscaping a sloping area of your property. The planters double as a retaining wall, the steps makes caring for the plants easy, and the wavy design of the blue slide suggests a waterfall while providing a play area for kids.

31. Concrete Block Corner Garden Planter

Source: amazinginteriordesign.com

If you want an unexpected but easy-to-create statement planter for a corner of your deck or patio, stack cement blocks and half blocks into an irregular mound with a triangle as the base. Fill the holes with small pottered plants.

32. Built-In Tiered Wood Planter Boxes

Source: lovethispic.com

Add privacy and a vertical garden space to a pergola by alternating two or three trellis-like slats with shelving for built-in planters. Fill the planters with herbs, low-growing veggies, flowering plants, or a selection of all three.

33. Corner Planter Box with Climbing Trellis

Source: diyprojects.ideas2live4.com

Build a square planter to sit, diamond-like, in a corner of your patio or deck, and then add a trellis to two sides of the planter. The black lattice of this trellis together with the molding of the posts and top piece suggest an oriental look, but different choices of wood, color, and shapes could create a Victorian, rustic, coastal, or sleek contemporary look.

Container gardening tip list: Advice to help you succeed

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Growing plants in containers isn’t necessarily as easy as it looks. While plunking a plant into a pot seems pretty simple, making sure that plant thrives can sometimes be a complicated affair. What kind of soil is best for the plant? How much water does it require? Where’s the best place to put the pot after it’s planted? Does the plant need to be fed? If so, how often? To simplify all of the tasks involved in growing in containers, we’ve compiled this container gardening tip list that runs from the start of the season all the way to the end, giving you all the advice you need to grow a successful container garden wherever you live.

Our Task-by-Task Container Gardening Tip List

To make this container gardening tip list as simple as possible, we’ve divided our most useful tips into sections that follow the growing season. You’ll learn how to plant and grow a beautiful and productive container garden, filled with flowers, herbs, vegetables, fruits, and more, simply by following these snippets of useful and practical advice.

The first step in successful container gardening is choosing the right container

Tips for selecting the best containers

  • Garden containers can be made from many different materials. To reduce watering needs in hot summer weather, choose non-porous materials, such as glazed ceramic, fiberglass, resin, fiberstone, or metal containers.
  • Always buy a bigger pot than you think you’ll need. Small pots hold a smaller volume of soil, which means they’ll dry out faster. Bigger pots need to be watered far less frequently.
  • If you need to move your pots to maximize sun exposure, lightweight fabric planter bags or polystyrene foam pots are an excellent choice.
  • No matter what your container is made of, make sure there’s a drainage hole in the bottom. Crushed gravel or stones placed in the bottom of a pot do not improve or add drainage.
  • Repurposed household items make fun garden containers, but make sure they aren’t covered with lead paint which could lead to soil contamination or health issues.
  • Be sure to add a little personality to your garden by including some decorative containers that have a little whimsy.

Tips for choosing the best plants for your containers

  • No container garden tip list is complete without suggestions for plant selections. Don’t just choose what’s in flower at the garden center; pick plants that make sense for your growing conditions. If you have full sun, pick plants that can tolerate that. In shady areas, choose plants that don’t require maximum sunlight to perform their best.
  • Succulent plants are a great option for gardeners who travel a lot… or forget to water their containers from time to time. Plus, they’re really cool.
  • If you’re growing vegetables in your containers, be sure to pick varieties bred for their short stature and ability to thrive in containers. Here’s a great list of container vegetable varieties.
  • There are countless annual flowers that do great in containers, but don’t forget to include foliage plants and perennials, too. These plants can be pulled from their containers at the end of the growing season and moved into the garden for a permanent home.
  • Houseplants and tropicals make great container specimens. Grow them outdoors for the season, but be sure to move them inside before freezing temperatures arrive.
  • If supporting wildlife is important to you, be sure to include some pollinator plants in your container garden plans. A great container gardening tip is to make sure one out of every five plants you include supports some form of wildlife.

    Don’t just buy whatever plant strikes your fancy. Carefully examine your growing conditions first.

Tips for using the right container garden planting mix

  • When it comes to potting soil, you get what you pay for. If you want a successful container garden, don’t skimp and buy the cheapest potting mix. Choose high quality over low price every time. Here’s my favorite brand.
  • Make your own DIY potting soil for great results without the expense. Here are our favorite potting soil recipes with mixing instructions.
  • To reduce watering needs, and introduce beneficial microbes and nutrients to your containers, mix potting soil with finished compost before filling containers. I mix mine at a ratio of 50/50. This is a container gardening tip that has so many benefits!
  • If you’re growing cacti or succulents, skip the compost and add coarse builders sand to the potting soil instead. Or, use a cacti-specific potting mix to fill your containers.
  • Select a potting soil that includes an organic nutrient source whenever possible. This provides plants with a slow-release source of nutrients throughout the gardening season and skips the synthetic chemical fertilizers that could burn tender roots or lead to leaf tip burn.

Be sure to fill containers with a blend of high-quality potting soil and compost prior to planting.

Tips for designing container plantings

  • When it comes to a container gardening tip that impacts the beauty of your containers, none is more important than using your own creativity! Partner plants that appeal to your eye, combining colors and textures to make a pleasing mix.
  • To keep container gardens from looking too busy, stick with just one or two main focal points per container and surround those featured plants with simpler textures, colors, and forms.
  • There are many different design styles for containers, based on whether the pot will be viewed from just one side or from all sides. Keep the balance and proportion of the container in mind no matter which design style you’re using.
  • Using a single specimen plant in a large container is a beautiful choice. Don’t think you have to cram a dozen plants into a container for it to look good. Sometimes less is more.
  • Some color combinations may look garish to one gardener, while to another they look stylish and sleek. Don’t be afraid to experiment — remember, you do you!

Containers don’t have to be jam-packed with plants to be beautiful. Sometimes just one or two plants make the best statement.

Tips for planting a container garden

  • When planting your containers, organize and lay out the plants before you start planting to make sure the plants all look good together and the pot won’t be too full. This is one container gardening tip that can save you oodles of time!
  • After you tip a plant out of its nursery pot, carefully inspect the roots. Trim off any that are rotten as well as any that are circling around inside the pot. Pot-bound plants seldom perform well, so breaking up those circling roots and spreading them out in their new container makes for a healthier plant.
  • Don’t skimp on space. While it might seem smart to fill the bottom of a container with empty water bottles or other fillers so you don’t have to use as much potting mix, for the best root growth, the entire pot should be filled with potting mix.
  • Plant each plant to the same depth it was in its nursery container. Don’t bury plants too deeply or leave them sticking up too high. This can lead to roots that dry out too fast or plants that rot at their base.

Loosening pot-bound roots prior to planting helps them spread out into the new container quickly.

Tips for watering a container garden

  • Watering is the most important job on a container gardener’s to-do list. Don’t forget about it. If you’re prone to ignoring this chore, set up an automatic container irrigation system or plant drought-resistant plants such as succulents and cacti.
  • Don’t wait for plants to begin to wilt before watering. An important container garden tip is to always water before plant stress occurs.
  • When watering, make sure to fill each container repeatedly, allowing at least 20% of the water added to the top of the pot to drain out the bottom three or four times before moving on to the next container. This helps flush out excess fertilizer salts, too.
  • Water in the morning whenever possible. Doing so deters fungal diseases and slugs and other pests, as well as minimizing water loss due to evaporation.

Pay careful attention to watering chores for success with container gardening.

Tips for feeding container plants

  • Even though the potting soil and compost mixture you used to fill the pots contains nutrients, you should still add supplemental fertilizer every three to four weeks throughout the growing season.
  • There are many different organic fertilizers that are perfect for container gardening. Here’s a great post about my favorite container fertilizers and how to use them.
  • Vegetables should be fed more frequently than ornamental plants as they require more nutrition to produce a good yield, and using an organic fertilizer is even more critical when growing food.

There are many different brands of liquid organic fertilizers for container gardening.

Tips for maintaining a container garden

  • While you don’t have to immediately trim off every dead leaf and flower, doing these maintenance chores every few weeks throughout the summer stimulates more flowers and can cut down on the occurrence of certain plant diseases.
  • Keep a careful eye out for insect pests and diseases. You can use our guide to vegetable garden pests and our guide to garden disease management for suggested control methods should any issues happen to appear.
  • At the end of the growing season, be sure to empty all pots and overwinter them in a dry location if the pots are not 100% frost-proof.

Maintaining container gardens with useful practices like pinching and deadheading helps promote blooms and luscious growth.

With this container gardening tip list, we guarantee you’ll have a successful growing season from start to finish! For more tips on successful container gardening, check out my latest book, Container Gardening Complete (Quarto Publishing, 2017). You’ll also find 20 fun projects and hundreds of awesome container plants to include in your own container garden.

What do you like to grow in containers? We’d love to hear about any other items you’d like to add to this container gardening tip list, too. Please share with us in the comment section below.

Designing Your Container Vegetable Garden

If you do not have adequate space for a vegetable garden, consider growing these crops in containers. Let’s taking a look at growing vegetables in containers.

Container Gardening Vegetables

Almost any vegetable that can be grown in a garden will work well as a container-grown plant. Vegetables normally suited for growing in containers include:

  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • eggplant
  • potatoes
  • beans
  • lettuce
  • carrots
  • radishes

Most vine crops, such as squash and cucumbers, also do well in containers. Generally, compact varieties are the better choices for growing in containers. Bush beans, for example, thrive well in this type of environment and look quite attractive when arranged with other container crops.

Containers for Vegetable Gardening

Nearly any type of container can be used for growing vegetable plants. Old wash tubs, wooden boxes or crates, gallon-sized coffee cans, and even five-gallon buckets can be implemented for growing crops as long as they provide adequate drainage.

Regardless of the type or size of your container, drainage is vital for successful growth and the overall health of vegetables. If the container you have chosen does not provide any outlets for drainage, you can easily drill a few holes in the bottom or lower sides. Placing gravel or small stones in the bottom of the container will help improve drainage as well. You may also consider raising the container an inch or two off the ground with blocks.

Depending on the crops you selected, the size of the container will vary. Most plants require containers that allow at least 6- to 8-inch depths for adequate rooting.

  • Smaller sized containers, like coffee cans, are generally ideal for crops such as carrots, radishes, and herbs.
  • Use medium sized containers, such as five-gallon buckets, to grow tomatoes or peppers.
  • For larger crops, such as vine growers, beans and potatoes, you want to implement something more suitable to their needs, such as a large wash tub.

The spacing requirements for most vegetables are usually found on the seed packet or you can find them in gardening resource books. Once the seeds have sprouted, you can thin the plants to the desired number suitable to the container.

Fill containers with peat moss and a suitable potting mix. Compost or manure should be worked in to achieve healthier plant growth. Do not add more than the recommended amounts of fertilizer, however, since doing so can burn the plants.

Where to Put Your Container Vegetable Garden

Once you have taken care of the basics, you’ll have to decide where to place your container garden. You want to situate the containers in an area that is close to a water source with sufficient sunlight, usually, at least five hours. Excessive wind can quickly dry container plants out, so you should consider this factor as well when choosing a site.

Set the larger pots furthest back or in the center, if your design permits, with the medium-sized containers placed in front or around the larger ones. Always place the smallest containers in the very front.

With containers, there is also the option of growing vegetables in windowsills or hanging baskets that can be placed right on the porch or balcony. Ornamental peppers and cherry tomatoes look good in hanging baskets, as do trailing plants such as the sweet potato vine. Keep them watered daily, however, since hanging baskets are more prone to drying out, especially during hot spells.

Watering Container Gardening Vegetables

Generally, you should water container plants every few days unless it is quite hot; more frequent watering will then be required. Check containers at least once a day and feel the soil to determine whether or not it is damp. You also might consider sitting containers on trays or lids. Doing so will help retain moisture by holding excess water and allowing the roots to slowly pull it up as needed.

Check these plants often to make sure that they are not continually sitting in water. If sitting water becomes a problem, fill the trays with some type of mulching material, such as chips, to help soak it up.

Apply water with a watering can or sprayer attachment on a garden hose. Also, check that the water is reasonably cool beforehand, as hot water may cause damage to root development. During the hottest part of the day or when severe weather is expected, you can move the containers for additional protection.

Growing Vegetables in Small Spaces

Every square inch matters in a small vegetable garden. Here are practical tips for increasing your bounty. By Anne Balogh

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Is your garden bed a twin size versus a king? Or maybe you have no land at all, and only a tiny balcony or patio. No problem. As long as you can find a sunny location, either on the ground or in mid-air, you can satisfy your appetite for freshly picked produce.

Even in a small 4-foot by 4-foot bed like this, you can grow plenty of vegetables. Photo by: Arina P Habich | .

“Almost everyone has access to more space than they realize. It just takes a little creative thinking to see it,” says Andrea Bellamy, in her book Small-Space Vegetable Gardens. A rooftop, alleyway, front porch, and even a fire escape are all viable spots for growing vegetables. The keys to success are careful planning and making the most of what you’ve got.

MAXIMIZE YOUR SPACE

Think outside the plot
If growing in the ground is not an option due to space limitations, poor soil, or lack of sun, containers and raised beds are great alternatives. When growing edibles in pots, choose patio or dwarf varieties and shallow-rooted plants such as lettuce, radishes, garlic, and leeks. For containers, you can use almost anything that holds soil — from plastic grow bags to old metal wash buckets — as long as you provide good drainage, says Bellamy. Remember that container plants need more water than those in the ground, it’s best not to let them completely dry out. Also be sure to fertilize your containers during the growing season, using an organic fertilizer such as liquid kelp or fish (follow the directions on the label).

Tomatoes, peppers and herbs all grow well in containers. Photo by: © Geografika | Dreamstime.com.

Raised garden beds are a great option if you have a level foundation on which to build them. Compared with in-ground beds, they offer the advantages of easier access, better drainage, and faster warming of the soil in the spring. “Digging and tilling beds in the ground is great, but it can take a few years to build up really good soil. Raised beds filled with a mix of good soil and compost will get beginners off to a good start. Even a bed as small as 4×4 feet will hold a lot of vegetables and be manageable,” says Susie Middleton, an avid kitchen gardener and the author of numerous cookbooks including her latest, Simple Green Suppers: A Fresh Strategy for One-Dish Vegetarian Meals (available at sixburnersue.com).

To learn more about materials and layouts for raised beds, see How to Lay Out and Build Raised Bed Gardens.

Go vertical
If you want to plant vining vegetables such as pole beans, cucumbers, and squash, give them something for their tendrils to grab on to like a trellis, fence, or netting. Gardening up not only saves space, it also creates structure and visual interest. “I like to plant cucumbers against the garden fence or up a trellis to save space; each plant only needs about a foot of space in the garden,” says Middleton.

A bamboo teepee can be used to train runners such as pole beans or cucumbers to grow up, rather than out. Photo by: Arina P Habich / .

Trellises come in countless shapes, styles, and materials. But you can easily make your own using simple bamboo poles secured at the top to form a tepee shape. If you have space on a sunny exterior wall, Bellamy recommends growing herbs and shallow-rooted vegetables in wall-mounted planters or modular green wall systems. “A wide variety of wall-mounted planters are available, from simple, narrow plastic or wooden containers to self-watering polypropylene pockets that can be used en masse for a green wall effect,” she says.

Create an edible landscape
Edible landscaping is a creative and attractive solution to growing vegetables in a front yard or other conspicuous location. Try mixing ornamental vegetables and herbs into the perennial garden or tuck them into containers. They can also be attractive on their own, especially if you combine various colors and textures. For ideas, see Aiming for Aesthetic Edibles.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLANTS

Be productive
When you only have limited garden space to work with, choose plants that will give you big yields in a small area. Many vegetables and herbs have compact cultivars that are container friendly and ideal for small gardens. (See our list of Ten Great Space-Saving Edibles).

Make priorities
In a small garden, you have scant room to experiment or plant crops that will go to waste. Make priorities by planting what you love, what’s unique, and what will thrive. Also plant what tastes best freshly picked. “Lettuce meets all my qualifications for a perfect crop,” says Bellamy. “I use a lot of it, and it tastes best straight from the garden. It’s also fast growing, attractive, space efficient, and easy to grow.”

Come back for more
Many types of garden greens will feed you throughout the growing season if you harvest them continuously. These “cut-and-come” vegetables keep on giving by sprouting new leaves when the outer leaves are snipped off. Examples include loose-leaf lettuce, chard, kale, collard greens, mesclun, and escarole. “Lettuce varieties like ‘Salad Bowl’ and ‘Red Salad Bowl’ are great for containers or any small space. Instead of letting the lettuce head up, you can pick the outer leaves continuously,” says Middleton.

TEN GREAT SPACE-SAVING EDIBLES

Swipe to view slides

Photo courtesy: Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

‘Bright Lights’ chard
This attractive cut-and-comer features a colorful mix of yellow, ruby red, and white stalks. It’s also cold-hardy and tolerates light shade.

Photo courtesy: Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

‘Red Russian’ kale
With lovely saw-toothed gray-green leaves and red veining, this delicious kale is pretty enough to plant among flowers in containers and garden beds. It’s well-suited for small spaces because it can be seeded thickly and then cut as baby greens when only a few inches high.

Photo courtesy: Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

‘Sugar Ann’ snap pea
While most peas need a trellis to climb, there are dwarf varieties, such as ‘Sugar Ann’, that grow no taller than 24 inches and don’t need staking. “I love growing dwarf snap peas around the edge of containers. They trail over the side and look very pretty when they bloom,” says Bellamy.

Photo by: Melinda Fawver | .

‘Spicy Globe’ basil
If you often have a craving for fresh pesto, this rounded, compact basil will give you a vigorous crop of tasty leaves ready for picking all summer long. After the plant is established, harvesting frequently actually improves production. Simply pinch back the plant to maintain its mounded shape and to encourage new branch development.

Photo courtesy: Ball Horticultural Company.

‘Tumbler’ tomato
As the name implies, this hybrid bush tomato is bred for hanging baskets and containers. Each plant produces up to 6 pounds of bright-red cherry tomatoes over an inch in diameter. You can also enjoy your harvest early, because the fruit reaches maturity in only 50 days

Photo by: goldfinch4 | Garden.org.

‘Astia’ zucchini
Zucchini has a reputation for taking over the garden, with its rambling vines that are almost impossible to tame. ‘Astia’ is a French bush variety bred specifically for containers and small gardens, growing only 2 to 3 feet tall and wide. The plant is not only an abundant producer, it’s also highly ornamental with large silvery-green, indented leaves.

Photo by: lauraslens | .

‘French Breakfast’ radish
Short-rooted radishes, such as this heirloom variety, can be grown in containers only 6 inches deep. ‘French Breakfast’ has 1 ¾-inch oblong roots that are crisp and mildly spicy. The radishes reach maturity in just 25 days, making this a great crop for succession planting.

Photo by: © Nicola Gordon | Dreamstime.com

‘Mascotte’ bush bean
Both pole beans and bush beans can be grown in containers and small gardens, but pole beans require vertical support, while bush varieties, such as ‘Mascotte’, have a sturdy, upright form that needs no staking. ‘Mascotte’ is a French-style green bean that grows to a height of only 18 inches. Despite its compact size, it’s a heavy producer, yielding an abundance of tender 6-inch-long stringless beans that sit on the top of the foliage for easier picking.

Photo by: Janet Horton / Alamy Stock Photo.

‘Ambition’ shallot
Why pay a premium price for shallots at the produce market when it’s so convenient to grow your own? Shallots require far less space to grow than other members of the onion family and have a more delicate flavor with a hint of garlic. ‘Ambition’ is a high-yielding variety that produces large, long-keeping bulbs and is easy to grow from seed.

Photo courtesy: Ball Horticultural Company.

‘Patio Baby’ eggplant
This prolific dwarf eggplant produces egg-shaped, 2-to 3-inch purple-black fruits that lack the bitterness of larger varieties. One plant fits comfortably in an 18-inch container, with no staking required. Each plant produces as many as 50 baby eggplants that can be harvested throughout the season. Use along with ‘Spicy Globe’ basil in this delicious recipe for eggplant balls.

WHERE TO BUY EDIBLES

If you can’t find the edibles you want at a local nursery, try these online sources:

PLAN FOR BETTER YIELDS

Keep ‘em coming
Keep your small garden productive throughout the growing season by planting a series of crops in succession in a garden bed or container, starting with cool-season, early-maturing crops in the spring followed by mid-season and late-summer vegetables that will last until fall. “The idea of succession planting is to not let valuable garden space sit idle, and to be ready to plant something new whenever a space opens up,” says Bellamy. The same technique can also be used to extend the growing season for one type of crop, particularly fast-maturing edibles such as radishes and beans. By planting them in two- to three-week intervals they will reach maturity at different times.

Choose good companions
Interplanting is similar in concept to succession planting, except that you maximize yields by pairing up different crops that are good companions and grow at different rates. For example, you can plant sugar snap peas in early spring and plant pole beans among them. By the time the peas are spent, the beans will be ready to take their place.

Succession planting and companion planting and great ways to increase your yield when growing vegetables in a raised bed—the only downside is that they won’t really work in containers.

Stretch the growing season
Vegetable gardens aren’t just for the warm-weather months of May through September. There are many cool-season crops that will thrive in the ground or in containers well into fall, and some will even survive a nip of frost. See these suggestions for no-fail fall crops.

Related:

Urban Edibles for Rooftop Gardens
Arbors, Trellises and the Edible Garden
Spring Greens

Planning a Vegetable Garden

Planning a Vegetable Garden

So, you’re ready to start a vegetable garden and you want to get your hands in the soil right away! A little planning now will help prevent frustration later. Whether you plan to make an in-ground garden or raised beds or prefer to do container gardening on the deck, patio, or balcony, there are several factors to consider when selecting a garden site.

Selecting a Site for a Vegetable Garden

  • Your garden should be on level ground in an area that gets at least 6 hours of full sun a day (preferably more) with no tall objects or trees blocking sunlight on the south side. If you must garden on a slope, it pays to first create a terrace.

A terraced garden is a good alternative on a slope.

  • Easy access to water is essential. Locate your garden where it is accessible by water hose to an outside spigot or hydrant.
  • Avoid sites that border trees and shrubs. They may block sunlight and their root systems will interfere with your new vegetable garden.
  • Know your local animal population and fence as needed. If deer are in your area, erect a deer fence before planting the first crops.
  • Make sure you have access to every part of your garden: include paths and space for water hoses, garden carts, or other tools and equipment.
  • A few simple hand tools will get you started — shovel, metal rake, and a hoe for slicing and chopping weeds. Measuring tools are essential to lay out a garden.

Three soil prep tools: shovel or spade, mattock or pick axe, garden fork (not a pitch fork). Garden forks have sturdy tines that can help loosen and aerate heavy clay soil.

What Vegetables to Grow

To get the most from your garden, grow the vegetables that:

  • You like to eat.
  • Contain the most nutrition (e.g., sweet potato, kale, pepper, broccoli);
  • Are most expensive to buy (e.g., garlic, leeks, herbs, heirloom tomatoes, Asian greens);
  • Are easiest to grow (e.g., bush beans, tomato, cucumber, pepper, summer squash, lettuce, and other leafy greens such as Swiss chard and kale). Refer to our page on Vegetable Crops for information on growing requirements.
  • Look for cultivars with disease resistance, especially if specific diseases have been a problem. Pay attention to the cultivars that are grown successfully by neighbors and become familiar with those recommended by the University of Maryland. Our publication (PDF) HG 70 Recommended Vegetables Cultivars for Maryland Home Gardens lists vegetables to consider planting when planning your garden.

Laying Out a Vegetable Garden

  • Group plants by the season in which they grow and how long they take to come to maturity.
  • Plan to place taller crops on the north and west sides so they will not shade shorter plants.
  • Put your ideas on paper. Make a simple map of your garden plans on graph paper. Be sure to make all garden areas accessible so it is easy for you to water, fertilize, weed, and harvest. See an example of a (PDF) Year-One Garden Plan.
  • Use online tools, that can be found doing a google search, to help you design your garden and make the most of your space.

Use wooden stakes, hammer, measuring tape and string to lay out your garden plot and individual beds or rows.

Be sure to include pathways between rows and beds.

Additional Resources

  • Lawn (Turfgrass) Removal Methods
  • Types of Vegetable Gardens
  • Organic, Sustainable, Ecological Gardening

Create a Container Vegetable Garden that gives you a bountiful harvest of fresh homegrown vegetables and herbs in limited space and also looks appealing and aesthetic!

Support climbing vegetables and vines and direct them upward with the help of a trellis or a cage or by any other way. Such plants use vertical space and are abundant in production. Bitter melon (a unique tropical gourd known for its health benefits), gourds, cucumber, pole beans and other beans, Malabar spinach, vine tomatoes, squashes, peas, if you want to try– pumpkin and melons.

2. Choose Colorful Containers

You can brighten up your container vegetable garden by choosing colorful containers to grow your favorite vegetable and herbs.

3. Use Hanging Baskets

Image Credit: HGTV

Don’t cast out the idea of growing herbs and vegetables in hanging baskets. Tomatoes, strawberries, many other vegetables, and herbs can be grown in hanging baskets successfully. It also creates space!

4. Start One Pot Vegetable Garden

This one pot vegetable garden idea is perfect if you don’t have space to set up a container garden. For those who have a small balcony or open window that receives full sun. We picked up this idea from Sunset, read more there!

5. Try this Vertical Lettuce Planter Idea

We love this project done by Bonnie Plants, and why not? You can grow fresh herbs and greens easily in a limited space by following this idea. They have a step by step DIY article on this for you to look at, check out!

6. Grow Edible Flowers

To add some interest, color, and beauty, it’s a good idea to grow some edible flowers. You can use them in salads, to garnish your meal or make sharbat. Flowers like marigold, calendula, viola, nasturtiums can be tried. The list is long; the Treehugger has the names, check out!

7. Give Space to Herbs

Your container vegetable garden may look incomplete if you don’t grow some herbs. Fresh herbs can enhance the taste of your meal always, so it’s a great idea. You don’t need to grow all the herbs, consider adding 2-3 plants that you like most and suits your location. Parsley, thyme, mint, sage, oregano, cilantro and much more to choose from. A window box, a few small containers, hanging baskets, etc. can be used.

8. Tomatoes are Must

Tomatoes are a wonderful and the most important addition to a container vegetable garden. They look beautiful too. Choose 2-3 varieties and grow a few plants to get a bountiful harvest of homegrown tomatoes. Learn about the best tomato varieties for the container in this post.

9. Add Colorful Varieties

Vegetables and herbs with the different texture, attractive foliage, and colors can be an excellent addition to your container vegetable garden; they can add visual interest to it. Red hot pepper, red-stemmed swiss chard, round midnight basil, fine leaf rosemary with other herbs like lemongrass or thyme can make it look appealing. Here’s an interesting post on colorful vegetables for you to see!

10. Use Unique Planters

Use unique planters to provide virtual interest to your container vegetable garden. You can recycle and DIY your own planters or buy a few in unusual shape and size. There are a lot of DIY ideas available on our website for help.

11. Play with the Height

If you don’t want your vegetable garden to look boring, play with the height. Don’t use planters of similar size and height. Instead, group large and small containers together, this will create a visual appeal.

Also Read: Container Garden Design Tips

Group plants according to their height to create a garden like surrounding effect. To do this, place tall plants in the back and short and low growing plants like herbs and greens in front.

12. Grow a Lemon Tree

Growing a lemon tree in a pot is not difficult and probably an intelligent addition to your container vegetable garden. Here’s our step by step post on it!

13. Take Help of Vertical Gardening

Lettuces in the window boxes in a balcony

The biggest challenge of limited space gardening is limited space itself. To beat this, take help of Vertical Gardening. Use shoe racks, book shelves, and plant holders to keep more pots. If you’re a balcony gardener, railing planters and hanging planters are a must. Besides, there are many other unique vertical gardening ideas available here.

Also Read: DIY Vertical Garden Ideas

14. Start with the Productive and Easiest Container Vegetables

Try succession planting for continuous harvest and grow the most productive and easiest container vegetables for the successful harvest. Here’s our article on it.

15. Try this One Pot Herb Garden Idea

Image Credit: Southern Living

Growing herbs is easy to grow them along with other vegetables you’re growing. We found this One pot herb garden idea on Southern Living fascinating for urban gardeners. See the full post here!

Crafty Container Vegetable Gardening Design, Ideas and Tips

Don’t have a lot of space for growing vegetables and plants? No problem! Start your vegetable garden in containers. Container vegetable gardening is easier to maintain and require little space. It is perfect for beginners who are trying to grow vegetables for the first time.

One huge benefit of container vegetable gardening is that you will have minimal weed problems, so maintaining your garden will not overwhelm you. You can easily move your pots as you like.

So here is a list of some container vegetable gardening tips, designs, and ideas to get you started. By following my tips, you will be able to enjoy fresh produce right from your containers.

The Secret of Sunlight

First and foremost, observe your deck and choose a spot that gets at least six hours of sunlight every day. Make a careful observation before starting with your container vegetable gardening adventure.

Some herbs and greens can do better in 3-4 hours of sunlight but most will require approximately six. Plant Grow Light is a great product and a must-have alternative to indoor plants.

Take Care of Watering Needs

Put your plants where you can easily see and access them. This is so because container vegetable gardening requires more frequent watering than plants that are grown in the ground.

You will have to water your plants on daily basis during hot weather. So having easier access to them will not make watering a difficult chore.

Besides water, you can also take care of pest control needs of your planters. A well- balanced handle design for comfortable carrying and pouring is important, that’s why I use this watering can.

Fresh Air is Important

Remember what your grade school science teacher taught: plants need air, water and sunlight to grow. Fresh air can do wonders for plants.

If you cannot keep your pots out in the open all the time, at least move them out for a couple of hours. Make sure the place should be airy and not windy.

While good air circulation prevents fungal diseases, a strong wind can topple plants and containers, shred leaves and dislodge fruits. Check out this grow tent ventilator which is great for indoor plants.

Picking the Right Container

What’s the single most important thing for container vegetable gardening? Containers! Choosing the right container is pertinent for growing healthy plants.

Selection: You will find a variety of containers in the market. For edible gardening choose pots made of opaque material such as terracotta, plastic or concrete.

You can also opt for grow bags and even use containers found at home such as buckets, bushel baskets, wooden boxes and wash tubs.

Plastic pots are relatively cheaper and can be decorated in numerous ways. They also retain more moisture as compared to unglazed terra cotta pots.

Drainage : No matter which pot you choose to soothe your container vegetable gardening design, it should have 2-3 holes at the bottom for good drainage.

Color Contemplation: Pots having dark shades tend to absorb more heat which can be harmful to plants. If you want to keep your planters outside, choose pots with a light color.

Size: Choosing the right sized container, especially for edible gardening, is important. Vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, and peppers grow well in a 5-gallon container.

Annual flowers, salads, herbs, and lettuce need small space so you can either plant them in window planters or on a ledge. Check out these fabric pots with handles that allow roots to breathe and grow healthier.

Know Your Soil

Fluffy and light soil is a must for container vegetable gardening. As a general rule, the better the soil better would the taste of your vegetables.

The soil should not be tightly packed or too dense. Appropriate water retention and oxygen supply are essential for growing healthy solid roots.

Solid root structure provides support to your plant when it is heavy with fruits. Use potting soil mixes and avoid cans, gravels or soil from your yard. A smart choice would be to use fiber organic potting soil.

Fastidious Fertilizers

Seeds require minerals and food to germinate into healthy plants. Organic soil mixes are best for container vegetable gardening. You can find numerous mixes at your local nursery or make one on your own.

Peat-based mixes that contain equal parts of peat moss and vermiculite are excellent for growing plants. They are pH adjusted and sterile. Mixing one part compost with two parts soil mix will improve fertility.

You can use completely organic fertilizers or even liquid fertilizers (they are a bit smelly, mind you!). Check out this new Espoma organic liquid plant food which is proven to grow better plants with larger blooms.

Play Around with Colors

Who said container vegetable gardening is boring? It can be fun and splendidly beautiful along with providing healthy vegetables and fruits.

Choose plant varieties with bright colors. Bright red tomatoes, shiny green peppers, lush purple eggplants, flashy marigolds, are all a celestial feast to the eyes.

You can also paint your containers with bright colors for decorative purposes. The Vegetable Garden Bible by Edward C. Smith provided comprehensive tips and ideas in growing your vegetable garden.

Vertical Planters

These planters are ideal for small spaces. They give you an opportunity to plant many varieties in an efficient manner. They are ideal for herbs, lettuce and fresh greens.

You can let vertical planters stand at a side on your patio or small apartment balcony. This high-quality vertical garden hanging planter is just perfect for any space in your house.

Invest in Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets do not just serve decorative purposes. You can actually grow herbs, tomatoes, strawberries and many other vegetables in a hanging basket.

By growing vine varieties in hanging baskets, you will be able to create space for bush varieties in containers. I highly recommend this 4 Pack Metal Hanging Planter Basket that will make your house beautiful like springtime.

If you want to know which berries are best to grow in containers, check out 8 Best Berries to Grow in Containers for Incredible Flavor.

Cultivate Edible Flowers

Edible flowers make an interesting addition to salads, sherbets, and even savory dishes. They also add depth, color, and excitement to your otherwise small container garden.
Moreover, they also facilitate pollination.

For a cheap price, check out this 7 edible wildflower seed packets that are popular and a colorful way to spruce up your dishes!

Make Use of Novel Planters

Unique and novel planters are a virtual treat for the eyes. They provide an interesting touch to a small spaced garden. You can recycle and make these pots at home or buy from your local shop.

The manufacturing process of some planters drains our natural resources while others have smaller environmental footprints.

Being a conscious consumer, try choosing pots and containers made from sustainable materials. The book Simple Steps to Success: Fruit and Vegetables in Pots promotes gardening as a real pleasure. A must read!

Grow Vines and Climbers

To save space, use plants that grow vertically. Cucumbers, pole beans, peas, vine tomatoes, squashes, and gourd are good examples. You can use cages, trellis, and even bamboo sticks to support them.

Directing them upwards will save ground space and you can utilize it to grow either some more veggies, flowers or even make some sitting space amongst lush greenery.

Check out Vertical Vegetables & Fruit by Rhonda Massingham Hart. This book will show you how to construct and maintain a thriving and abundant garden in whatever small space you have available.

Another very informative and helpful article on utilizing and saving ground space for your garden is 17 High Yield Vegetables to Grow in Small Space Gardens.

One Pot Vegetable Garden

Growing plants in a pot is a surprisingly productive way of maximizing crop production in a small area. It doesn’t matter if you have a small balcony or a pocket-sized backyard.

With a pot large enough you can actually grow as many as 10 different types of crops in a year! You can use a water trough or a rubber tub for this purpose. Just drill a few holes at the bottom for drainage.

Ideally, choose popular vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini and herbs including mint, basil, oregano, and cilantro.

Place your pot in an area that gets most sunlight during the day. Maintain some distance between each plant. Water the pot regularly and you are set for the season. Check out this light and unbreakable pot which is perfect for your one pot vegetable garden.

Don’t Forget the Herbs

Herbs have the power to elevate the flavors of any dish. The fresher the herb the better would be the taste of the dish it is added to. Herbs are very easy to grow and will require very little efforts on your part.

All you need to do is provide them sunlight and water them regularly. They can be grown in small container boxes, empty milk, and yogurt cartons, hanging baskets etc.

Mint, oregano, parsley, thyme, sage, basil are few examples. There are plenty of options; however, I would recommend growing the varieties that you like to use most in your dishes. This herb seed collection is a must try.

Grow Colorful Vegetables

Container vegetable gardening allows you to add depth and aesthetics to your garden by adding different colored veggies in your collection.

Play around with herbs and veggies having captivating colors, tantalizing foliage and different textures.

You can hike up your garden look by enumerating varieties such as red stemmed Swiss chard, fragrant lemongrass, round midnight basil, flashy hot red peppers, fine leaf rosemary and different herbs.

They will make your garden space look amazing and full of life without you having to put some extra money for décor. Try these cute and colorful pots to brighten up your garden.

Experiment with Height

Grouping plants according to their height is also a good way of making your container vegetable gardening stand out. Create layers and waves by using pots and containers of varying heights and sizes.

Put tall varieties at the back and small plants and herbs at the front. This will give you a garden-like effect and a neat look to what may have been an otherwise congested space full of plants.

Keeping an organized journal is essential to record important information about the food you grow so you can be a better gardener. You might be interested in reading My Vegetable Garden: Month by Month Journal by L Seabolt.

Tasty Tomatoes

I think tomatoes are a must for any vegetable garden, container or otherwise! They are lovely to look at, add awesome flavor to just about any dish they are added to and are very productive.

There are numerous tomato varieties that you can grow in containers. Small cherry tomatoes require very small effort on your part and yield plenty of crops. A very helpful book for tomato enthusiasts is Epic Tomatoes by Craig LeHoullier.

Vertical Gardening is the Answer to Small Spaces

Vertical gardening is the trending answer to small spaces where large pots make space look too confined. You can use bookshelves, plant holders, and even shoe racks as pots.

Hanging baskets and vertical planters simultaneously fill your appetite for gardening and organic food and also give you free floor space.

You may decorate your balcony and home with these hanging garden pots and they will add style and color to your garden.

Cultivate the Lofty Lemon Tree

Growing lemon tree in a pot is a wise idea, especially for those who have limited space or live in a colder region. Just provide them with their basic needs and your plant will return the favor in form of zesty lemons. Check out this huge pot which is perfect for growing a lemon tree.

Choose Vegetables that Grow Easily

As a first timer, I would recommend you to choose vegetable and fruit plants that are very productive and easier to grow. Container vegetable gardening requires a lot of patience and perseverance which can sometimes be confounding when the result is not what you expected.

Go for vegetables and fruits that require minimum efforts and have high yields. Try starting your container vegetable gardening journey with squashes, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers.

All you need to do for them is to provide them favorable environment. These vegetables will thrive on their own. This will give you will, strength and perseverance to continue with your container vegetable gardening goals.

Once you gain experience, you can venture into vegetable and fruit varieties that you don’t commonly find on supermarket shelves. A book that will provide you with practical things you need to know is Vegetable Growing for Beginners by Kendra K.

Harvesting Tips

Harvest is probably the most pleasurable, gratifying and delightful step of the whole container vegetable gardening experience. Use these few tips to get it right.

Pick up crops as soon as they reach a size that you will enjoy. Letting your plant ‘go to seed’ will cause a decrease in fruit set.

In fact, most vegetables are productive if you harvest them on regular basis. For vegetables such as lettuce, harvest the leaves but don’t disturb the crown. This way you will continue to enjoy fresh leaves more often.

As the season ends, add the container garden soil to your compost pile. Do not use the same soil over and over again as this can spread infections and diseases in plants.

To store the containers and pots, thoroughly scrub them to remove soil and rinse with bleach and water. Once dry you can stash it away for next season. A good guide for this is Grow Cook Eat by Willi Galloway. Check it out here.

If you need help and very informative tips on soil fertilizers, check out 5 of the World’s Best Homemade Vegetable Garden Fertilizers here.

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