Starting a vegetable container garden is a great way to grow vegetables in small spaces, but it can be hard work. So how do you start one? The steps below will help get your first vegetable container garden off on the right foot:
Best vegetables for your container garden
You can grow a wide variety of vegetables in containers. Some of the best crops to grow in small pots include:
- Beans (green, snap, and kidney)
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Peppers (all varieties)
When it comes to growing your own vegetables, the key is knowing which varieties are best suited for your climate and region. For example, if you live in an area that gets hot, humid summers (like me!), cool-season crops like spinach and kale tend to be more successful than warm-season crops like sweet corn or tomatoes. Try planting a variety of different kinds of seeds so that you get a good mix of edible plants throughout the growing season!
Cilantro/Coriander seeds are also great for starting seeds in your vegetable container garden
Cilantro/Coriander seeds germinate quickly and produce a steady supply of fresh leaves. I recommend using cilantro as it has more flavor than parsley, which tends to have a stronger taste when used fresh out of its packet!
- The seeds will need light once they’ve been planted; place them at least 2 inches apart inside your raised bed or garden bed so that each plant has enough room for growth without crowding one another too much.
- You should water frequently but not too much–this will prevent rot from occurring due to excess moisture buildup around roots during high temperatures throughout summer months.”
Choosing a container
When choosing a container, consider the size of your plant. The bigger the plant, the larger your container needs to be. For example, if you want to grow an 8-foot-tall tomato plant and have a 5-gallon pot, then that’s too small! You’ll need something at least 6 inches deep and at least 5 feet in diameter (the diameter is important because it helps keep plants like tomatoes from falling over during watering).
If you’re growing vegetables inside during winter months (or even during summer), then digging up existing soil can be inconvenient and time-consuming. Instead of doing that work yourself every year by hand or using power tools like trenchers or shovels—which could take hours—you could just buy some new soil mix instead!
This soil is usually a combination of various ingredients, including peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. It’s designed to be light and fluffy so that it won’t weigh down your plants or make them fall over when you water them.
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If you’re looking for a good quality potting mix to use in your garden or indoors, then consider buying Black Gold Natural & Organic or FoxFarm Ocean Forest. Both brands are excellent. They’re a tad more expensive than let’s say your basic Miracle-Gro, but through my experience, the better the soil ingredients, the better the vegetables.
Preparing the container
There is no need to go out and purchase new containers. Use what you have. If you want new containers But don’t want to go through a lot of expense or even if you’re not sure you truly want to commit to a vegetable container garden, your best bet would be to use reusable fabric planter grow bags. Not only do they take up space while not in use they are extremely economical. You can find a huge selection on Amazon.
Prepare your container
This can be done in several ways, but it’s important that you use a container that has plenty of room for growth and doesn’t have any gaps or cracks that could allow a lot of water to escape.
Clean the container
Clean the container thoroughly before planting anything inside it. Use a mild soap solution or detergent with warm water to remove dirt and dust from the surface of any items like metal or plastic containers (the latter may need scrubbing). Make sure there are no scratches or dents in them as these might damage plants over time if they’re not cleaned properly first!
Remove any old plants from inside containers so new seeds won’t get thrown out by mistake.
Think about a trellis to grow vegetables up an existing support structure.
A trellis can be built out of inexpensive wood parts or metal pipes. They’ll give you a place to tie up tomato, and cucumber plants, but they usually won’t support vegetables deep below them.
If you opt for a pipe, cut it 3 inches in diameter at the bottom, 4 inches in diameter at the top, and 6 inches in length.
The smallest pipe will hold medium-sized carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes; larger ones can handle larger tomatoes and peppers with ease.
For my bushy cucumbers I used large skewers I found at the dollar store. I tied them up to resemble a teepee holding the skewers together with plant tape.
Use some vertical space for herbs and fruits
If you have space, let your imagination run wild. A trellis can be built out of inexpensive wood parts or metal pipes and make it easier to grow vegetables up an existing support structure.
If you’re short on vertical space, consider growing herbs or fruits on shelves or poles in your container garden. You may even want to try growing citrus trees this way!
Have a little more space? Try a raised bed garden.
If you’re looking to build a more traditional raised bed garden, there are many ways to do so. You can use wood or cinder blocks for the frame of your raised bed. Then fill it with topsoil and compost, or organic compost such as but not limited to dried leaves, branches, bark chips, and plant shavings, which will help keep your plants healthy and happy.
The best compost for your vegetable container garden
Use what you have in your home. My favorites are used coffee finds and crushed eggshells. If you’re looking for compost for anything larger than a few containers you should opt for the leaves, branches, leaf shavings, and bark chips mentioned above.
Is a vegetable container garden right for your needs?
So there you have it. A vegetable container garden isn’t that hard to start, but it does take some planning and energy. But the rewards are great! You get fresh vegetables, herbs, and even flowers from a smaller space than you’d have if you had a traditional yard.
Answers to your questions about starting a vegetable container garden
When should I start my vegetable container garden?
May would be the best time of the year to start your vegetable container garden. Typically, you’ll want to wait until the temperature remains over 55 degrees Fahrenheit for at least a week or until you’ve experienced your last frost. If you’re starting your vegetable container garden with seeds outdoors, wait until the temperature stays above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. For best results consult the back of your seed package.
What kind of vegetables can I grow in a container garden?
The possibilities are endless. Vegetables don’t know if they’re planted directly into the soil or if they’re in a container. One of the key elements to a successful vegetable container garden is to make sure the container/pot/grow bag, is deep enough to allow the roots to stretch out and not be bound.
What vegetables can you grow in a 3-gallon bucket?
For a 3-gallon bucket, you’ll want to grow vegetables that are smaller in nature, such as but not limited to, herbs, carrots, radishes, and beets.
How many vegetable plants can you put in a 5-gallon bucket?
This all depends on what toes of vegetables you’re planning on planting. Currently, I have 3 bushy cucumber plants in 5-gallon grow bags.
What do you put in the bottom of a vegetable container garden?
As long as there is adequate drainage in the container you choose, you don’t really need anything on the bottom of your container. If you do choose to put something there, opt for organic materials such as but not limited to: dried or fresh leaves, shaved bark, or twigs. Pretty much anything organic you’ll find in your backyard; except for rocks. If the roots of your vegetables grow too deep the growth of the plant may stunt due to the roots encapsulating the rock.
What are some plants that are well-suited for a container garden?
Some of the best vegetable plants that are well-suited for a vegetable container garden are beans, beets, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, lettuce, onions, peas, peppers, potatoes, radishes, squash, tomatoes, and turnips.
What are the easiest vegetables to grow in pots?
Any and all of the above.
What vegetables take the least space to grow?
Beans, carrots, green onions, herbs, and radishes.
What vegetable takes the longest to grow?
Brussels sprouts take on average a good 110 days to grow large enough to harvest.
What is the fastest-growing vegetable to plant?
The fastest-growing vegetable from seed to harvest would be the radish, coming in and ready to harvest within 30 days from the day you planted it.
How do you make a successful container vegetable garden?
To make your vegetable container garden a success you’ll need to do the following:
- Use the right size container.
- Thin seedlings as needed.
- Fertilize as needed.
- Give them a nice drink of water daily, but don’t overwater the plants.
How big of a container do I need for a vegetable garden?
Depending on the types of vegetables you plan to grow, I would opt for a container of no less than 3 gallons.
Do you use potting soil or potting mix for a container garden?
Potting soil and potting mix are the same thing. You will need to however look for potting soil that is lightweight and fluffy. If you’re gardening in a raised bed, I would use a mixture of garden soil and potting soil. If you live in an area where your soil is red clay you’ll want to go a little heavy on the potting soil.
What’s the best potting mix for a vegetable container garden?
Although everyone’s soil preferences are different, I personally would recommend Black Gold Natural and Organic as my vegetables thrive with that soil.
What do you add to the soil for a vegetable container garden?
If you’re using commercial potting soil, you won’t have to add anything; however, if you choose to, use either mulch, compost, or aged manure.
How deep should the soil be for vegetable containers?
The depth of the soil depends on each plant. It’s best to consult your seed packaging. If you’re planting established plants, you’ll want to have a depth of at least 12 inches.
How many 3-gallon pots can you fill with a bag of soil?
That all depends on the size of the bag of soil.
So, are you ready to start a vegetable container garden?
I’m eager to find out if you’ll be starting a vegetable container garden and what vegetables you plan to harvest. Share with a comment.