Vegetable Container Gardening


Through the years, maintaining a flower or vegetable garden has been a joy for those with plenty of land. Growing plants in containers, however, has become increasingly popular, allowing even more people the excitement of home grown vegetables through the summer.

Vegetable plants which thrive in a home garden also tend to do well in appropriately sized containers. Tomatoes, peppers, turnips, potatoes, green onions, squash, beans, and eggplant are just a few of the vegetables which can be harvested from container gardens. Pole beans and cucumbers can be grown in vessels as well, although they require large amounts of support due to their vining growth.

To help decide what plants are right for you to grow, first determine how much space you have. While container gardens may be placed on any level surface, such as a windowsill, doorstep, patio, or deck, each plant has particular space needs. Herbs will thrive in planters from 6" to 10" in diameter, and rooting vegetables like green onions, radishes, and beets can even be grown in a cake pan. Fruiting plants, like eggplant and peppers, require a larger vessel, such as a 5 gallon bucket.

Once you have decided what you wish to grow and enjoy, check each plant�s needs. Different varieties of vegetables perform better than others when in containers, and discussing this with an avid or professional gardener will ensure you get the best results.

Place your new garden where it will also obtain the appropriate amount of sunlight. Most plants prefer full sun, and this is required for those which produce fruit. Root plants can tolerate some shade, and leafy greens like chard and lettuce can grow well in partial shade. If the light changes radically, or your plants are not growing as well as desired, an
advantage of having them in containers means you can reposition them in more light if needed.

A container garden can make caring for each plant's needs easier and more exact. Rather than using blanket fertilizers and feed on all your plants, you can tailor the feeding and nutrient needs to each pot. By monitoring the leaf and stem growth and condition, you can ensure that each unit is getting the nutrients it needs. Some fast growing plants require a bit more feed than a rooting plant, and this can easily be added to your soil mixture on an individual basis.

This concept also works for pest management. Inspecting each plant individually will help you determine if any have been damaged by fungus or insects. The proper systemic control can be added to that container alone, and the entire vessel can be quarantined to prevent spread of any plant diseases.

Growing vegetables in a container garden is a perfect way to enjoy the outdoors, even without a large green space of your own. It is also a fun way to involve children in gardening and respecting the earth. We hope these tips will help you with your container garden this year. Be sure to visit our Plants & Lawn Care department for all your container gardening needs. For more personal assistance, please call one of our customer service representatives toll free at 877-562-1818 or internationally at 513-232-4225 from 9 AM to 5 PM Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.