How to Grow a Vegetable Garden in a Pot

Article by Dee Power

Are you short on gardening space or maybe no garden at all? That doesn’t mean you can’t grow a variety of healthy vegetables. Just imagine picking your own juicy tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and crisp green peppers. Here’s how to grow a vegetable garden in a pot so you won’t have to rely on your imagination.

Vegetables have 3 requirements: sunlight, good soil, and water.

A minimum of six hours of sunlight is necessary for most vegetables. The exceptions are leafy greens such as lettuces, spinach, and chard. Even those do better with more sunlight. A sunny spot in front of a south facing window will work. However it’s better if the plants are outside on a patio, deck, balcony, or front porch.

Good soil means fast growing healthy plants. Use potting soil not garden dirt. Dirt compacts easily and may have fungus and diseases. It also may not contain the nutrients plants require. Choose bigger pots over smaller pots, they won’t dry out as quickly. Add a time released fertilizer to the potting soil and mix well.

Water is critical. Keep in mind how you will get water to your plants. If the pots are on a deck consider running a hose from downstairs. A balcony may require trips with a watering can, so don’t place the pots too far from the source of water. During summer months it may be necessary to water each pot once a day.

Choose vegetables that are in season. Visit your local plant nursery to find varieties that grow well in your area. Seeds are fun and most vegetables start easily from seeds, but if you want a crop fast use started seedlings. Peas, greens, carrots, broccoli, and cabbages are spring crops. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, green beans, and eggplant are summer crops. Spring crops can be planted in late summer for a fall harvest if frost comes later in your area. Most herbs can be grown from early spring to first frost with a few exceptions.

It is possible to plant more than one kind of vegetable per pot. A pizza pot would contain tomatoes, green peppers, basil, and garlic. Or try a salad pot of mixed greens, scallions, and carrots.

Take advantage of vertical space if horizontal space is at a premium. Many vegetables can be trained up a trellis, such as garden peas, pole beans, cucumbers, and of course, tomatoes.

Keep your vegetable selection to those you and your family like to eat, have a continuous harvest over a period of several weeks, and don’t take up huge amounts of space. For example: fresh sweet corn is divine but the amount of space it takes up and the fact there are usually only a few ears on each plant make it a secondary choice for a small space gardener.

You can grow a vegetable garden in a pot.

More about easy garden care Dee Power is an avid gardener and uses many of the herbs she grows in healthy dinner recipes and easy grilling tips.

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