The Contained Vegetable Garden

Eliminate garden-plot problems by growing in pots.

| Summer 2013

  • You can plant your vegetables in containers at the same time you would plant in the soil.
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  • Container vegetables are ideal for small-space gardeners. You just need a sunny spot or two that will provide warm sunshine for the containers.
    Photo Courtesy
  • Many varieties of compact-sized plants are available that grow well in containers and produce yields similar in volume to those growing in the ground.
    Photo Courtesy

Container-grown vegetables are just as delicious and nutritious as those that are grown in the ground, and nothing tastes better than your very own fresh-picked, homegrown produce. Being able to step out your back door to pick a ripe tomato whenever you need one is not only convenient and delicious, it’s a great way to save money. And, you have the satisfaction of growing it yourself.

Growing vegetables in containers is no more difficult than growing any other potted plants. By paying attention to a few special requirements, you can grow most vegetables in containers on your deck, patio, balcony, and even on the rooftop.

What better way to try your hand at vegetable gardening, than by growing containers of some old-time favorites like beans, lettuce, Swiss chard, tomatoes and herbs? Container vegetable gardens bring a bounty of fresh, good-tasting vegetables to the tables of city dwellers, gardeners that have limited space, and those who are seeking a healthier alternative to buying tasteless, pesticide-laden market vegetables.

There are quite a few advantages to growing vegetables in containers. Not only can you provide the ideal soil mix for each particular vegetable and easily manage any root competition between plants with just a little thinning, you can often plant earlier in the season. As soon as the temperature becomes moderate and the sunlight becomes stronger, the soil in containers warms up more quickly than the soil in the ground. And if frost threatens, you can move the containers to a sheltered area, or cover them with frost cloth until the danger passes. Another benefit of growing container vegetables is that your garden won’t be taking up much space. You just need a sunny spot or two that will provide the warm sunshine for the containers.

You can plant your vegetables in containers at the same time that you would plant in the soil. Depending on what types of vegetable you want to grow, you can start seeds directly in your containers, grow transplants from seeds that you’ve started indoors, or purchase transplants from the nursery.


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