Container Vegetable Gardening
Grow an Edible Garden in Pots

Novel ideas for container vegetable gardening. Secret to cultivating a productive food garden in containers. Growing organic produce in pots. Buy seeds for the best performing container vegetables.

Carrots Planted in Old Wellingtons

If you want a continuous supply of clean, inexpensive produce, but do not have room for an in-ground plot, vegetable gardening in containers is the answer.

Even if you have a piece of earth you can plow up and plant, container vegetable gardening may still be a more attractive option. 

  • Growing produce in pots is much less taxing.  There is no double digging or plowing needed, and very few weeds will grow in the purchased soil your container vegetables will be planted in.
  • The rocks, bugs, or diseases which often plague garden soil will, likewise, not be a problem in the container vegetable garden.

There are some vegetables that you will never truly enjoy at their flavor peak unless you grow them yourself.  Take corn, for instance.

The sugar in corn begins to convert to starch as soon as the ear leaves the stalk.  By the time supermarket (or even farmer's market) corn arrives at your dinner table, the kernels will have lost most of their tenderness and flavor.

Home grown corn is sweet and succulent enough to eat raw.  In fact, many gardeners think it tastes best this way.  Until recently, you had to devote a four foot square plot of ground to this crop in order to enjoy this taste treat.

The introduction of On Deck Hybrid Sweet Corn (for sale further down this page) has made this epicurean pleasure accessible to patio gardeners.  You can now raise a small crop of corn in a pot as small as 24 inches.

Unusual Vegetable Garden Containers

Swiss Chard Growing in Tin Cans

You can plant produce in just about anything deep enough to accommodate its roots.  Here are the rules:

  • The container needs to be sturdy enough to hold together through at least one growing season.
  • It must not be made of, or coated with, anything toxic.
  • You've got to be able to poke drainage holes into it.

After Tiny broke the top to this cookie jar, he drilled holes in the bottom so I could plant this pineapple in it.

Getting creative will save you dollars.

Ornamental sweet potatoes have been planted in this recycled bath tub, but an edible sweet potato vine would grow just as well.

Plant Inn Snap-N-Grow Greenhouse

If you've got money to spend, this is the ultimate vegetable container garden.

What to Look for in Container Vegetable Garden Plants

Buy Plants and Seeds Below

Corn, On Deck Hybrid 1 Pkt. (30 Seeds)
Cucumber, Salad Bush Hybrid 1 Pkt. (30 seeds)
Tomato, Patio Princess Hybrid 3 Plants

Rest assured that you can grow you favorite vegetable in a pot.  However, every variety of that vegetable will not be suitable for pot culture.  Take tomatoes, for instance.  There are determinate and indeterminate types.

Indeterminate tomatoes will continue to grow until stopped by frost.  Determinate varieties are genetically programmed to reach a certain size and stop.  Because of this, they are much easier to raise in containers than their indeterminate cousins.

The two most important characteristics of a container vegetable are: compact growth, and a small root system or tolerance to root restriction.

All the seed for sale on this page is for cultivars that have been proven to perform well in pots.

Grow an Arbequina Olive Tree
from: Fast Growing Trees Nursery

Tips for Raising a Productive Vegetable Garden in Containers

Buy Plants and Seeds Below

Collection, Patio & Small Garden 6 Plants, 1 Pkt. (seed)
Pepper, Sweet, Tangerine Dream 3 Plants
Pepper, Hot, False Alarm Jalapeno Hybrid 1 Pkt. (30 seeds)

The Other Secret Ingredient is Water

For best yeilds, keep the soil in the pots evenly moist at all times.

If you have a lot of pots, group them together and run drip lines between them to make watering easier.

I promised to tell you the secret to farming in buckets, barrels, and hanging baskets.  Well, here it is:


The roots of container vegetables cannot forage in search of food.  The only nutrients they can use are the ones you provide for them. 

  1. You've got to start with a good potting mix.  Most of the soil-less mixes on the market are fine.  I usually use the Miracle Grow mix with the water crystals and the fertilizer in it.
  2. A common mistake is to plant directly into an unammended commercial potting mix.  It is far better to use it as a base upon which to build the perfect media for container produce.
  3. The most important ammendment is organic compost or composted manure.  Either will do, but the quality is paramount.  If you can get hold of compost made on a local farm, or if you can make your own, this is the best. 

    Before Tiny retired from Walt Disney World, they used to let him bring big barrels of their homemade compost home with him.  Prior to this, I had used the stuff Walmart sells in bags labed "organic compost".  There is no comparison between the two products.  Adding the Disney compost to a potting mix was like growing the plants on steroids.

    Mix the compost, half and half, with the potting mix.  This creates a very rich soil.  Some plants may grow too large on this ratio.  Make note of these and mix it 25/75 for them next time.
  4. Sprinkle in some horticultural lime and super phosphate.  The lime is to counter the acidity of the soil-less mix, while the phosphate encourages heavy bloom.
  5. In addition to this, feed the plants every 2-3 weeks with a water soluble fertilizer. 

Related Pages:

Growing Vegetables in Raised Beds

Container Vegetable Gardening:  Tomatoes

Fruit and Vegetable Diet Plans to Help You Detox and Slim Down

Growing Fruit in Containers

5 Hot Peppers Suited to Container Vegetable Gardening

Growing Organic Fruit and Vegetables  to Draw Kids into the Garden

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