Veggies in pots

June 1, 2024

No space for a veggie garden?  Container gardening is your solution.

The benefits of container gardening are manyfold.  Pots are relatively portable and can be moved to take advantage of sunshine and ease of harvesting.  Weeding is virtually eliminated.  There is no risk of overwatering.  Soil conditions and fertilizing is up to the gardener.

If there is a drawback to container gardening, it would be their daily need for water.  Just like flowers in containers, vegetables will likely need water every day.  If you are going away for a week, you will want to rely on the neighbour to assist.

Your two biggest issues for container gardening are choosing the right soil and pot.  Most vegetables need at least 12 inches of soil depth, with 18 inches preferred.  Lettuce, spinach and micro-greens will be fine with less soil.

Large growing plants such as tomatos, zucchini and eggplant will want a container that is at least 18 inches in diameter.  Larger pots will enable you to plant more than one plant per container.

Plastic pots come in all shapes and sizes and will be most cost effective.  Your local nursery will often have used grower pots available that would otherwise be destined for recycling.  For a more decorative option, consider clay pots or wood boxes that you could buy or build your own.  Regardless of which pot you choose, be sure to punch holes at the bottom to allow excess water to drain.

Be sure to use a soilless growing medium that is blended for container use.  Using soil from your garden  a no-no, because it won’t drain well and may harbour insects or disease.

Choosing plants for your containers is fun.  Tomatos are a top choice and are most rewarding to harvest.  Be sure to pick a dwarf or determinate variety that is suited for container growing.  All varieties of cherry tomatos will do well and will give you enough fruit to share with neighbours and friends at harvest time.

Peppers of any kind will do well in containers.  Peppers like heat and a spot in full sun is essential.  Root crops such as beets and carrots will also do well, provided you pick dwarf varieties.

Cool season crops such as lettuce, spinach and radish will do well if planted in May or June before the hot summer months.  They will sprout and grow quickly, allowing you to plant a crop of beans in the same pot after harvest.

Other plants to consider growing in containers are onions, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant and broccoli.