Vegetable gardening is the ideal way to gain access to fresh, home-grown produce. While a backyard area is one option for a vegetable garden, not everyone has the space for this project. Fortunately, vegetables are grown every day in containers located on porches, patios, balconies, and even inside homes or apartments. Container gardening is perfect for those who want fresh produce but cannot grow a traditional garden.
Pots and Planters
Traditional plant pots or planters are, of course, an ideal option for vegetable container gardens. These types of containers usually have drainage holes already added, though it never hurts to drill in a few more for good measure. Research the type of vegetable you plan to grow in the pot or planter, making a note of how large the plant becomes and how much space it needs in a garden. Choose a pot or planter according to how much space the plant requires. For example, small pepper plants need only 4- to 6-inch-diameter pots, while tomato plants require larger pots or planters with at least 8- to 10-inch diameter.
Wicker or plastic baskets are ideal for growing herbs, peas or beans. Remember that growing vegetables in wicker baskets can seriously damage the basket, so be prepared for your basket to be ruined after the growing season. When using wicker baskets, line them with plastic and a piece of felt before adding the soil to the basket. This helps hold moisture in the basket and slow the process of deterioration on the basket. Plastic baskets hold up better than wicker, and are great for growing larger pea or bean plants.
Plastic storage containers make great vegetable containers. Simply add drainage holes to the container with a drill. Fill the container with garden soil and add seeds or starter plants. Depending on the size of the container, most any garden vegetable plant is suited to storage container growing. Make sure to research the plant you want to grow beforehand and choose a storage container that offers enough space for the plant to grow.
Cans from soup or canned vegetables, coffee cans, even olive oil tins are perfect for growing small vegetables and herbs. Try planting chile peppers, thyme, basil or radishes in these small containers. Remember to drill or punch drainage holes into the cans to allow excess water to move out of the can.
Sacks and Bags
Concrete sacks, coconut sacks, potato sacks and canvas grocery totes are amongst the types of bags used as garden planters. The larger sacks are perfect for growing potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams and carrots. Smaller sacks and bags grow beets, smaller varieties of carrots, potatoes, radishes and salad greens. No drainage holes are needed on these containers -- the open weave or material that creates the bags and sacks facilitates good drainage.
Large mixing or salad bowls with added drainage holes may be used to grow herbs, salad greens, spinach or radishes. Colanders filled with soil also offer good enough drainage for growing leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, lettuce, mesclun or arugula. Use a Thermos to grow small herb or vegetable plants, while large coolers filled with soil may grow large vegetables or even a variety of smaller vegetable plants.
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