Grow summer veggies like corn, okra, eggplant in pots

Grow summer veggies like corn, okra, eggplant in pots

No matter how big or small a garden you have, it is fun to grow your own food in even tiny spaces on patios, decks, and balconies. Before we talk about all the delicious vegetables you can grow in containers, here are a few basic important rules that apply to all container vegetable gardening.

Most vegetables do best with 6 hours or more of full sun, and good quality potting soil and compost mixed with slow release fertilizer. Choose sunny locations protected from strong winds. Here are some of the best ways to make compost for your garden, and 35 great DIY compost bin ideas.

Water-loving vegetables such as lettuce, cucumber, and eggplant do best in plastic or glazed ceramic containers, which are impervious and retains moisture better. Always make sure to have drainage holes on the bottom of containers.

Containers require more regular watering than in ground gardens. In hot and dry climate, self-watering planters with built-in reservoirs are good choices.

When in doubt, choose larger containers 12 inches or deeper. Bigger pots also hold more soil, so the plants don’t dry out as quickly between watering.

Now let’s look at some easy and best veggies to grow in your container garden!

Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow. Check out our 16 favorites here.

Most varieties of lettuce grow easily in pots. Because lettuce have shallow roots, the best containers are wide and shallow, 6-8 inches deep is often enough. You can either direct sow your lettuce seeds in the pots or transplant seedlings into bigger pots. Source: Fine Gardening | Renee’s Garden

Tomatoes are most popular vegetables for container gardening. The compact bush or determinate tomato varieties, grow especially well in pots or grow bags from 5 gallon to 20 gallon in size. Indeterminate tomato varieties grow larger and do better in large pots 20 gallon or bigger.

In recent years, micro dwarf tomatoes are becoming quite popular. They can be quite productive even in small 1 gallon pots indoors and outdoors. As the smallest of tomato plants, micro tomatoes can be grown indoors or out, and are great for windowsill, balcony or patio gardening.

plant multiple onions in a 5 gallon
Onion containers should have at least 10 inches of soil depth. Each onion needs about 4 inches of space to grow. You can plant multiple onions in a 5 gallon bucket or even a plastic tub.

We also love to grow onion scraps from grocery store onions. You can use the green shoots as scallions. Sometimes they will even grow into multiple heads of onions.

Eggplant loves lots of sunlight and heat. Choose the hottest location, and a large pot at least 15 gallon in size. Keep soil moist but not soggy.

Peppers are easy to grow in pots and look beautiful when they fruit, with peppers of so many shapes and colors. There are so many varieties of peppers. For best results, look for varieties that are labeled “compact” or “for containers

Bell peppers can benefit from support trellises because of the heavier fruits. Install the support such as stakes or tomato cages shortly after planting to minimize damage to the brittle pepper plants.

When growing zucchini in pots, bush types such as ‘Astia’ and ‘Bush Baby’ are especially great for container planting.