Planter Projects Growing Vegetables and Herbs in a Container Garden

If you love the taste of fresh vegetables and herbs, but don’t have enough yard space to garden, container gardening may be the solution for you. All you need is a windowsill, doorstep, patio or balcony and you’ll have enough room for a container garden. Growing food crops in containers also is very popular among people who have the space, but who wants just a small, manageable garden.

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Here’s What You’ll Need to Get Started

Choose from these planters or others to suit your taste and needs.

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Select Your Planter

Generally, a five-gallon container, such as the 20-inch Metro Planter, is better for planting vegetables and herbs and provides the space necessary for root development and growing space. If you must select a smaller container try the EcoGardener 12-inch Cambridge Planter. You will need to plant fewer plants per container.

Always select wide mouthed containers no matter what the size.

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Select Your Plants

Containers lend themselves well to most crops that can be grown in larger, in-ground gardens. Many type of crops are especially well suited for container gardening, such as lettuce, tomatoes, eggplants, beans and herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano and cilantro. Some plants even have varieties designed specifically for container growing. These varieties will be marked on the plant labels.

Containers allow you to plant combinations that are both edible and attractive. For example, try creating a salad container planting different colors of leaf lettuce, a bush cucumber, and a dwarf patio tomato. You can even plant root vegetables such as onions, carrots, radishes, and beets if you use a container that is 10 to 12 inches deep.

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Arrange & Plant

Leave the plants in their pots. Fill your container with potting soil until it is just high enough to hold the deepest potted plant level with the sides of the container. Adjust the soil level until the plant is seated just below the rim of the container. Now level the soil and arrange all of the pots on the surface of the soil until you have a pleasing arrangement. Make sure to leave enough space for each plant by following its plant spacing guidelines. When you have all of the plants in the right place, remove each plant from its pot and put it back in place. Pack enough soil around the base to hold it and move on to the next. When they are all planted, fill in remaining gaps with soil, tamp lightly and water.

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Maintain Your Container Garden

Place your containers where they will get 6 to 8 hours of sun daily. To ensure success of your container garden, be ready to water daily if necessary since the soil dries out much more quickly in containers than for plants in the ground. Water with drip irrigation or by hand whenever the soil is dry to the touch 2 to 3 inches below the surface. Fertilize every two weeks with a water-soluble fertilizer for vegetables, or add controlled-release fertilizer at planting time, supplemented with a water-soluble fertilizer when needed.

Harvest your plants frequently to encourage increased production.