Grow a beautiful and bountiful container vegetable garden on your patio by following a few of my design tips.
With careful planning, you won’t have to choose whether your small patio is used for growing food or for relaxing and entertaining.
You can do both!
Have you watched “Home & Family” on the Hallmark Channel?
CONTAINER VEGETABLE GARDEN BASICS
Follow these basic rules to grow a successful container vegetable garden.
1. Select a sunny spot
- You will need 6- 8 hours of full sun exposure to grow vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and eggplants.
- 4-6 hours is satisfactory for most herbs, lettuces and greens.
Buy a stainless steel trough, add drain holes and use as a garden container
2. Use the right containers
When it comes to container size for growing vegetables, bigger is better!
Select a container that’s at least 18 inches in diameter for tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and add a support cage at planting time.
We used troughs measuring 4-feet by 2-feet wide and 12-inches deep on the show and it held two large vegetable plants and an assortment of greens and herbs.
The troughs were placed in the sunniest position on the deck and I staggered the height of the troughs behind each other.
By elevating each trough slightly more than the trough in front of it, it had access to the sun without being blocked.
Herbs and lettuces grow well in containers 8 inches and larger although you can get away with smaller ones.
I found a stackable planter at the dollar store for a dollar each.
Take a look at this adorable stacked herb planter placed on a table.
It was only $3 dollars!
Other details to consider:
Choose a lightweight container over a heavy clay pot.
Clay pots are attractive but dry the soil faster by wicking moisture away from it.
Choose containers that complement your outdoor style and color palette.
Use plant caddies that have casters so you can move your large containers around your patio or deck as needed.
Portable container gardens are practical and allow freedom of movement.
3. Select the right vegetable plant variety
Look for vegetable varieties that are labeled “compact” or “dwarf,” that are developed for container growing.
Burpee Home Gardens has developed a line of compact growing vegetables that I used in the patio garden seen in these photos.
Select smaller tomatoes such as “cherry” tomatoes over huge beefsteak varieties, and opt for “determinate” tomatoes versus “indeterminate” tomatoes which can grow over 10 feet tall!
The “Cute Cucumber” from Burpee Home Gardens is a small plant but the cucumbers are full-sized!
Look for “bush” cucumbers and bush beans instead of vining ones.
Tuck in herbs such as thyme, oregano and basil with your vegetables to maximize use of space.
4. Water regularly or add drip irrigation
Soil in containers dry faster than in the ground so if you can’t water on consistent basis, add a drip irrigation line.
Keep your soil moist but never over-water your plants or allow your soil to remain soggy.
Over-watering is #1 killer of plants!
5. Fertilize your plants regularly
Container plants need a steady supply of nutrients during their growing period.
Use an all-purpose, organic vegetable fertilizer and feed according to the instruction schedule.
Container plants depend on you for food since they can’t tap into a deep source of nutrition with their limited soil.
6. Arrange your vegetable containers with style!
Who says that you can’t use your vegetable plants as ornamental decor on your patio?
Vegetable plants are beautiful when they are in flower and when they are in fruit.
Place a stylish planter full of your favorite herbs on your outdoor coffee table.
I swear that your friends who are not “into” gardening will find your patio vegetable garden irresistible!
Your patio will smell delicious, look appetizing and you’ll be very proud of your bounty!
COMPACT VEGETABLE VARIETIES FROM BURPEE HOME GARDENS
Enjoy a closeup view of the vegetables in our patio container garden!