Food Gardening Network

Growing Good Food at Home

Container Gardening

In the articles below, learn everything you need to know about container gardening indoors, outdoors, on a patio, in the yard, or on your countertop—including how to make planter boxes yourself!

Container gardening is a great way to grow veggies if you’re short on space. If you live in an apartment or only have a small balcony, you can still enjoy heirloom tomatoes, fresh greens, and crunchy cucumbers.

Gardening always comes with a learning curve, though. Container gardening is no different. The five most common mistakes you’ll make when you’re growing vegetables in containers are: putting too many plants in one box, not having any drainage, not watering enough, mixing unfriendly plants in a small space, and using poor soil.

Soil quality is always a factor in gardening, but it’s imperative if you’re growing vegetables in containers. There is some possibility that plant roots can stretch out to find the nutrients they need in the ground, but they can’t do that in a container.

Watering a container garden is another big one. The simple fact is that water evaporates much more quickly from the soil in containers. And some popular containers, like terra cotta, absorb water quickly. Of course, this is easy to remedy—plan to water your container garden more frequently and make sure you have proper drainage.

Whether you have a tiny balcony off your fifth-floor apartment, a concrete driveway, or a sunny spot on your deck, container gardens are a valid option for anyone. You can build your own vegetable garden box out of wood, buy a galvanized steel version, or even use an old five-gallon bucket for a “folksy” look. A lot of people seem to think using a box limits what you can grow, but that’s only partially true, and it really depends on all sorts of circumstances in addition to what container you use.

In the articles below, we dive into all of these approaches to container gardening, and you can learn more about it in our How to Grow a Vegetable Garden: 10 Things Every Gardener Needs to Know Before Starting a Food Garden freebie. Enjoy!

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