When you plan for your vegetable container garden, you need to think about which containers to purchase. The material and size of your containers will affect the plants that grow inside of them, so make sure you know which containers are the best to choose!
Best Containers for Gardening Vegetables: Choosing Containers
When you choose a container for your vegetables, you need to think about the material their made of. You have the ability to choose between many different materials that are appropriate for plant growth, but also serve as decoration for your garden. Here are the best materials for containers:
- Rot-resistant wood will keep your plants moist
- Clay or terracotta looks good but tends to lose water more easily
- Good-quality plastic is cheap and easy to get
- Ceramics always look nice, but should not be used in winter
- Non-traditional containers include boots, laundry baskets, grocery bags, bowls, teapots, etc.; you can use anything as long as it is large enough and is well-drained
- Darker containers will absorb more heat and need to be protected from the sun on hot days
- You can also purchase a self-watering container, but you would need to make that your plant does not have standing water
Best Containers for Gardening Vegetables: Plants & Container Size
To choose the correct containers for your vegetable garden, you need to know how large your plants are and how much space they will need. Here are some vegetables that are great for container gardening:
- Baby Carrots
- Zucchini squash
- Green beans
- Leaf Lettuce
Choose the size of your containers relative to the plant you will be growing: shallow-rooted plants (lettuce, peppers, radishes) should be 6” across and 8” deep, and larger plants (tomatoes, squash) need larger containers, like a half-barrel or large plastic bucket. On your seed packets it should say how much space the plant will need to grow. Larger containers will retain more moisture, but you should keep your space restrictions in mind when you purchase your containers.
Best Containers for Gardening Vegetables: Good Drainage
Good drainage is essential in any container. If there is standing water in a container, it can attract insects and disease. If there isn’t enough water, your plant will not be able grow.
- Choose a container that has holes in the bottom of it, or make holes yourself; there should at least be one large hole, or several smaller ones
- Line the bottom of your container with newspaper or a coffee filter, and place gravel on top of it to help with drainage
- Purchase a soilless mix; they have great drainage and will fend-off disease and weeds
- Water your vegetables every day or as needed; as long as the soil is moist 1” deep, your vegetables have enough water
Follow these tips, and you will be on your way to a successful growing season. Good luck with your vegetable container garden!