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Container Vegetable Gardening

Updated on August 23, 2012

Growing vegetables in pots is a favorite option of those living in apartments or with limited ground space for gardening. Vegetables that will grow in a pot include just about any vegetable that grows in a normal ground garden. The key to success is adjusting the pot size per type of vegetable and making sure the pot has proper drainage with holes in the bottom of the pot. Even large and tall vegetables do well when you meet those two requirements.

Tomatoes of any size grow in pots. The kind you plant depends on what you use it for. For sliced tomatoes large enough for sandwiches, use a big pot with one or two starter plants per pot. You can buy starter plants at a gardening center or grow your own inside from seeds in plant trays. Since tomatoes are a vine plant, you need somewhere for the vine to expand during growth. Push a thin but sturdy wood stake or dowel into the soil. As the plant starts growing, place the vine around the stake. The growing tomatoes will hang from the support stake until ready for picking. Roma tomatoes are about the size of a small peach. If you use a smaller pot, staking is an option; if you have a very large pot, the vines can lie on the soil around the plant.The smallest tomatoes are an option chosen by many container gardeners. Varieties include Tumbling Tom, Patio and Small Fry tomatoes. A common name for this kind of tomato, regardless of the variety, is "Cherry Tomato." These tomatoes work well with a hanging pot vegetable garden because the tomato vines and tomatoes hang down over the sides of the pot when growing. This type of tomato works well roasted with meats, added to salads or eaten as a snack.

Beginning gardeners often mistakenly believe growing corn in pots is impossible. With some planning and space, corn does well in a pot. In addition, the pot can serve as growth space for two vegetables. The pot needs to be wide and sturdy; since the corn is tall, a small pot tips too easily. Garden centers carry large, deep pots in an array of materials and colors. Each pot needs 2 to 4 kernels of corn seed. If they all come up, and you feel there is too much corn for the pots, simply pluck one or two of the corn seedlings out and transplant into another pot. If you want beans in the same pot, choose a pole bean variety. Pole beans are vine beans. Planted beside the corn after the corn is almost fully grown, their vines will grow around the cornstalk.

All kinds of peppers are suitable for pot-type container gardens. They have an extensive root system that spreads below the soil, so deep pots are best. The top of the plant is sturdy, with the peppers forming and growing directly from the limbs of the plant, attached to the limbs by a small stem. Little peppers like jalapeno grow just as well larger green peppers.

Root vegetables grow under the soil; that is, we eat the root of the plant. These include, but are not limited to, potatoes, radishes and carrots. According to UC Davis University of California, these vegetables need a 16-inch soil depth. Some root vegetables include mini-sized types that can be grown in smaller pots; for example, the heirloom Oxheart carrot only grows to about six inches in length.


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    • cwhiting profile image

      Connie Whiting 6 years ago from Columbus,Ohio

      Thank you:)

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      heritage seeds 6 years ago

      Great Hub! I love to garden too. We were tossing around the idea of tomatoes as a fall crop.

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      container vegetable gardening 7 years ago

      Some great tips there for the tomatoes. Thanks!