Container Garden Vegetables for Beginners

Growing vegetables is a great activity for many people. From growing vegetables, we learn lots of lessons, we know how to prepare the soil for planting, when we must to supply the water for the plant, how to overcome the pests and diseases, ensure the healthy nutrients for family and many more. But, if you are love to grow vegetables and you haven’t enough space at your home. What will you do? Feeling disappointed and giving up? No. Create the container garden for your vegetables is the solution. Yes, the container garden is one of innovation in planting aspect. Container gardening becomes happy and easy way to enjoy the vegetables daily. The container garden vegetables aren’t only giving the advantages for people, but also it’s categorized as an educational activity for children. Implementing the container gardening concept in school or home is one of the ways to improve the children respect the environment.

1. Best Container Garden Vegetables

container garden vegetable

garden vegetables

The container gardening requires the pots, baskets, or gallons. You can utilize unused things in your home to be planting media. The container can be decorated as unique as your desire; you can showing your creativity here. For children, decorating the outside part of the container is a funny thing. It can make the children express their feeling. Using the sticker, permanent marker, or paint while decorating the container before filling it with the soil. Many vegetables are easy to grow up in containers, such as Carrot, Tomato, Cucumber, Eggplant, Spinach, Potatoes, Peppers Hot and Green onion. Planting vegetables in a container requires only a little space and accessible to move easily from one place into another place.

Besides that, creating the container garden vegetables not need the larger equipment in planting. The most important things that should become attention for you is the right soil preparation, provide the plant needs like water, sunlight, and fertilizer. Learn all about gardening in the container before you start to practice.

Table 1: The types of vegetable plant




Requirement for container depth (in minimum)


Requirement for container depth (in minimum)


12-18 inches


10 inches


12-18 inches

Summer squash

10 inches


6 inches


10 inches


6 inches


12-18 inches


6 inches


8 inches


8 inches

Bush beans

6 inches


6 inches

Mustard Green

8 inches


12-18 inches


12-18 inches

  • TIPS

Almost all the vegetables which are growing well in a ground garden also do well as a container grown plant. The container garden can be called as mini-garden. Choosing the suit vegetables to plant in your mini-garden is important because not all vegetables can adapt to a small space — for example, the pumpkin which needs more space to grow up their fruit. It will be not suited to plant in a gallon — the adaptability of vegetable plant and the size of grain which resulted can be a consideration before planting. Two types of vegetables must be known for growing. Each type needs the different container depth while planting. Let’s learn the table 1 below.

When you determine to grow one or two vegetables on the container, learn and understand the plant requirements, includes the temperature, the water needs, pH, the sun requirement, nutrients, insects, etc. The container garden vegetables don’t require the chemical substance during growth, because one of the container gardening aims is to create organic and healthy vegetables. To increase the soil quality, you can add an organic matter, genetic and biological diversity. The pesticide use should rarely be doing (only necessary).

2. Getting Started to Prepare Planting Media

container garden vegetables

container gardening

Several items should be prepared before practicing container garden vegetables. These items are available close to your home. The preparation stage is important to know how far you are ready to plant the vegetables with the risks or consequences that maybe happen on the next day. The items that should ready are:

  • Container


The first thing that important for container garden vegetables is to provide a container. You can use all types of the container as long as able to utilize as planting media.


Use the pots, gallon, basket, drum, tub, or wooden boxes. The size of the container is variously based on the space available and crop selection.


The small size container is appropriate for radish, lettuce, and herb. For the vegetable plants such as eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers are suitable using 5 gallons container. The pots with size 6-10 inches are suited for parsley, herbs, and green onion. The container materials are consists of two types, porous and nonporous.


Porous is the pot materials that made from organic materials, like woods, or clay soil. Then, nonporous include plastic metal, glass, and transparent materials. You can look for the container at the local garden center, but to save your money utilize the unused thing at your home is better.


Choose the container that light in color, because it can retain enough of the sun. Since the vegetables planted, it needs at least 6 hours full of sun a day. When using a darker pot, it will retain too much heat from the sun. It’s bad for plant growth.


Ensure that the pot has the holes as a drainage system on the bottom. Add three to five holes by drilling it with ¼ inch holes.

  • Soil Preparation

Before creating the container garden vegetables, the soil preparation should be done well. Firstly, prepare the soil as much as your needs. Spread the soil in enough space, clean up from the residue, small rocks, or grass. Choose the soil which is not clay and not too heavy. Secondly, adding the compost in 1/3 amount of soil. Then, mix them well. The good media mixtures for planting vegetables in the container are consists of.

100 % compost

100 % soil mix

75% compost and 25 % soil garden

50 % compost, 25 % soil mix, and 25 % soil garden

75% soilless mix and 25 % garden soil

50 % compost and 50 % soilless mix

Ideal compost has a dark color, earthy smelling, and crumbly. You can make compost easily by combining the grass clippings, leaves, the wood waste, animal manures (cow, goat or buffalo) and water. Compost work as nutrients for the plants. This will helps the root in water absorption. Most importantly, this also able to reduce the nutrient pollutant from the plant.

  • Seeds or Transplanted Plant

Some vegetables can be planted as seeds or transplanted plant. You can plant the seeds of vegetables that you want in the container. You also can use the transplanted method before moving the plant into the container. Both of this method is easy to apply at home. The vegetables that easily transplanted are the best plant for container culture. The transplantation process starts with preparing the baking pan or plastic tray, then add the soil mixture. Add the seeds on the media and covered it with the planting media again up to ¼ – ½ inch. The media can hasten the germination process. If needed, you can use the plastic bag to cover the seeds. The germination process of each vegetable is different, see the table below to know the information of germination period.

Table 2: The germination period for vegetables plant


Number of days for germination

Number of weeks to maximum age for transplanting







Lettuce leaf


















3. Planting Practice


A container garden vegetables common placed in outdoor. The season will be very affected by the herbs growing. The best time to starts planting for cool season vegetable type is when the cool season start, it won’t make the vegetables resistant. Then, for warm season vegetables can’t be planted in spring season until the cool season passes away. After all the planting media is ready, it’s time for planting practice by using the trowel, adding the soil mixture up to 2/3 of container and press gently. Add the seeds if you are using the seeds, or planting the transplanted plant. After that, water it deeply. There are no specific rules about the appropriate time for planting, but it’s recommended to working this in the morning because the plant will reach the full sun in the afternoon and seek to adapt with the environment.

  • TIPS

The location to placing container is one of the parts that can’t be ignored by people. You have to know some basic knowledge about the best site which suitable for the plant to grow.

1. Containers can be placed in all level surface; you can place it in the balcony, deck, and your home driveways. It’s also good to hanging up the pots and window boxes as long as not offend other people.

2. For the exposures, the southern and western is warmest and sunniest, but the eastern and northern will be cooler and shadier.

3. For the warm season vegetables you will need 6-8 hours of sun, and for cool-season vegetables, it needs 3-5 hours of direct sun near with the water access. The container garden vegetables should be watering daily, moreover when the dry season comes.

4. The Water Needs

  • Manually – Watering Container

The container garden vegetables require enough water by proper drainage. The poor draining soil is bad for plant growth, indeed will kill the plants slowly. Watering once per day is enough for plants growth. Stay away from the wetting leaves of plants because it can encourage the disease. You can leach the nutrient in the water each week. When the dry season comes, it’s better to water more at least twice a day. The water will absorb to the soil and produce the oxygen for the plant. Lack of oxygen will make the vegetable plant die. Today, the container garden vegetables more effective in watering through the water holding gels. The water holding gels is one if the innovation in providing the nutrients substance. This gel contains hydrogels that able to absorb more than 100 times their weight in water. The gels will release the water into the soil as soon as possible. The hydrogels must be incorporated into the soil mix before planting. To improve the effectiveness adding the mulches such as straw, grass clipping and compost on the top of soil mix. It will reduce water loss.

watering system

  • Self – Watering Container

There’s a new watering concept for a container garden is “self-watering container.” This container has the holes in the bottom and an overflow hole in one side. The container has the rectangular shape and consists of two rooms. The under room is work as the water reservoir and just spent ¼ of the container body. Then, ¾ part is for the growing media place. You have to water the plants deeply. The reservoir will be full of water if the water excess it will flow into tubing that ready in the side of the container. Prepare the pail to retain the water from the pipe. If it’s possible, pour back the water that flows into the bucket. Doing this section regularly once per three to five days. The self-watering container helps the plant to keep the soil moisture and holding the nutrients. Besides that, this container also helps the people to the left the manual watering if they are going busy or leave their home.

Read also : 19 BEST Beautiful Small Garden Ideas to Apply in Your Home!

5. Fertilization Process

fertilizing process

  • TIPS 1

Applying the fertilizer is crucial to success container garden vegetables. The fertilizers that usually used are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). Each fertilizer types should be applied in the right amount. There are lots of fertilizer brand which claimed contain the nutrient solution. Ensure that you are using this fertilizer according to the instruction which written on the label. The fertilization can be done in two ways. Firstly, you can mix the fertilizer with the comparison of N: P: K is 10: 20: 10 or 12: 24:12 in one gallon of water. This mixture must be diluted before it used to fertilization. Then, mix two tablespoons of fertilizer mixed with one gallon of water. Watering it into the plant. If you are used the transplanted plant, watering these nutrients on the day when you are planting it. But, if you are used the seeds, just watering the water with no nutrient inside after three weeks from germination, applying this mixture fertilizer to the seeds.

  • TIPS 2

The fertilizers also can be applied by mixing them with the potting media when planting practice. It will work as the first nutrients for the plant. The container garden vegetables require the minerals, zinc, iron, manganese, and other substance to strengthen the root system of the plant. To effectiveness, using the water-soluble fertilizer can be the solution. This water application is 2-3 weeks after the plants are well grown and established. When the plant starts to flowering, add more the fertilizer and keep the soil moisture. Because on that stage, the plant is susceptible to attack the insects and diseases. Lack of fertilizer will make the leaves turn to yellow. The planting care of container gardening should become the priority. The fertilization process must be done with planting care, such as cutting the leaves while it affected the insect, placing in full sunlight place, etc.

Read also : Simple Steps How to Build Greenhouse with 15 Ideas

6. The Risk of Insects and Diseases

The container garden vegetables are susceptible to the disease and insect. This condition is as same as growing vegetables in the garden. Checking the plant regularly to detect the disease as soon as possible. When you see the symptoms of disease appear on your plant, take action to stop their development. You should stock the fungicide and insecticide to prevent this case. The insect commonly comes during the flowering period. You should get extra to control the plant growth in this period. The insects will damage the flower immediately. If you plant various vegetables, check one by one because it may have different symptoms. The common problem for the vegetable plant while container gardening is:

Table 3: The common problem of vegetable plant



Corrective action

The plants grow unproductive and spindly

Insufficient of sun light

Move into more sun light place

Over the nitrogen

Rarefy the feeding intervals

The leaves with spots and die in dried areas

The disease

Using the fungicide to remove the disease

The leaves has holes


Using the insecticide according the instructions

The plant growth is stunted and resulting the purplish color

Low phosphate

Increasing the amount of phosphate usage

Low temperature

Move the container into warmer location

The plants are wilt

Poor aeration and drainage

Improving the number of holes for drainage system and use the organic matter in high percentage

The leaves turn yellowing and poor color

Excess of water

Check the drainage system, rarefy the watering frequent.

Lack of fertilizer

Increasing the fertility level

7. When Harvesting Period Come

harvesting container garden

The harvesting time of each vegetable is different. Check the maturity dates on the seeds package while you buy the seeds. The vegetables can be harvesting when reaching out the peak of maturity. After the vegetables are harvested, remove all the soil and plant from the pot because it can’t be reused, except the container. You should prepare the new planting media and new seedlings for the next season of production. The previous soil has possibly affected the disease; it can make the second season of container garden vegetables damaged and stunted in growth. Now, look at the table below to learn the harvest period of each vegetable.

Table 4: The harvesting period of vegetable plant

Vegetables plant

The harvest period from seeding


50-70 days


90-120 days

Lettuce leaf

45-60 days


90-120 days


50-70 days


90-130 days


45-65 days


70-90 days


20-60 days

When you harvest the vegetables, use the shears or sharp knife and wearing gloves. Wash the vegetables with clean water and store immediately at room temperature. Consume the vegetables as soon as possible at least three days later harvest. If you store the vegetables in the refrigerator, it will be durable for one week only — the vegetables that too long in storing will reduce the substances inside. Besides that, consuming the fresh vegetable giving the benefits for healthy living. Create your creativity in processing them. You can make a salad, the dishes, or fresh noodle from vegetable for your child.

Read also : Build your body with This Vegetable High in Protein!

8. The Success Container Gardening

Follow the guidelines above to create the container garden vegetables. The most important thing is your attention to your plant. The container gardening becomes a way of providing healthy food and keeping a healthy life. As we know, lots of vegetables infected the chemical substance; it will be a danger for human living. Consume organic vegetables will reduce the risk of various illness. To be a success in container gardening, it can’t reach out easily; this is the process that should be patient to passes away. Following the tips below and practicing it as soon as possible.

1. Check the vegetable plant daily

The success gardener knows all the development of their plant. Paying attention to the plant condition is necessary. This is one of the preventive action to avoid the disease risk that may appear in the future. Watering the plant regularly to keep the soil humidity. Pay attention to the plant needs, such as the sunlight, the fertilizer, etc.

2. Discard the weeds, pests, and treat the plant disease

Sometimes, the weeds become the harm for the plant. Discard them manually, because it can absorb the water that ought to can strengthen the root system. If the plant attacked the diseases, treat them carefully. Seeking the best corrective action to overcome this case. If it’s possible, don’t place the affected plant with the unaffected plant, it may be spreading the disease into other plants.

3. Learn more and more from the expert gardeners

You will get more knowledge about the container garden vegetables. You can share your problem and ask their advice or recommendation. Therefore, looking for the education from the experienced gardeners is important.

4. Create the quality time to enjoy your vegetable

This is one of the rewards for your labor. Enjoying the vegetables based on your desire. Consuming the vegetable is important. Moreover, this is your planting result. It will more worth it if you enjoy the vegetables with your family.

9. Container Garden Benefits

The container garden vegetables bring out benefits for us. This gardening concept is easy to implement and spent low-cost. The container gardening is the alternative way for some people who love planting so much and learn to us that the small space also can utilizing for the beneficial thing. Here, some advantages of container gardening.

1. Provide a fresh environment

Besides doing your hobby, planting some vegetables near your home will produce fresh air, especially in the morning. By implementing container gardening, it means you already create a healthy environment and minimizing pollutant.

2. Low of cost

The container gardening isn’t spent lots of expenses. This gardening concept can be utilizing a used material. For the plant care, it also requires a little amount of fertilizer. This concept is cheaper than gardening in the field.

3. Provide fresh food material

By applying the container garden vegetables, you can get the fresh vegetables as the energy source. You don’t need to buy any more in the market. The plant is guaranteed the cleanliness and maturity because it all handled by your hand. The family needs for vegetables are fulfilled.

4. Adaptable in climate change

The herbs which planted in the container can survive in clime change. This condition usually inhibits the plant development and growth, but through the container garden, it can be minimized. The container is accessible and easy to move. If there’s the climate change from summer to winter, place the plant indoor.

5. Exploring your creativity

Applying the garden container is force you to think the best design and concept consider the space availability. Use your imagination to mix and match the combinations of plant color with other materials. It is so much fun and improves your creativity. Just create your style and be creative.

In Conclusion

These all the guidelines to make the container garden vegetables. You can practice it at your home. If you are love to planting, doing that by heart. The limit space isn’t a big problem. For the beginner gardeners, learn more to get the education in cultivation. The container gardening similarly as the ground gardening. The difference lies only in the space that we used. Most importantly, don’t forget to give the nutrients by fertilizer.

Although consuming vegetables is good because it contains lots of positive substance, but it should be balanced with another nutrient, like carbohydrate, protein, mineral, etc. Cooking the vegetable also not recommended too long and have to eat immediately because it will reduce the substance inside. Now, you can practice all tips and guidelines above and start to implement the healthy living.

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