Container Gardening Tips For Homeasteders

Home Garden Container Gardening Tips For Homeasteders

Need some tips on vegetable and container gardening? If you’ve never tried planting your vegetables in a container than you might want to consider this excellent space saving option!

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Container Gardening

I remember the time when I didn’t have acres of land to work with. It was a challenging bit especially if you want to grow vegetables. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have considered space as a challenge. So if you don’t have the land but still want to grow a vegetable garden, container gardening is the answer. Get some tips on how to get started here!

Container Gardening

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Container Gardening Tips

Gardening in pots and containers is a great way to experiment with garden design. Keep these rules in mind to ensure that your potted plants survive.

Disinfecting your containers

Disinfecting Container

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To avoid bugs and plant diseases make sure all plant containers are clean. Wash containers with soap and water, rinse, and let air dry.

Soil Mix

Bulk Soil

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A good potting soil contains organic nutrients and should be able to drain well and keep the soil at optimum moisture levels.

Filling your container

Packing Peanuts for Container Gardening

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Using filler materials in the bottom of pots require less soil and your plants will still flourish. Materials such as packing peanuts, pop bottles, plastic containers, aluminum cans and other recycled items can be used.

Cover Drain Holes

Cover Drain Holes for Container Gardening

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Place a screen over holes to prevent soil and filler material from draining out.

Simple Vegetable Garden Tips for Your Container Garden

Get your vegetable garden going with these tips:

Simple Vegetable Gardening Tips

A special thanks to for these vegetable gardening tips!

Container Garden

Fruits and vegetables that are best suited for container gardens:


Basil in teacups

  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Green beans/ Runner beans
  • Lettuce
  • Sweet corn
  • Turnips
  • Carrots
  • Peppers/Chilis
  • Eggplant
  • Blueberries
  • Green onions
  • Strawberries
  • Parsley
  • Zucchini
  • Basil
  • Radish
  • Cabbage
  • Squash

Fruits and vegetables that are not suited for container gardens:


Pomegranates. image source

  • Asparagus
  • Pumpkins
  • Rhubarb
  • Pomegranates
  • Fast growing trees

Choosing a Container

In general, plants aren’t affected by container choice.

Should be large enough to hold the plant and have drainage holes.

Containers to Avoid:

  • Terra-cotta

Terracotta pots

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Porous nature of pots means more attention to watering.

  • Dark color

 Dark Color Container

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Absorb heat, making the soil too warm for some plants.

  • Treated wood

Treated Wood Plant Container

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May contain chemical compounds that could be absorbed by plants.


Look for a soil mix designed for outdoor container gardens.

  • Make your own by mixing equal parts:
    • Peat moss
    • Potting soil
    • Vermiculite, perlite or clean sand
  • Determine how much potting mix you’ll need:
    • 6″ pot = 3 pints
    • 12″ pot = 3 1/2 gallons
    • 20″ pot = 6 1/2 gallons

TIP: Fill the containers to within 1-2 inches of the rim.


Plant at the same time you would in the garden

Water the container before planting.

  • Soak potting mix completely.
  • Let sit for a few hours to drain excess water.

After planting

  • Water to settle seeds or transplants.
  • Keep soil from drying using mulch with straw, compost, or leaf mold.

Care Tips

  • Place containers in full sun for at least 6 hours a day.
  • If in a cold climate, place plants near a south-facing wall.
  • If in a warm climate, plants may overheat if placed on cement.

Raised Beds

If plant has deep roots, build bed up higher.

Plant Selection

Shallow Rooting (12 – 18″):

Broccoli Planting Tips

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  • Arugula
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Corn
  • Endive
  • Garlic
  • Kohlrabi, Bok Choy
  • Lettuce
  • Onions, Leeks, Chives
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries

Medium Rooting (18 – 24″):



  • Dry Beans
  • Pole Beans
  • Snap Peas
  • Beets
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Rutabagas
  • Summer Squash
  • Turnips

Deep Rooting (24-36″+):


Artichoke. image source

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Lima Beans
  • Okra
  • Parsnips
  • Rhubarb
  • Winter Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

Building a Raised Bed

DIY Raised Flower Bed

image via Pioneer Settler

  • Use wood, brick, rocks or cement blocks to frame the beds.
  • Look for naturally rot-resistant wood like cedar, cypress, or locust. Avoid chemically-treated wood.
  • Have long side of the bed face south for equal light exposure.
  • Build narrow beds—about 4 feet wide—to easily reach either side, about 4 feet.

If garden has burrowing pests:

  • A layer of 1/4 or 1/2-inch hardware cloth (galvanized mesh) can be laid across the bottom, before soil is added.
  • Mesh should continue at least 3 inches along the insides of the bed and be stapled in place.
  • Add mesh lower if growing root crops.


  • Spread the soil evenly across the bed.
  • Water bed with an even, fine spray to settle the soil.
  • Add more soil. Add lots of organic matter like well-rotted manure, compost, and shredded leaves.
  • Mound soil as the organic content increases.
  • For difficult soil, mix trucked-in topsoil, organic matter, and mineral amendments.
  • Rake the bed once more to even out the soil, then plant.


  • Plants may be spaced close together as fertilizer and manure are more concentrated in the small space.
  • Water immediately after planting.
  • Set stakes or pokes and trellises for tall crops in early spring.
  • May require an irrigation system.

Plant Spacing

1 plant per square foot:

  • Broccoli
  • Peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Cilantro

4 plant per square foot:

  • Swiss Chard
  • Parsley
  • Potato

9 plant per square foot:

  • Bush Beans
  • Spinach
  • Summer Squash

16 plant per square foot:

  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Radish
  • Small Beets

Raised Bed Gardening Tips:

  • To extend the growing season, place hoops with draped plastic over beds.
  • When harvesting, add compost into the empty space, mix, and replant based on the season.

Garden Plots

Plant Selection

Consider companion planting.

  • Some plants hinder nearby plants by hogging resources.
  • Pairing plants with an adequate companion can increase garden yields.

Guide to Companion Planting:

  • Asparagus

Companions: Tomato, Parsley, Basil

Incompatible: N/A

  • Beans

Companions: Most Herbs & Vegetables

Incompatible: Onion

  • Cabbage

Companions: Aromatic Herbs, Celery, Beets, Onion Family, Chamomile, Spinach, Chard

Incompatible: Strawberries, Tomato, Dill

  • Carrots

Companions: Peas, Lettuce, Onion, Sage, Tomato

Incompatible: Dill

  • Celery

Companions: Nasturtium, Onion, Cabbage, Tomato

Incompatible: N/A

  • Cucumber

Companions: Beans, Peas, Sunflower, Radish

Incompatible: Aromatic Herbs, Potato

  • Lettuce

Companions: Carrots, Radish, Strawberry, Cucumber

Incompatible: N/A

  • Onions

Companions: Beets, Carrot, Lettuce, Cabbage

Incompatible: Beans, Peas

  • Parsley

Companions: Tomato, Asparagus

Incompatible: N/A

  • Peas

Companions: Carrots, Radish, Turnip, Cucumber, Beans

Incompatible: Onion, Potato

  • Potato

Companions: Beans, Cabbage, Horseradish, Marigolds

Incompatible: Sunflower, Cucumber, Tomato

  • Radish

Companions: Peas, Nasturtium, Lettuce, Cucumber

Incompatible: Hyssop

  • Spinach

Companions: Strawberry, Fava Bean

Incompatible: N/A

  • Tomato

Companions: Onion, Marigold, Asparagus, Carrots, Parsley, Cucumber, Basil

Incompatible: Cabbage, Fennel, Potato

  • Turnip

Companions: Peas

Incompatible: Potato

Building a Garden Plot

Garden Plot

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When selecting a location for your plot look for:

  • An area that gets 5 to 6+ hours of direct sunlight daily.
  • A flat spot of land.
  • Mark corners of plot with a stick, rock, or stake.
  • Dig as deep as your shovel will allow.
  • Till the plot multiple times to break up chunks of dirt.
  • Remove unbreakable chunks or rocks with rake.
  • Till repeatedly until soil is fine in texture.
  • Before planting, you should be able to dig down 6 inches with your hands.


  • Sandy loam is the most desirable soil type.
  • Test for sandy loam by squeezing a handful of soil into a ball; soil should crumble.
  • If soil is sandy or clay based, use comport.


Good soil, sunshine, and drainage are key for a successful garden,

A 10×10 feet plot can yield a variety of vegetables. Here’s a sample layout:

 Garden Plot Layout

Whether you have ample space for a garden plot or just a sunny window for a container garden, homegrown produce can add a fresh, delicious element to your meals. Get growing and try one of these garden this spring.

What do you think of these gardening tips? Let us know below in the comments!


Want to know more about container gardening? Get more here:

Container Gardening: The Pros and Cons Of Growing Vegetables On Your Deck

Fresh Herbs and Vegetables On Your Deck



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