Containers can be placed anywhere convenient as long as there is a source of water and plenty of sunshine.
For anyone in wheelchair or who has trouble bending over, growing vegetables in a large pot is the next best thing to raised beds.
Your container needs least six hours of sun each day for maximum flavor and yield.
Use a premium quality potting mix. DON’T use garden soil; it can be too dense and infested with disease or nematodes. After a year, empty the old soil, which loses its original texture, into a compost pile and replace with new. In cool climates where decomposition is slow, a two year rotation is usually okay.
Before planting, mix timed-release fertilizer into the soil at the rate recommended on the label. Because vegetables in a pot need watering more often than those in the ground, nutrients may not last as long. Follow up with a liquid fertilizer such as Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food during the growing season.
Mulch the vegetables in pots like you would those in the ground to help conserve moisture.
Containers must have drainage holes and be large enough to accommodate roots. Tomatoes and peppers need a minimum of a five-gallon pot. Whiskey-barrel size is even better. You can grow almost all vegetables in containers.
Put heavy pots on casters to make it easier to move them around.
Consider a spaghetti tube drip irrigation system if you have a lot of pots clustered in a single place that is easy to run water to. It will make watering a breeze.
Tomatoes and vining vegetables such as cucumbers and peas need something to climb. Buy a wire cage or make a wire trellis for support. For an ornamental touch, make a support tepee with bamboo stakes tied together with twine.
If possible, let a vigorous plant such as Sweet 100 tomato scamper onto a deck railing for additional growing room.
All greens–collards, lettuce, mustard, and others–are perfect for containers. You can mix them with flowers for an ornamental touch. Lettuces can yield a surprising amount. Pick only the outer leaves to keep the harvest going.
Eggplant and peppers of all types make pretty summer pots and tasty summer meals.
Choose compact “bush” varieties when possible. All tomatoes work in pots if the pot is large enough and you have a good, tall cage or other support, but those bred specifically for containers such as Bush Goliath or Better Bush are short, stout, and easier to manage.
See all of our container gardening articles in the Gardening Library for lots more detailed information.