Six Veggies You Can Grow in Containers to Save Space and Money
Eating a vegetable that you grew in your own garden has to be one of the most satisfying feelings in the world. But with space and permission restrictions, not everybody can just go out into the back yard and start digging and planting to experience that feeling.
These six vegetables will thrive in containers and save you a good amount at the grocery store. This also means that you won't have to dig up the yard, and since they are in containers, you can grow them wherever you have the space.
It doesn't matter what type of beans you choose to grow in your containers. They will grow and produce well if they are kept warm, in full sun and watered regularly. And until they start producing flowers beans won't need any fertilizer either. They make their own.
The biggest thing that you WILL need to make a note of when choosing to grow beans in your containers is whether they are of a bush, or pole variety. Bush beans only require a six to seven-inch deep container for their roots where pole beans require nine or ten inches depth for their root systems to branch out. Bush beans may require a little support when fruiting so it's wise to put a two-foot tall stake in the pot prior to planting just in case. Pole beans will require support though from about their second week of growth on so it's good to put an eight or nine-foot pole in the soil prior to planting. Or if you choose, you could just train them along a lattice or railing for support.
No matter which variety you choose to grow though, the spacing requirements and planting depth will be the same. Plant your seeds about 1/2 of an inch deep, and nine can be planted per every 12 inches of surface area in your container.
Spinach grows best between temperatures of 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If it's kept any cooler than that it will grow slowly and if it gets much warmer than that it will get tougher because higher temperatures will cause it to decide it's time to bolt, or go to seed. If it does get too warm for your spinach try to shade it, or bring it inside and into a sunny window.
The soil level of your spinach must be kept constantly moist. Don't over water it though. Fungus and rot will ruin your crop quickly if it is exposed to too much water for too long of a period of time. To test the soil moisture level just stick a fingertip about an inch into the soil. If it feels dry then water the spinach. If it feels moist or wet leave it alone.
When choosing a fertilizer for your spinach, choose one with a slightly higher nitrogen content because nitrogen promotes leaf growth. Just be careful when fertilizing. Too much can be worse for the plant than none at all.
Plant your spinach about 1/4 of an inch deep and space nine seeds evenly over a pot with 12 inches of surface area.
Ideal Pots for Square Foot Container Gardening
Lettuce is another cold weather crop that really doesn't like to be too warm. It can't be kept at temperatures much past 85 degrees Fahrenheit or it will bolt.
When growing lettuce, a container that is six inches deep will be plenty because it doesn't have a very deep growing root system. You will want a container with a lot of surface area though, so your leaves have lots of airflow in between to cut down on fungus growing on them.
In warmer weather, lettuce will need to be watered more than in cooler weather. It should be checked for moisture daily and watered as needed, but lettuce is prone to root rot though, so don't over water it.
Fertilize your lettuce with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer to promote leaf growth. Remember not to give them too much.
If you are growing your lettuce for the leaves then spacing isn't really anything that you need to worry about when it comes to planting time. Fill your container with quality soil and scatter a dense patch of seeds across the top of it. Then cover the seeds over with a fine layer of soil. After about three to four weeks you should have enough true leaves for a small harvest. Do that by snipping a leaf or two from each plant and leaving at least one to still gather energy for the plant to regrow.
If you are trying to grow your lettuce plants for heads of lettuce plant two to four seeds per 12 inches of surface area in your container. About 1/4 of an inch deep will do.
Cucumbers are a warm season vegetable and best grown between 65 degrees and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. They are also going to do best when they are in an area where they get full sun.
A container for growing cucumbers should be at least 10 inches deep because they need to be able to soak in a lot of water from the soil around them. Especially when they are fruiting.
Your cucumbers are going to need trellised and grown vertically if space is an issue for you. If trellising isn't done, they will sprawl out and take up quite a bit of room.
To plant cucumber seeds, bury two seeds for every 12 inches of surface area, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep. Start them in a rich potting soil and feed them with a balanced fertilizer as soon as the first true leaves appear.
Peas are a cool season crop that won't hold out all that well after the temperatures reach 80 degrees, but will benefit greatly from full sun in cooler temperatures.
The roots of a pea plant aren't very strong and don't grow very deep. A 6 to 8-inch deep pot filled with soil that is very rich in organic material will make an ideal home.
Keeping the soil moist, but not too wet, and providing a trellis or some poles to climb are the only real steps that you need to take to ensure a healthy crop early on. After the peas start to flower though, they may need a little more water, and could use the help of a balanced fertilizer.
To plant your peas in a container, space nine peas per every 12 inches of the surface area of your container at a depth of about 1/2 of an inch.
Tomatoes are a warm-weather crop that grow extremely well within a temperature range of 60 degrees to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and for best results, they must have full sun.
The best choice of a home for your tomatoes will be a container that holds at least five gallons of soil, a soil with a time-released fertilizer, and a tomato cage, poles, or some other structure to trellis them.
Tomatoes need a lot of water and they feed heavy, so from the time you plant your starts, you will need to be prepared to start caring for them properly.
In order to plant the tomato starts one plant per five-gallon container is all that is recommended. Bury it up to the first place where the stalk starts to branch and water it in well.
By growing these six vegetables in containers you can move them as you need to to save a little space. If you follow these guidelines and take care of them well, they will provide with you with many bountiful harvests. That will save you a lot of money.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Can these vegetables be grown indoors in winter with grow lights?
Yes, indeed they can.