Plant In Pots, Buckets And Planter Boxes For Limited-Space Gardening

For people who love to garden, but have very limited space, container gardening is a great way to enjoy growing your own produce without all the work of planting a large garden.

Getting Started

  • Gather your containers. Make sure the pots have drainage holes so the plants do not get waterlogged. Tomatoes, beans, peas, carrots, potatoes and peppers generally need large containers, while lettuce, radishes, herbs and onions can be grown in more shallow containers.
  • Purchase good quality potting soil. Do not use soil from your yard or garden. Potting soil is made for the best drainage and aeration for your plants. Minerals, Miracle Grow and compost can be added to enhance the soil and improve the success of the container garden.
  • Purchase packages of seeds or seedlings that are ready to be transplanted. Look for specific types of seeds and plants that will grow well in containers. The following vegetables and fruits seem to do the best in containers, lettuce, salad greens, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, radishes, onions, herbs, beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes, carrots and strawberries.
  • Plant your seeds or transplant your seedlings according to the instructions on the package. It is best to place larger containers in the spot they will stay permanently so they do not have to be moved. Find a place to put the containers that is near a watering hose so you do not have to haul water to your plants. Water them deep enough to keep them moist so the seeds will germinate and the plants will grow.

container gardening

Recycle Large Tree Pots

Any large plastic pot can be used to plant herbs. This is a good way to recycle the pots that trees and shrubs come in. You can purchase them from a nursery or anywhere you can purchase scrubs and trees. These can be moved indoors or to a greenhouse when the weather turns cold. Herbs as well as vegetables can be used and enjoyed year-round.

Grow Herbs In Pots

herbs in potsHerb gardens are great to plant in pots along a windowsill or outside in small spaces. Just snip off a few fresh herbs, chop them and add them to your favorite dish.

Cucumbers Can Be Grown In Pots

cucumbersCucumbers like to climb up a trellis. They can be grown on the sides of buildings or fences where they can cling on. String can be tacked on the side of a building to hold them in place. If using wire fencing, the cucumbers can be tied to the wire to keep them from falling.

Vegetables Planted In Buckets

When planting tomatoes, peppers, squash and anything else in buckets, you must drill several holes in the bottom of the buckets for drainage, then put small rocks in the bottom of the bucket about 2 inches deep and add the potting soil on top of the rocks. Add a trellis to the bucket to stabilize the plant. You can plant seedlings in the buckets and keep them in a warm place until the weather permits them to be moved outdoors. The advantage of planting in buckets is that you can move them around to get the maximum sunlight. They can be grown on a porch or in a small space somewhere on your yard or even indoors near a window. When the weather turns cold, you can move them indoors and continue to reap the harvest a couple of months longer than the growing season.

Planter Boxes

tomato plantTomatoes can also be planted in planter boxes with a wire trellis behind them for stability when growing vertically. They can be set on a porch or against the wall of a building where they can get sunlight.

Vertical Wooden Planter Boxes

DIY-Vertical-Wooden-Box-Planter-11I found this do-it-yourself project for the limited-space gardener. Conservation Garden Park provided step-by-step instructions on how to make this vertical planter box that attaches to any tall fence.

Growing Onions Vertically On A Windowsill

Onions grown indoors on a window sill.If you would like to pick fresh onions year-round for cooking or to add to your salads, you can grow them indoors on a windowsill in limited space. Every time you cut the stems of the onions they will grow back, giving you an endless supply of scallions for your salads or cooking. When the bulbs start looking like they are not doing well, pull them out and plant new bulbs in their place. Fresh Organic Gardening detailed step-by-step instructions on how to make this nifty pot of onions.

Planting In Culverts

A culvert is a drainpipe that allows water to flow under a road, railroad, trail or similar obstruction. If you can find used culverts from construction sites or from your local city or county, you can get them much cheaper than new ones. Once you find a length of pipe, you will need to cut the culvert to 2.5-3 feet tall. This is the perfect height for planting herbs such as chives, onions or any other plants. Each piece must be cut with a heavy-duty saw or a chain saw for the tires and culvert water pipes to make them the right height.
culverts for plantingYou can use the same concept and stack tires on top of each other. The tires can be used as a compost bin by simply cutting the sidewall completely out of the tire. Recycle the sidewalls by using them around other plants to keep the weeds down and protect the plants.

ION (Stabilized Oxygen) Can Be Used To Help Plants Grow

ION Stabilized Oxygen 2 oz. bottleI like to mix 20 drops of ION stabilized oxygen with one gallon of water to water my plants. Stabilized oxygen is known to kill anaerobic bacteria, fungus, mold and some viruses that might be causing the plant to deteriorate and not be as healthy as it should be. ION will help build the friendly flora, and it oxygenates the plants. Vegetables will grow so much better with stabilized oxygen in the water.

Some of the information in this article came from my book .

–Peggy Layton

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Peggy Layton