Big Vegetables in Small Spaces (Insteading)

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Big Vegetables in Small Spaces – How to Start a Container Garden

by Michele B. Decoteau

If you have a deck, porch or even a window sill, you can have a garden. Container gardening can be a great way to start gardening, try something new, out wit predators, or bring kids into gardening. Having a garden, even a modest one, will bring beautiful food to your table and a sense of satisfaction. With food prices on the rise, every garden can help to put healthy food on the table and more money in your wallet.

Location, location, location

Vegetable plants need lots of sun – at least six hours of sun per day. Check the location that you planning to put the container in and get out your watch. Watch when those sunny rays first hit the spot, subtract any shade time when buildings or trees block the view, and then stop timing when the sun slips off your spot. If it isn’t six hours, plan to move your container to a sunnier spot.

You want to be able tend your garden, so place it in a spot that is accessible to you and to water. It may seem fun in the spring to pull out the dainty watering can, but when you have to water twice a day in the heat of August, it many not be quite so much fun.


You can use any sort of container for your garden from a fancy window box to a five gallon bucket. There are two things to keep in mind when choosing your container. You need to have water drainage available so if it doesn’t have drainage holes in the bottom, put some in. Also, plan to put in plants that match the size of the container. If you have a large container, plant large vegetables; if you have a small container, plant small.

Preparing Your Container



Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.