Test Your Green Thumb With A Container Garden On Your Porch


Container garden!

Just because you may live in an apartment or live in a home with little or no garden availability (or permission to dig up part of the yard), don’t let that stop you from testing your green thumb and trying your hand at growing some vegetables this summer!

There are lots of vegetable varieties that you can grow in a container or garden pots.

Set them out on your deck, porch, or anywhere there’s a sunny place where you have a bit of outdoor space.

Even if you live in the city in an apartment building, many have a deck or balcony, which could be accommodating for a few pots or containers of vegetable plants.

Container gardening enables easy and controllable gardening on a small scale.

By using nutrient-rich garden soil in your container garden pots (available at any local gardening supply store), you will virtually eliminate underground pests that may otherwise have been in your yard soil – while also maximizing the benefit of having purpose-mixed beneficial garden soil.

In a container garden pot, weeding is easy and they are easily controlled.

By having the pots on a porch or balcony will also help to deter some of the 4-legged creatures who would otherwise feast on your precious veggies.


When you purchase your container pots, be sure they have a drain hole in the bottom. If they don’t, then be sure to drill a few holes yourself – otherwise the roots will rot.

Start by placing a layer of pea-gravel, small pebbles, or small stones on the bottom of the container. This will separate the soil from the drain hole, facilitating better drainage and will prevent a clog.

Then simply add your garden soil, leaving two inches space from the top of the container.

With the root ball of the plant you purchased from your local nursery, be sure to pick the roots with your fingers and pull them apart somewhat, instead of leaving them in a tight ball from the pot they came in. It makes a big difference in how the root structure will develop in the new pot and will promote better growth.


When finished, water very deeply.

An important note regarding container gardening: The soil inside the container WILL dry out fairly quickly because the entire container (and the soil within) is exposed to the sunlight – it’s above ground. Check the soil daily.

To help maintain soil moisture, add about two inches of mulch on top of the soil.

Consider using the following soil moisture meter to check whether or not your containers need watering. It is important to check the moisture deep into the container because you might be fooled by simply using your fingers to scratch the surface where it may be dry while there may still be plenty of moisture midway into the pot.

Soil Moisture Meter

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  1. My skills as a gardener: If you water it and it dies, it’s a plant; If you pull it out and it grows back, it’s a weed.

  2. To obtain more roots in a tomato plant, remove the lowest pair of leaves and plant it at a depth that covers this area by about 1 inch. Those additional roots will pay off with more tomato fruit.

    Try and select your plants from cultivars with resistance to the tomato diseases in your area. In the North East it is common to see what would be a bumper crop of green tomatoes in July and watch them turn brown and rot on the vine in August before they ripen.

    1. True. The White spots on young plants can be either stems or roots. I tend to remove the lower half of the stems to bury deeper.

      Other hints:

      – Try to avoid leaf/ground contact.
      – Use good cages for indeterminates. I went with the Texas Tomato Cage brand. A bit pricey. Only sold in six packs. They will probably outlast me. Got tired of replacing the cages they sell at the big box stores every year.
      – I use Bamboo posts near the plants for more support.

  3. I use potting soil for containers. The moisture control variety. I think Scotts makes it. I also put some garden fabric under the rock to help with erosion.

  4. I have been growing in containers for ten years now and have had my share of success and failure.

    I also recommend burying the bottom of the plant in soil.

    However, if planting outside, in the ground, bury your tomatoes horizontally, just angle the top half out of the soil. The stem will grow a strong root and be closer to the soil surface heat.

    When choosing pots – go as big as you can afford.

    Water every day. Some days more. It is needed just to cool down the soil sometimes.

    I place boards if I have them in front of the pots to keep them from over heating.

    Fertilizer is good.
    Don’t over fertilize.

    Stop watering when the tomatoes are almost ripe or they may split.

    Pick them slightly under ripe and let them finish on your kitchen table.

    Tomatoes need heat, not light to ripen. No window sills.

    Brown bags ripen tomatoes.

    Pick off the bottom leaves at least a foot up as the plant grows more. Leaves that touch the soil invite disease.

    Pick off suckers at first, then decide if you want more or bigger toms.

    Although pre-made moisture control is easy…
    I recommend a good organic blend.
    Peat moss or sand, soil and compost.

    Just say NO to GMO!
    Happy gardning!

  5. This will help the many people who dont have sufficient place or garden to decorate or to grow vegetables thanks for posting.

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