The good news is that almost all vegetables and herbs, and many fruit, can be grown in containers. No matter what type of container you select – terracotta, plastic or even grow-bags – you can grow a garden, even if your garden space is limited.
The secret to successful container gardening rests on selecting the appropriate sized-container for that vegetable, herb or fruit. Another important factor is knowing how many plants you can grow in each container.
The following charts illustrate containers ranging in size from 10” to 30” in diameter. (Since containers are often sold, somewhat confusingly, by their gallon capacity, I have included this information as well.)
For each container size, I have recommended appropriate plants, plus the number of plants you can plant per container. This information is a guideline based on varieties that are readily available. (If you have access to “container-varieties” which would suit a smaller container – follow the directions on the label or seed packet.)
As far as the depth of the container is concerned, this isn’t generally a problem; as containers increase in size, they also increase in depth. If you are growing root vegetables, then bear in mind that carrots and parsnips require a depth of 12-inches (unless you’re growing a ‘nubby’ variety of carrots), and asparagus needs at least 18”, preferably 24”.
Of course, it goes without saying that you want to follow good gardening basics when it comes to planting in your containers. For more information, see our book: Container and Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners and Beyond.
For the sake of convenience, the charts are divided into three categories: Cool-season vegetables, Warm-season vegetables, and Perennial vegetables, Herbs and Fruit.
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