Planting vegetables in containers

Mon. May. 13, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Planting vegetables in containers

Lots of folks will be growing vegetables and herbs in containers.  What size container should you use?  What TYPE of container?   Certain containers create issues for your plants.

patty pan squash

Tomatoes are super popular and grow well in containers but they need size! University based information says use AT LEAST a 12 inch diameter container, but honestly, bigger is better.  The larger pots provide more soil and hold more water which minimizes wilting and stress as plants get large.

Tomato ‘Sweet Million’

This chart from the U of MN gives information on a variety of veggies, the minimum and preferred size container, how many plants per pot and cultivar suggestions.

Plenty of pot options too! Always make sure there are drain holes! The smaller pots are great for herbs

As for the container material, avoid using metal containers, they can absorb too much heat and be deadly to plant roots. Think of sitting on the hood of a car, with shorts on, after it’s been in the hot sun! OUCH. Butts and roots don’t tolerate extreme high or low temperatures that upper plant parts can take.

I tried this ’cause it looked cool… they really didn’t thrive in here. The metal could have been an issue and the size of the container

Black containers can also be very hot for roots in full sun conditions, which is where your tomatoes should be. Light colored containers are best for minimizing hot conditions.

If you keep them watered properly this will work but just know that the black is absorbing heat

As for soil, use a quality mix. I always use Creekside Soils Premium potting soil from my local garden center.

I use squished milk jugs in the bottom of my really large containers to take up space.  As of watering, that’s daily, and even sometimes twice a day if it’s really hot.

Log planter – this was fun.