thai basil - Illustration by Helen KrayenhoffSo you’ve run out of space to plant more vegetables & herbs in your garden. Or, like a lot of us folks in the area, you don’t even have a yard to garden in. Container gardening could be the ideal solution for you, offering beautiful color and a tasty harvest of veggies, fruits, and herbs without the work of weeding. Some considerations before you start your patio garden are, irrigation, drainage, fertilizing, and size.

Most plants grown in containers need to be watered more often than those in the ground, especially veggies! For water retention and soil aeration, choose a potting or planting mix rich in organic matter. You could even add a little extra perlite to this mix. This will also make a normally heavy pot much easier to move around. And to avoid staining your deck or patio, place saucers under your containers. 

Because you will be watering your container plants more often, they’ll require more frequent feeding, especially veggies! Try watering with diluted fish emulsion, seaweed extract, or compost tea at least once a week, up to 2 weeks prior to harvesting. The growth rate and the size and shape of a plant’s root system will determine how big and deep the container should be. By mixing more than one type of plant in a pot, you can create a bountiful as well as beautiful container. Lower-growing colorful lettuces and herbs can complement taller growing plants like, peas, peppers, or even a dwarf fruit tree. Also, don’t limit your choices to just veggies. Try adding some yummy fruits or colorful edible flowers.

Where I live, there will always be some rosemary, sage, and, hopefully, a small lemon tree near the BBQ! 

Have Fun!