Growing vegetables in pots – Choosing plants that thrive

Growing vegetables in pots Maintaining a garden can be quite a challenge for the urban prepper. The lack of gardening space and arable land is a problem for most urban dwellers. However, you shouldn’t give up on your dream of having home-grown vegetables. There are always solutions and growing vegetables in pots can be done wherever you live.

Having a balcony, terrace or even the roof of your building at your disposal will allow you to grow a variety of vegetables. There are quite many plants that will thrive in pots even in the smallest space. Growing vegetables in pots is a raising trend among urban preppers since all of them want to have fresh produce.

When choosing the plants to grow in containers, there are a few considerations you should be aware of. Since not everyone is an expert gardener, I think it’s better to list the basic requirements for growing vegetables in pots.

Considerations to bear in mind when growing vegetables in pots:

Choose the right varieties for your pots

There are many varieties which have been bred to be slightly smaller than their traditionally larger cousins. When planning your vegetable garden, select the types of vegetables that use words such as mini, compact or dwarf in their description. The seed package should clearly state the type of crops you are expected to grow.

Use good potting compost

As a personal recommendation, I advise you to use the best potting compost you can afford. Growing vegetables in pots means that the plants have access only to the soil or compost from their containers. Provide your plants with good quality compost for a successful garden. It will give them a good basis from which to thrive.

The 3 pioneer lessons we should all learnPay attention to the size of your pots

When growing vegetables in pots, the size of the pots is really important. Your plants need to develop a proper root system to produce good yields. As a general rule, 8-12 inch pots are OK for most vegetables. However, some plants require bigger pots. Long root crops require taller pots, while wide bulbs or roots need larger containers.

Pay attention to the watering schedule

Watering becomes a sensitive issue when growing vegetables in pots. The plants you grow in containers dry out quicker than the ones in the ground. Ensure you keep the soil moist if you don’t want to compromise your crop. When inclement weather is forecast, make sure the soil in not prone to waterlogging.

These are the basic rules to keep in mind for growing vegetables in pots. I’ve grown many plants in pots and I can tell you that it’s not a complicated job. Everything goes smooth as long as you pay attention to what you are doing.

Grooving vegetables in pots – The best varieties you can chose from:

Salad Leaves

This crop is ideal for container growing and there are many varieties you can chose from. There’s something available for every growing condition. When growing vegetables in pots, loose leaf salads are preferred. They can be enjoyed as you cut the foliage when the plants are young and you can benefit from a second set of pickings. Most varieties are best sown in March and September. When growing salad in pots, pay attention to intense heat. The plants do not like too much heat and you need to provide shade for the pots. Recommended pot depth: 6 to 12 inch.

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Tomatoes

When growing vegetables in pots, tomatoes are considered the best starter crops. Tomatoes can be grown in tubs and grow bags or you can go with one plant per 18 inch depth pot. You can start the seeds inside in March or April and then move them to container as the seedlings develop. Varieties that produce all their crops at once will require small wire cages or stakes.  I recommend growing Bush Celebrity or Early Girl. If you want to try growing something different try growing Tumbler tomatoes. This variety is great for hanging baskets or window boxes.

Carrots

If you want to grow proper size carrots in pots, you need to pick the right container for the job. The recommend pot depth for carrots is between 9 and 14 inches. Pay attention to the watering and don’t let the soil dry out. When growing vegetables in pots, carrots are an ideal choice. They do not require a lot of work and there are varieties suited for every type of pot. You can grow Nantes which are half-long types or Parmex, which produces round, bite-size carrots. Another suggestion would be to grow baby carrots such as Mini Finger.

Beetroot

These vegetables thrive in tubs and you can plant the beet seeds in all directions for a full crop. As a general rule, 6 inches of depth is required for the pots or growing containers. Seedlings will emerge within five to eight days when temperatures are between 50 to 85°F. I recommend going with round varieties such as Regala. These are quite small when mature and you can harvest them young. They have a sweet and tender taste.

How to Build a Self-sufficient Garden

Chilies

Many preppers and survivalists grow cayenne peppers in pots due to their multiple uses. Growing these vegetables in pots is one of the easiest ways to ensure you have a constant supply. You can even move the pots inside and outside depending on the weather. Your peppers will thrive no matter what. The Recommended pot depth for peppers is 14-16 inches. You can grow one or two plants per pot. Try growing sweet peppers such as Ariane or Giant Marconi. As for spicy ones, go with Nosferatu or Aji Crystal.

Zucchini

These are probably the most prolific crops you could grow in containers. When it comes to growing vegetables in pots, nothing will give you a bang for your buck like zucchini. This is a thirsty crop and it needs a lot of water to thrive. The soil around the base of the plants needs to be kept moist. Recommended pot depth for zucchini is 18 inches. If you plan to grow compact zucchini chose varieties such as Midnight, Sunstripe, Geode, Raven and Eight Ball.

Suggested reading: Top 10 Medicinal Herbs for your Garden

Potatoes

If you want to grow potatoes as part of your gardening project, you need 18 inches tall pots. Most often, patio bags and containers are used for growing potatoes. Growing vegetables in pots is quite easy and the situation doesn’t change for potatoes. Fill the container or bag with compost and plant your chitted tuber into the dirt. Sow it at a depth of 3-6 inches with the shoot pointing upwards. If you provide enough room for the tubers to develop, the plant should produce a good yield.  Try growing varieties such as Red Pontiac or Yukon Gold.

When it comes to growing vegetables in pots, these are my most successful crops. They are just a selection of vegetables that can be grown in containers. You could also try growing crops such as peas, dwarf beans, onion and herbs.

Once you realize that growing vegetables in pots is quite easy, you will never stop experimenting. You can always discover more and more vegetable seeds that have been bred for container planting.

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