How to make a container garden? best tips

potted crops

Many people find themselves without making their own garden because of the space. In this case, we will explain how to make a vegetable garden to optimize the space and be able to have crops giving them a good yield. Although the care is increased when the plants are in a smaller portion of soil, it is worth having the garden even if it is in pots.

For this reason, we are going to dedicate this article to telling you everything you need to know about how to make a container garden and what aspects you need to take into account for it.

How to make a container vegetable garden

plant a container garden

You don’t need expensive garden supplies to have a garden at home. In the end, what really matters is how things work, not how they are designed or branded. We will see below.


The choice of pots that make up an urban garden is one of the most important points, since they can regulate the use of space or become a real hassle when it comes to keeping your plants nourished and hydrated.

They don’t have to be jars, they can be any type of container that meets these requirements:

  • Have sufficient volume or capacity to house the plant or plants.
  • Depth is another deciding factor, especially for some vegetables.
  • It must be made of an inert material so that it does not decompose and release harmful substances onto the substrate.
  • Your base should be able to punch holes without breaking or hurting itself.

Good materials for pots are high density polyethylene (HDPE) or other similar plastics, ceramic and terra cotta, cement, stone, wood (painted or unpainted), stainless steel, wicker, etc.

We haven’t mentioned glass because even if it would work, drilling holes in glass is tricky and dangerous without the proper tools and safety precautions. Glass containers can be used if the bottom has been perforated. Iron derivatives or other oxidizable (or toxic) metals are also not recommended unless they are covered with plastic.

reused containers

A lot of times, the easiest way is to go to a garden center and buy a pot directly. They’ll be valuable and we’ll get them right away, but it’s not the most sustainable option. Your best option is to reuse materials that end up in the trash and give them new life as pots for your garden plants.

  • Wooden, polystyrene or plastic boxes, such as those usually used by market gardeners and other businesses.
  • Plastic bottle, jar, tupperware.
  • Old ceramic, clay or stainless steel bowls or pots.
  • Sew or tie the fabric into a bag and hang it from the ceiling with string.
  • The tires are stacked and lined with plastic.

If you have space, it can be fun to build a planting table out of trays, where it is more convenient to grow green salads in a row. In short, anything that can contain a sufficient volume of soil inside.

Substrate for a container garden

vegetable garden

In addition to pots, substrate is another mainstay in maintaining the health of your container garden. Remember that the portion of “soil” the plant will have is limited by the volume of the pot, so the substrate must contain all the nutrients and water the plant needs to absorb throughout the farm. .

The lighter the pot, the better the substrate should be. It’s okay if it’s very tall, because the roots will have plenty of room to explore. A good substrate for a container garden should have:

  • It provides all the nutrients in the necessary quantities and proportions and in absorbable form.
  • A spongy and light structure that promotes root development, allowing gas exchange and drainage, but at the same time retains a lot of moisture without flooding.
  • Free of pathogens and toxic substances.
  • If possible, it should not contain peat, because it is a resource whose extraction can destroy large natural areas, peat bogs.

Substrates can be made at home from soil, compost or other organic fertilizers, perlite or vermiculite, sand and some natural fibers such as coconut. We will see how to prepare it later, but above all it is better to buy a good one that is already prepared, even if it will be a little more expensive, since the quantity will not be huge and we will spend a lot of money. A little.

The success or failure of a vegetable garden largely depends on the substrate and the pots used.

seeds or plants

This aspect is important from the point of view of what can and cannot be planted in a city garden or, more precisely, in an allotment garden. There is nothing that cannot be grown, but many vegetables are not suitable for this purpose for the following reasons:

  • They invade and take up a lot of space: pumpkins, melons, watermelons, etc.
  • They must be grown in large numbers to obtain acceptable harvests: potatoes, corn, peas, chickpeas, etc.

It’s easier to understand than it looks. Let’s look at some examples. In a limited space like a house, it may seem impractical to harvest only 4 or 5 pumpkins in late summer from a pumpkin plant that can span a few feet.

In the case of the second group of plants, although each plant does not take up space, it will be necessary to plant tens or hundreds of plants to obtain an interesting harvest. For example, 2 or 3 ears of corn usually grow from a corn stalk, easily reaching a height of more than 2 meters and a width of 50 or 60 cm with the leaves extended.

What to plant in a vegetable garden

vertical crops


To get off to a good start without getting frustrated, it’s best to start with one or more of the following crops:

  • Salad vegetables: lettuce, lamb’s lettuce, arugula, radish.
  • Leafy vegetables: Swiss chard, spinach, cabbage.
  • Fruits and vegetables: peppers, cucumbers, beans, eggplant, strawberries.
  • Also aromatic, like parsley or cilantro.


In addition to the above: tomatoes, carrots, garlic, onions, chives, leeks, zucchini, asparagus, and all that is suitable for pot culture. This way you can see everything you can grow, but we’re sticking to the first group, like lettuce and radishes.

The importance of water in a vegetable garden

Like any garden, even if it is made up of pots, it needs water for irrigation, dishes, etc. In the case of irrigation water, it must be of good quality and free of chlorine or other chemicals added for its purification. The ideal is to use rainwater all the time, for example to collect rainwater that falls on a roof or a terrace, but of course there must be room to store it in a bucket.

If you use tap water, you must fill one (or more) containers with enough water for 2 days. We leave the container open for 2 days so that the chlorine evaporates and then we can use it to water. Before it’s finished, we’ll have to fill it up so it’s ready when we need it. If we desperately need it, we can always cook it in the pan for 5 minutes without the lid. When it cools, we can use it.

I hope with this information you can learn more about how to make a container garden.

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