Container Gardening: How to Grow Vegetables in the City

If you live in the city, you might think that your passion for gardening has to take a backseat. It seems impossible to grow a vegetable garden in the middle of a bustling city where space is very limited and expensive.

But in an urban area, you certainly can have your fresh supply of vegetables literally just within your reach. This is all thanks to container gardening.

For some urban gardeners, growing your vegetables necessarily means growing it in a container. Just like gardening in a yard, container gardening also has a lot of challenges such as soil and weather conditions. Soil conditions can make growing vegetables challenging. 

If you are new to growing your vegetable in containers, here are some tips that will be useful for you and help you reap your produce successfully.

Choose your container

Choose a large container. Smaller containers easily dry out and you may need to water it more. Think about the weight. Once the pot is filled with wet soil, expect it to be heavy. Look for a container that’s visually pleasing. Should it match your home’s aesthetics and design? Should it match your other pots?

While these are what you might consider, also consider the depth of the container. Plants with deep roots will grow stunted and will not be healthy if they don’t have enough space to grow.

Do note that if you have a deeper pot, your reservoir of moist soil is larger and will need less watering.

Location, location, location

Most veggies need at least six hours of sunlight in a day. Herbs and salad greens can get by with less. Sun-lovers like peppers, tomatoes and beans need as much sun as they can get. If your yard or balcony does not get much sunlight, try putting your plants in caddies where you can move them whenever the sun’s angle changes.

Your plants would appreciate a place where the wind isn’t strong enough to blow them or dry their foliage. To protect them from strong wind, set up a temporary windbreaker made out of fabric or portable fencing. Arrange your pots in a way that the larger ones are shielding the smaller ones. Also, clustering potted plants help increase humidity levels, which make the plants produce more.

When using a trellis or other types of container support, use a heavier pot or make sure that the trellis is secured to a railing or some fixed verticals or posts.


Your veggies require a supply of water consistently to produce their best. Inconsistent moisture will cause a lot of problems that could affect their roots, and contribute to blossom end rot on tomatoes. It can also make blossoms drop, leaves to curl, as well as other rot and insect problems.

To make sure that your plants always have consistent water supply, it is suggested that you use a self watering planter. You just need to fill the reservoir every few days and the plants will absorb moisture as they need it.


Fertilizer is essential when growing your vegetables in containers. Because of the self-contained aspect of pots, plain dirt can’t regenerate or find nutrients like dirt in a regular garden.

There are many reasons why fertilizer is important:

(1) the soil in your container has few nutrients. Your plants would have to depend on you to give them the nutrients they need, much like taking care of a pet;

(2) plants in containers get watered a lot and wash away the nutrients every time you do ; and

(3) container gardens are packed together with a lot of plants in a very limited space.

Best veggies for containers

Herbs are the best!  Other veggies that are just happy to grow in containers are peppers, summer squash, tomatoes (cherry and bush), eggplants, potatoes, lettuce, pole beans and Asian greens.

Gardening Tools

The right set of gardening tools will help your gardening experience more pleasurable. Growing plants in containers or in a yard should be a stress-reliever activity for you. Problems with using low-quality tools will cause you more unnecessary stress. Avoid having additional stress due to untimely breakage of your tools or accidents because of its unsafe features.

Cate's Garden has a wide collection of high-quality gardening tools you need to grow your own container veggies.  Check out their gardening tool set here. 


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