Let’s go farming – Container Gardening

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Can I grow my vegetables in a small space like a container?

Yes. Container gardening is an easy way to grow vegetables, especially when you lack yard space! If you have a small garden or simply a patio, balcony, or rooftop, explore the magical world of gardening in pots!

Want to have more control over growing conditions and enjoy higher yields with a lot less work? Garden in containers. 


Pots: The Bigger, the Better

  • Large plants need lots of space, and most roots need room to grow. Avoid small containers as they often can’t store enough water to get through hot days. Plus, the bigger your container, the more plants you can grow!
  • Use barrels (a wooden half-barrel can yield an amazing amount of food), buckets, baskets, boxes, bath- and other tubs, —anything that holds soil. Just be sure that it has drainage holes in the bottom. 

Care Tips for Container Gardening with Vegetables

  • Clay pots are usually more attractive than plastic ones, but plastic pots retain moisture better and won’t dry out as fast as unglazed terra-cotta ones. To get the best of both, slip a plastic pot into a slightly larger clay pot.
  • Black pots absorb heat when they are sitting in the sun. Try to avoid using black pots for gardening.
  • Many plants grown in pots must be watered once in three days. To keep plants adequately cool and moist during hot days.
  • If you want to do double-pot: Place a small pot inside a larger one and fill the space between them with crumpled newspaper. When watering the plant, also soak the filler between the pots.
  • Hanging baskets make good use of extra space, and herbs and cherry tomatoes grown at eye level can be easily tended and harvested.
  • Add about 1 inch of coarse gravel in the bottom of containers to improve drainage.
  • Vegetables that can be easily transplanted are best suited for containers. Transplants can be purchased from local nurseries or started at home.
  • Feed container plants at least twice a month with fertilizer (always follow the instructions on the label).
  • An occasional application of compost will add trace elements to container soil.
  • Place containers where they will receive maximum sunlight and good ventilation. Watch for and control pests and insects.

Whatever the size or type, place your containers where they are most convenient to be cared for and will grow best. Most vegetables need 6 to 8 hours of direct sun in order to thrive and produce well.

Plants in containers need the best possible soil and drainage for healthy root growth and optimum harvest. Do not use soil from the garden: It is too heavy, can become waterlogged, and brings disease and insects with it. Choose instead a soilless mix like cocopeat (quick-draining and lightweight) or use compost, alone or combined with a soilless mix.

To keep vegetable plants growing, feed them organic soil amendments like liquid seaweed or manure tea weekly. To ensure growth, vegetables need consistently moist soil.


Support your climbing vegetables with, stakes, netting, twine, or cages. The image below shows a practical and easy way to build your own wooden supports.

Cucumber plants trained to climb up a nylon mesh fence will develop fruit that hang down and grow straight. To avoid damaging the plants or their roots, put supports in place at planting time.

To maximize space and thus your harvest, plant root crops, low-growers, and tall climbers together in the same container. The climbers will eagerly scramble up a trellis, while the small plants spread around their base. You’ll hardly need to weed because there won’t be any room for weeds to gain a foothold, and some low-growers (leafy greens, for example) will thrive in the shade provided by the taller plants.

Mix quick-maturing plants, such as lettuce and radishes with longer-growing ones, like tomatoes or broccoli.

Group plants with similar needs for sun and water, such as beans, radishes, and lettuce; cucumber, bush beans, and tomatoes basil and onions: and peas and carrots.


Here at Let’s Go Farming, these are our recommendations on which vegetable varieties are container-friendly and which container types are most suitable for each veggie.

For supplies, you only need a good container, the right soil mix and appropriate seed (or transplant) varieties. In addition to providing 5 hours or more of full sun, watering is critical. As mentioned above, you may need to water daily or twice daily; in our hot weather, the soil can dry out quickly. The good news: less weeding! Containers are generally low-maintenance.

Container: 1 plant/5 gallon pot, 3 plants/15-gallon tub

Container: 5-gallon window box at least 12 inches deep

Container: 1 plant/1-gallon pot

Container: 5-gallon pot

Container: 5-gallon window box

Container: 5-gallon window box

Container: 1 plant/2-gallon pot, 5 plants/15-gallon tub

Container: 5-gallon window box

Container: Bushel basket

Do you have a container vegetable garden or want to have one but don’t know how? Share with us via our social media @lgftv.ghana

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