Publication Number



vegetables in containers, container grown vegetables


Are you short on space? Many kinds of vegetables can be easily grown in containers. Just follow these basic guidelines:

  • Select containers. You can use buckets, empty milk jugs, dishpans, or window boxes. Each container should be clean and have at least one drainage hole in the bottom. Use a potting mix or mix your own with garden soil, compost, peat, and vermiculite.
  • If you are starting plants from seed, check seed packets for planting and space recommendations. Not all of the seeds will germinate, so plant more seed than you need and thin later.
  • If you are using transplants, fill each container until it is about half to three-quarters full. Then set your plants on the mix. Keep all plants at least one inch away from the side edge of the container so they don’t get too hot. Add potting mix around plants to within an inch of the top of the container and press lightly. Put your container where it will get at least 6 hours of sun each day.
  • Water thoroughly. Plants in containers dry out more quickly than plants that are in the ground: you may have to water them daily.
  • To keep plants growing and flowering, water with a balanced (20-20-20), water-soluble fertilizer, mixed as directed, every other week in summer. Pull any weeds out of your container.
  • Pick your vegetables when they are ripe so the plant will continue to set more fruit. Then wash them and make something good to eat!

Publication Date



UMaine Extension

Publisher Location


Publication Title

Garden & Yard



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Growing Vegetables in Containers