Plant a Small Space Vegetable Garden

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It’s time to take a break from your virtual life and get your hands dirty. Lucky for you, in just a couple hours you can create a vegetable garden full of future bounty. You will be shocked at how many herbs and vegetables you can grow together in a single, large pot. (Spoiler alert: It’s a lot!)

Even if you just have a very small patio, you can grow your very own vegetable garden and reap the benefits – mind, body and spirit.

All it takes is one or two medium-size containers to grow a variety of vegetables. Far more important than size is sun – most vegetables need about six hours of sun a day and regular watering – so plan accordingly.  No Sun? No problem! Learn how to grow vegetables in shade! If you are hoping to pack a large number of vegetables in a single pot, you’ll want to choose varieties bred for small spaces, anything with the words patio, pixie, tiny, baby or dwarf are a good bet.

For a little extra inspiration (and some concrete instructions!), watch the video and then dig into your own project!

Materials List

  1. Container(s)
  2. Potting soil
  3. Gloves
  4. Trowel
  5. Pot casters
  6. Plant stakes or cages for taller plants like tomatoes
  7. Plants
  8. Compost or organic fertilizer


  1. Make a Plan: Select medium to large containers, depending upon how many vegetable varieties you want to grow. We used recycled half wine barrels, which can hold 6-8 different plants, depending on the variety. Be sure your containers have proper drainage. We drilled holes in the bottom of our half wine barrels.
  2. Prep Your Soil: Add a mixture of 50 percent vegetable planting mix  or compost and 50 percent potting soil, filling your containers about ¾ full. Remember, vegetables need soil rich in organic matter. Soil is important to the growth of all plants, but particularly important with vegetables, because even taste is affected by the quality of the soil.
  3. Make Arrangements: If you are planting several different varieties of vegetables, determine where you will place your plants before you begin planting. Start with taller plants in the back and smallest plants in the front. For our two-container garden, we planted: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, artichokes, strawberries, cilantro, basil, oregano, and lemon thyme.
  4. Dig In: Make sure you break up the root ball prior to planting each plant. Once planted, the crown of the plant should sit slightly above the soil.
  5. Water Well: Watering thoroughly after planting will ensure there are no air pockets in the soil around the roots and help the plants avoid transplant shock. Keep watering the plants regularly, usually at least one inch of water per week and more often in really hot weather.
  6. Consider drip: After you become accustomed to the wonder that is growing your own food, you may want to up the ante and consider installing a drip irrigation system to help conserve water and protect your plants. It’s surprisingly easy – learn how to install drip irrigation here!
  7. Feed Your Plants: A couple weeks after planting, begin feeding the plants by adding a side-dressing of compost or an organic fertilizer formulated for fruits and vegetables.
  8. Enjoy the bounty of your labor and the good earth!