Many suburbanites and most urbanites don’t have access to massive gardens where they can grow vegetables and herbs. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t grow their vegetables at all. Growing vegetables in containers is an option open to them.
What vegetables grow well together in containers? Here is the list of vegetables grow well together in containers: salad mix, root vegetables, tomatoes, beans, and squash. Also, a list of Herbs that Grow Well Together is Basil, Cilantro, Sage, Chives, Dill, Mint, etc.
Table of Contents
- Types of Container
- Size of the Container
- The Type of Soil to Use in Containers
- Add Fertilizer After Planting
- Care Tips for Vegetables
- Tips for Harvesting Vegetables
- Vegetables That Grow Well Together
- Herbs That Grow Well Together
Growing vegetables in containers are not very difficult. In fact, this method has several advantages. They are an affordable way of growing vegetables if you live in an apartment, and they are portable. They can be placed in areas people don’t usually think about growing their vegetables, such as fire escapes to their rooftops or yards, in the balcony, and so on.
You can grow a variety of vegetables in containers. Some vegetables can grow well together, whereas some should be kept far from each other. Before we delve into the types of vegetables that can grow well together in containers, let’s first cover some basics.
Growing vegetables in containers require a little more vigilance compared to traditional gardening. Plants grown this way have special needs, and some people make key mistakes that prevent their vegetables, herbs, and fruits from delivering delicious home-grown flavor and living up to their potential.
Before planting your seeds, you must choose the right size and type of containers. The size and type can affect your vegetables’ growth, so make sure you pick containers that work for the vegetables you want to plant and the space you have.
Types of Container
If you are not entirely sure about the type of container you should choose, don’t worry. Most vegetables and fruits don’t require a container that looks a certain way; the container just needs to provide the required space. The basic requirement is that the container should be spacious enough for the plant and has drainage holes for the excess water to escape.
Typically, plants in clay pots require more attention when it comes to watering than other pots due to the absorbent nature of the material. However, if you plan on gardening in your balcony or moving your garden around, try to opt for a lightweight container. Once planted, it can get quite heavy, especially after you water it.
Also, keep in mind the color of the pot.
Dark pots tend to absorb more heat compared to the light-colored ones. They will make the soil way too warm for certain vegetables in the hot summer season. Avoid containers made of treated wood. You don’t want chemical compounds absorbed by the vegetables.
Size of the Container
When it comes to container size, bigger is always better!
The reason why bigger pots are recommended is that larger pots can hold a lot more soil. The moisture also lasts longer, so you don’t have to constantly water your plants. Search for containers at least 12 inches in depth and 10 inches wide. Don’t get restricted by the conventional round flower pots. Plastic-lined bushel, window boxes, and half barrels work perfectly well.
If you are growing vegetables that produce vines such as cucumbers and tomatoes, you will need something for support in the container. Something like a wire cage placed in the container will work just fine. Use heavier and larger containers for trellis plants to prevent tipping.
The Type of Soil to Use in Containers
The vegetables may not be particularly fussy about the pots, but they need a soil mix that allows water to drain properly. Like most garden containers, your vegetables will do well in potting mixes especially made for said containers.
Fill your containers with soil reaching at least a couple of inches below the rim. The extra room at the top will ensure water seeps into the soil without overflowing. Make sure to water the soil before you plant the seeds or seedlings.
Add Fertilizer After Planting
Make sure to leave 4 inches of space between each plant. Read the seed package for directions and then adjust accordingly. Since not all seeds germinate, you will have to plant more than you need. Set your starters at the exact same levels, they were while growing in their respective pots. If you opt for transplants, then loosen the root ball by tugging it lightly before placing it in your container. You can add tags to help you identify each plant.
Sprinkle a good amount of organic and balanced fertilizer in your soil either after or before planting. Make sure not to over-fertilize. Over-fertilization will make your plants grow too fast, and they will flop over. Also, the flavor won’t be as robust as you want. Start fertilizing one month after you plant your seeds. Feed the vegetables once a week with a water-soluble fertilizer. Read the directions of the package.
Water your plants thoroughly but gently to settle the transplants or seedlings. Keep your potting soil from drying out by mulching with compost, straw, leaf mold, or any other similar material.
Care Tips for Vegetables
Sufficient watering is crucial for growing vegetables in containers. Inspect the vegetables regularly, and make sure the soil hasn’t dried out. You can check whether your soil is dry or not by sticking your finger into it. If it’s dry water, the plants immediately to prevent wilting.
Tips for Harvesting Vegetables
Harvesting vegetables is the most satisfying experience, and it doesn’t take a lot to get it just right.
Harvest your crops as soon as they reach an appropriate size. Most crops are more productive if you harvest more frequently and early.
Allowing crops to go to seed will cause them a drop in fruit. When harvesting, always use scissors, knives, or pruners to remove what you want. If you pull on the fruits or leaves, your plants will get damaged and may even get uprooted from your container.
Vegetables That Grow Well Together
Now that we have discussed the basics of container gardening, we can move on to the type of vegetables you can grow in groups.
Growing vegetables in containers is an effective way of growing fresh produce while saving a lot of space. Container gardening helps control diseases and pests, and it is less time-consuming. To reap the benefits of container gardening, plant vegetables together. This method is known as companion planting.
Companion planting helps control diseases and prevents pest infestations. It is also good for certain plants to be grouped together as the growth rate and crop yield increase. Here are a few combinations of vegetables and herbs you can grow together in your containers.
Growing a combination of salad vegetables is great if you are fond of cooking and mutually beneficial for your plants. In a large-sized container, plant a tomato crop 5 inches from the back of the container, so when it grows, it doesn’t overshadow smaller plants. Plant lettuce, strawberries, and spinach around the tomato plant.
Sprinkle a few carrot seeds around the border approximately 2 inches from the sides. This arrangement will allow room for each plant to take its shape and size without any conflict. If you want to prevent insects and pests from taking over your lovely arrangement, then include a sage plant in the corner of the container. Throw in a few trailing rosemary plants just because.
Some root vegetables are great companion plants. You can plant lettuce between turnips, onions, carrots, and beets; they will all thrive with lettuce since lettuce grows rapidly and gets harvested before the crop reaches maturity. Other plants can be planted close to each other to make maximum space.
However, before planting other root plants, read the indications on their packets, leave some room, and then plant lettuce seeds in the space between. As the root crops mature, they will shade the soil when it times to harvest the lettuce. Add in summer savory around the edges of the container for onion crops.
If you want to grow tomatoes, then dedicate a couple of containers to them. Tomatoes make excellent companion plants. Include chives or onions in each container with a tomato plant, and sprinkle carrots seeds in the rows. You can also pair cucumber with tomatoes because both will mutually support each other.
A cucumber will get support from the tomato as long as neither plant overshadows the other. Add a few parsley plants in the container and marigolds which act as great insect-repelling agents. The flowers of these plants repel insects away from the tomato plants acting as trap crops.
Beans and Squash
If you want a beautiful summer container garden, then plant beans and squash together. They grow very well in combination. They can either grow in bush or vine form. Using either of the forms enables you to string one crop vertically whereas, the other crop lays low and shades the soil. Throw in a few marigolds as well to prevent insects.
Keep a lookout for the growing pattern of each plant. For instance, many varieties of zucchini grow in bush form while squash typically grows in vine form. Beans grow in both bush or vine forms. The ones that grow in vine forms are known as pole beans.
Herbs That Grow Well Together
If you want to grow different varieties of herbs in a single container, grow the ones listed below as they work tremendously well in combination.
Basil works great in combination with different herbs such as rosemary, chili, oregano, and parsley. Due to its property to repel insects and mosquitoes, several herbs and vegetables can benefit from basil growing near them.
However, you should avoid planting sage and rue next to basil. On the other hand, planting basil in the same container as tomatoes enhances both their flavors.
Cilantro is a herb that thrives in cool and humid season and makes an excellent companion to basil, dill, mint, and lavender. It’s also known by two other names, Mexican parsley and coriander, depending on which part of the world you are.
Make sure to keep your cilantro far away from fennel as they are both highly competitive and can end up dry or dead if planted next to each other. This herb struggles under direct sunlight, so plant it next to a vegetable that gives it a lot of shade as it thrives in a humid environment.
Another great herb that grows well with other herbs and vegetables is sage. It is not only pretty but attracts plenty of beneficial pollinators and insects, which help the growth of other surrounding plants.
Chives are an all-rounder plant that partners up perfectly with a variety of herbs and vegetables. They are known to ward off pests such as aphids and enhance the growth rate of other plants in the vicinity. You can plant chives in the same container as rosemary, mint, and dill. If planted with tomatoes and carrots, it acts as a flavor enhancer.
Dill is another great combination option and attracts beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, butterflies, and honey bees to your soil bed. It attracts essential pollinators and discourages pests, such as cabbage loopers, aphids, and spider mites. Dill enjoys growing next to herbs like basil and cilantro. You can plant it next to onions, cucumbers, corns, and lettuces. However, keep it well away from pepper, lavender, and carrots.
If you have issues with pests like aphids in your vegetable container garden, then plant mint around the edges. The aroma from herbs like mint repels pests and helps the other vegetables thrive.
You can plant mint next to kale, radish, or cabbage. It is also a good companion for cilantro, dill, and basil.
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Now that you are familiar with growing vegetables in containers, you will have no trouble combining them with each other to produce a beautiful garden in your home. For more gardening tips, visit GardeningElsa.com.
I am Elsa, love gardening. I spent lots of time with plants, flowers, it gives me lots of happiness.
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