Gardens - Fruit & Vegetable Gardening

No garden? No problem! Grow veggies in containers

By
Heather Apple
Photography by
Tracy Cox

Even the smallest space can accommodate a pot of edibles


Light, temperature and planting chart

  • Light requirements: High—6-8 hours of sunlight; Medium—4-6 hours; Low—4 hours
  • Temperature: Warm—(around 15°C) needs warm soil and air temperatures; doesn’t tolerate frost; Cool—will grow in cooler temperatures; may survive a light frost
  • Planting: Seeds—best planted as seeds; Seedlings—best planted as seedlings


Beans
Light: High
Temp.: Warm
Planting: Seeds or seedlings
Tips: For a continuous crop of bush beans, sow every 2 to 3 weeks throughout midsummer

Beets
Light: Medium
Temp.: Cool
Planting: Seeds
Tips: Keep well watered to prevent scab

Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale
Light: Medium
Temp.: Cool
Planting: Seedlings
Tips: Grow in 22-litre containers. Spray with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) or use a row cover to prevent insect damage

Carrots
Light: Medium
Temp.: Cool
Planting: Seeds
Tips: For shallow containers, choose varieties with small, ball-shaped roots

Cucumbers and melons
Light: High
Temp.: Warm
Planting: Seeds or seedlings
Tips: Three cucumber or 2 melon vines will grow well in a 90-litre garbage pail. Both need their flowers pollinated by bees; otherwise hand-pollinate with a paintbrush in the morning

Eggplant and peppers
Light: High
Temp.: Warm
Planting: Seedlings
Tips: Don’t plant outside until weather and soil are warm; otherwise growth and fruiting will be set back

Leeks
Light: Medium
Temp.: Cool
Planting: Start seeds 10-12 weeks before last spring frost date
Tips: Use containers at least 45 cm deep. Fill with 20 cm of soil; plant seedlings. As they grow, top up containers with soil to keep stems blanched

Lettuce
Light: Low
Temp.: Cool
Planting: Seeds or seedlings
Tips: In hot weather, does best with morning sun and afternoon shade

Onion
Light: Medium
Temp.: Cool
Planting: Seeds or sets
Tips: Keep well watered to prevent small, pungent bulbs

Asian greens
Light: Low
Temp.: Cool
Planting: Seeds or seedlings
Tips: Follow package instructions for when to plant each specific type and how to avoid problems with bolting

Peas
Light: Medium
Temp.: Cool
Planting: Seeds
Tips: For autumn crop, sow 2 months before first fall frost

Potatoes
Light: Medium
Temp.: Warm
Planting: Tubers
Tips: Containers should be at least 45 cm deep. Keep well watered to avoid scab

Radishes
Light: Medium
Temp.: Cool
Planting: Seedlings
Tips: Small, round radishes can be grown in a container as shallow as a shoebox; best grown in spring and fall

Spinach
Light: Low
Temp.: Cool
Planting: Seeds
Tips: Best grown in spring and fall; will bolt to seed in summer

Squash
Light: High
Temp.: Warm
Planting: Seeds or seedlings
Tips: Best grown in a 90-litre garbage pail. Flowers must be pollinated by bees or hand-pollinated in the morning

Swiss chard
Light: Low
Temp.: Cool
Planting: Seeds or seedlings
Tips: Water well to keep from bolting to seed

Tomatoes
Light: High
Temp.: Warm
Planting: Seedlings
Tips: For large varieties, use 22-litre containers; fill with soil to within 7.5 to 10 cm of top. Plant seedling slightly deeper than it was growing. As seedling grows, remove lower leaves and add more soil

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