Container Crops

Written by Lee Ashe-Wallace, UF/IFAS Clay County Master Gardener

Have you ever wanted to grow your own food but thought you didn’t have enough space where you live? Growing your crops in containers just might be the answer.

If you have a sunny patio, balcony or even a south facing window box you can start growing crops in pots for your own dinner table.

Getting Started

You will need to buy or create a good potting mix. A soil mixture that’s rich in nutrients.  Make sure it is able to hold moisture but still porous enough to drain water. If you are new to gardening contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office, tell them you want to grow some crops in containers and they’ll be glad to assist you.

Next you will need a good size container.  It can be a store brought flower pot, a 5 gallon bucket or an old storage container. Just make sure it can hold in your soil and has plenty of drainage holes.

Now the Fun Part..

Decide what crops you want to grow in your pots. Do you want to grow your crops from seed or would you rather use pre-grown transplants. Either method works well but a new gardener might be more comfortable starting with transplants. Select crops you enjoy eating. Consult your local extension center as to what plants grow best in your area.

What’s Next?

Be sure to water your containers often. Check to see that the excess water is draining from the bottom. Use a slow-release or water soluble fertilizer during the growing season.  Add natural fertilizers like fish emulsion, composted animal manure and homemade compost whenever available.

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