Gardening in Containers
    Footnotes

    “Gardening in Containers,” Family Home Evening Resource Book (1997), 307

    “Gardening in Containers,” Family Home Evening Resource Book, 307

    Gardening in Containers

    Many people who live in apartment buildings or houses with little or no yard space may think they cannot follow the prophet’s counsel to plant a garden. But you can grow quite a bit of food in pots and hanging planters inside your home or on a balcony. This activity will help you get started gardening in containers. Even if your family has plenty of outdoor garden space, you might want to try growing some of your vegetables indoors.

    Activity

    You can plant in almost any kind of container. Try using plastic jugs, garbage cans, milk cartons, cans, plastic bags, baskets, a wagon bed, kitchen canisters, or clay pots. The bottom of the container should have several small drain holes and be lined with 2 to 3 inches of small gravel before you put in the topsoil. Hang containers from windows, put them on windowsills or in window wells; line your sidewalk or driveway with them, or hang them from your ceiling.

    The following chart shows you how much dirt you will need in a container to grow some common vegetables. This will give you an idea of what size container you need to use. It also tells you when to plant and harvest the vegetables and how big they will get. These are not the only vegetables that grow well in containers. You can try almost any kind that is common to your area.

    Gardening in Containers

    COMMON GARDEN CROPS

    Crop

    Container Needs

    Growing Season

    Planting Time

    Harvest Days

    Mature Size of Plant

    Beets

    10–12 inches (25–30 centimeters) of soil

    Early spring, fall

    2–4 weeks before last frost

    50–60

    10–12 inches (25–30 centimeters)

    Bush Beans

    8–10 inches (20–25 centimeters) of soil

    Warm weather

    Early spring

    Snap 50–55 Lima 65

    12–14 inches (30–60 centimeters)

    Carrots

    10–12 inches (25–30 centimeters)

    Early spring, fall

    2–4 weeks before last frost

    60–75

    10–12 inches (25–30 centimeters)

    Cucumbers

    1 gallon (4 liters) per plant

    Warm weather

    3–4 weeks before last frost

    55–75

    Shape vines by cutting back

    Eggplant

    3 gallons (11 liters) 12–14 inches (30–35 centimeters) diameter of soil

    Warm weather

    Plant indoors, transplant after 8 weeks

    120–140

    2–3 feet (.5–1 meter)

    Green pepper

    1 gallon (3.8 liters) per plant

    Warm weather

    Plant indoors, transplant after 7–8 weeks

    110–120

    2–3 feet (.5–1 meter)

    Lettuce

    1 gallon (3.8 liters) per plant

    Cool weather, can stand slight frost

    4–6 weeks before last frost

    40–50

    6–10 inches (15–25 centimeters)

    Green onions

    8–10 inches (20–25 centimeters) of soil

    Cool weather, can stand slight frost

    4–6 weeks before last frost

    35–45

    10–12 inches (25–30 centimeters)

    Radishes

    6 inches (15 centimeters) of soil

    Cool weather, can stand slight frost

    2–4 weeks before last frost

    20–40

    6–8 inches (15–20 centimeters)

    Spinach

    8–10 inches (20–25 centimeters) per plant

    Cool weather, spring, fall

    2–4 weeks before last frost

    50–70

    Plants spread out, do not grow tall

    Squash

    5 gallons (19 liters) for a 3–4 plant hill

    Warm weather, will produce through fall

    3–4 weeks before last frost

    Summer 50–60 Winter 85–110

    Bush 2–3 feet (.5m–1 meter) Vine-pinch off to control runners

    Tomatoes

    Dwarf: 1 gallon (3.8 liters) Standard: 2–3 gallons (7.5–11 liters) Mini: 8–10 inches (20–25 centimeters)

    Warm weather

    Plant indoors, transplant after 3–4 weeks. Easily harmed by frost.

    50–90

    Dwarf: 2–3 feet (.5–1 meter) Standard: 3–5 feet (1–1.5 meters) Standard vines need support frame

    Additional Activities

    Make an indoor herb garden on a window sill.