There are many benefits to growing vegetables on your patio. Not only are they more accessible to harvest but they are also easier to maintain. Find out which vegetables grow well in containers and can fit on your patio.
Growing patio vegetables? The key to success when growing vegetables on your patio is to use a container large enough to support them. Plants with shallow roots, such as lettuce, need small containers. Root vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots, need deep containers.
Can you grow vegetables on your patio?
Even though many vegetable plants look rather large, most are just fine growing in a container. Basically, if you can make a vegetable growing in a container, then you can leave them on your patio.
Patio vegetable gardens have a lot of benefits. It is easier to access them, so pruning and harvesting become less of a chore.
How to Grow Patio Vegetables
The biggest determination when growing vegetables on your patio is knowing how deep they will be underground. Then, you will need to match the growing depth with the right container.
Vegetables with shallower roots, such as lettuce and radishes, only need containers that are 4 inches deep. Potatoes, on the other hand, will need much larger containers.
While a lot of vegetables grow in the summer, there are also plenty of options for spring or fall growth. Be sure to plan out your garden before you start planting.
If you are short on patio space, planning is even more important. If you can, plant vegetables such as radishes or lettuce in the early spring. Then, you will still have time to plant summer vegetables such as cucumbers.
Most vegetables prefer full sunlight, so you should have a look at which direction your patio faces. Southern-facing patios will get full sunlight while east or western-facing patios will only have partial sunlight. For the most part, patios that face north will be too dark to sustain most vegetable growth.
One of the harder parts about vegetable patios is watering. Most patios don’t have water access, which means you need to hand water all your plants.
Containers have drainage holes that prevent water from pooling. However, this also means the soil will dry out more quickly, so you will need to be diligent about always watering.
12 Vegetables You Can Grow on Your Patio
There’s something very iconic about growing tomatoes on your patio. These vegetables are perfect for a container and there are many varieties you can choose from.
While most people opt for smaller varieties, such as cherry tomatoes, you can grow larger ones, too. Most tomato plants benefit from having a wire cage around them to support their growth, so be sure to include one at the beginning of growing.
Tomatoes prefer full sunlight and don’t like to be outside too early in the season. If need be, bring the container inside during spring if the temperatures start to drop.
Another very simple but effective vegetable for your patio is lettuce. This cool weather crop grows very quickly so you can have fresh lettuce for salads or sandwiches in just over a month.
You can choose from a wide variety of leaf lettuces and thanks to their shallow roots, you don’t have to worry about large containers taking up space on your patio.
Plant a smattering of lettuce seeds in one session and then another bunch of seeds a week later. This way you will have a longer supply of fresh lettuce.
While you don’t want to grow vine cucumbers on your patio, there are plenty of bush varieties you can choose from. These will grow well in a container and won’t take over your whole patio.
Cucumbers need warm temperatures to grow, and the dark color of a container will help insulate the heat. Place them in full sun and don’t plant until the risk of frost is definitely over.
All types of peppers grow especially well in containers so you can definitely grow them on your patio. The only caveat is they need a lot of sunlight, heat, and water.
Be sure to place your pepper plants in a part of your patio that gets full sunlight. Water regularly so that their soil doesn’t dry out. The longer you can grow your peppers in a season, the spicier they will become.
In just over a month you can have tasty radishes ready to eat. Even though radishes grow underground, they don’t take up much space so you don’t need large containers.
Plant radishes in early spring as they are a cool weather crop. They also prefer full sun, although partial sun will still be okay.
After your radishes are finished growing, you can use the same container to plant a new crop. This will help with crop rotation and make better use of a small space.
As a cool weather crop, you can plant peas in the spring and the fall. Even though peas grow upward, they are fine for containers.
Be sure to create some sort of support or trellis for your peas. As peas will be finished in late spring, you can use the same container to plant other summer crops.
Look for snap or snow peas for better flavor and easier harvesting. The plants will also be slightly smaller than other varieties.
Yes, you can plant potatoes on your patio! In fact, potatoes grow best in containers, due to their planting method.
As potatoes grow, you need to constantly cover part of the plant with more soil. This is called hilling and while it takes a bit of time to do, the process is essential for growth.
You will need a large, deep container for your patio potatoes. Start by burying the potatoes in the bottom third of the container. Then, every time the plant grows a few inches, add more soil to the container. Keep repeating until you reach the top.
Another root vegetable, beets are surprisingly easy to grow on your patio. They will need a deep container, however, so be sure it is at least 10 inches tall and large enough so the beets don’t become crowded as they grow.
Beets need warmth to grow, so don’t plant too early. Also, be sure to remember that beet greens are edible and are packed with nutrients.
While it can be difficult to grow full-size onions on your patio, smaller green onions are perfect for a smaller space. Green onions don’t grow too deep, so you can get away with a shallower container.
What’s especially nice about growing green onions on your patio is that the process makes it easier to harvest. You can grab a few for a salad or as a garnish and never have to worry about heading further out into your garden.
Fresh spinach is perfect if you want to add it to an omelet or make a nutritious salad. Having lettuce readily available on your patio makes this a perfect vegetable to consider.
Spinach is a cool weather crop, so you can plant it in early to mid-spring. It does not take long to mature, so you can try successive planting.
Once it warms up, your spinach will no longer grow. However, this is a good time to harvest it all and if need be, freeze it for later use.
You might not think beans are suited for a patio garden but they are actually easy to grow in a container and add some lovely height to any container garden.
Beans will need a support structure, however. If you have a pillar in your patio, this is a good place to grow them against.
Make sure the container is fairly large although beans do most of their growing above ground. Keep them in a warm, sunny location for the best results.
With a large enough container, you can grow plenty of carrots on your patio. The depth of the container should be at least 12 inches and it should also be wide enough so the carrots are not overcrowded.
After planting, you can always thin the seedlings out so as to avoid narrow carrots. You can also look for smaller varieties.
Do vegetables grow better in pots or ground?
Whether you should grow your vegetables in a pot or the ground all comes down to their needs. Some vegetables are very small, so are fine for a container. Other vegetables spread out, so in the ground is better.
You should also consider the state of your soil. If you have hard, compacted soil, then a container can actually be better as you can add new potting soil to make it lighter.
Patio gardens offer a lot of opportunities, including growing vegetables. You can grow a wide range of vegetables, from lettuce to potatoes. As long as you place the containers in sunny spots and they are large enough for the plants, you can have an abundance of vegetables right on your patio.