Growing one’s own food has no limitation on happiness. Being a millennial; you may think that vegetable gardening is a lavish hobby only for those who have enough space in their home. Staying in an apartment; it is not at all possible to fulfil the dream of growing vegetables. Thankfully, the container vegetables help the urban gardener to grow their own food. You can easily grow different vegetables in small spaces.
Moreover, container gardening of vegetables is not a complicated job at all. There are a few easy vegetables to grow in pots and you just need to take care of the basic maintenance like watering and fertilization. However, the secret of success lies in the selection of suitable vegetables as not every kind is container friendly.
When one has the right information, then growing vegetables in pots for beginners will be fun. So, here we will help you to know more about the vegetables and how you can easily grow them on your balcony or terrace in a pot and containers.
7 Vegetable Varieties for Growing in Containers
Tomato is one of the best vegetables to grow in pots. It is also a very popular and hugely used vegetable. In almost every Indian recipe; you will find the use of tomato. When you can grow it in your favourite corner of the balcony; you will be very happy.
Apart from that, tomato plants are very much productive even in the pot. In a season, you can get up to 5 KG of tomatoes in a single season.
All they need sunny bright spot with well-drained soil. Make sure you water your tomato plants regularly.
There are dwarf as well as normal varieties of tomato plants that can be grown in pots. For the dwarf tomato plants; you can keep them in a 5-inch pot whereas, for normal size, you must select at least a 12-inch container.
For container gardening, the most popular dwarf varieties of tomatoes are cherry tomato, plum yellow and Window Box Roma. You can also check the hybrid varieties which are specially designed for container gardening. The hybrid varieties produce bountiful tomatoes as these are the fast-growing vegetables in the pot. Within 60-70 days, it starts to produce crops.
As a vegetable; capsicum is quite versatile. From stir-fried vegetables to Chinese dishes; this vegetable is omnipresent in almost every dish. You can also have them in salad and many other ways.
Capsicum is also known as bell pepper. There are different colours like red and yellow apart from the popular green variety. It is also known as the sweet chilli in some places.
Thankfully, growing capsicum in the pot is relatively easy. Surprisingly, the capsicum grown in the container harvests more than the plants in the ground.
As bell pepper loves the warm weather, it needs more heat to grow in comparison to tomato and cucumber. For that reason, it grows really well in the pot. If you are looking for the suggestion of growing vegetables in pots for beginners; then capsicum must be on the list.
To grow capsicum, you can either buy the sapling from the nursery or cultivate it from the seeds. Take a clay pot which at least 12 inches deep. Use well-drained soil with rich organic manure to plant the sapling.
Capsicum loves the sun and that’s why you should keep the pot in a position that will receive full-day sunlight. Make sure the soil will stay slightly moist throughout the day. To reduce the evaporation of the water, you can always use mulching. Try to add fertilizer every 15 days as it is a heavy feeder.
Just like capsicum, the chilli is a suitable variety for planting vegetables in pots. Chilli is a one-of-a-kind vegetable that every household needs. Irrespective of the category of the dish, almost every main and side dish needs to add chilli to enhance its taste. Along with that, it is a very good source of vitamin C.
So, you can get your essential kitchen requirement just from your balcony. All you need to do little effort to keep it thriving. There are so many varieties of chillies available in the market. And thankfully, almost every variety can be grown in a container. From jalapeno to hot pepper, you can select the plant as per your choice.
To get abundant green chillies in your pot, you have to make sure a few factors like heat, light, moisture and humidity. They will produce enough crops but you need to take a little care of the plants. It is very important to select the right plant for your chilli. To grow chilli in the pot, you need at least a 16-18 inch container. Make sure the pot has a drainage hole. Prepare the soil with garden soil mix and compost. Add some mulch on the top of the surface so that it will keep the moisture within the sand.
Use a water-soluble fertilizer once every 15 days. Make sure that the plant does not face over-watering as it may lead to root rot.
The green chilli plant is very prone to aphids. To avoid the attack of the aphids, you need to spray organic insecticide with soap water, once every 7 seven days.
You don’t need much space to grow brinjal in the pot. Brinjal, also known as eggplant can be grown on your balcony or terrace if you have bright sunlight at that spot. Though it is primarily a winter vegetable, you can grow the hybrid variety all through the year.
Brinjal is a tropical vegetable like tomatoes. You can see a wide range of varieties of eggplant in the market. Almost every type of plant can be grown in the pot. It is always better to have fresh brinjal for cooking your favourite dish.
To grow brinjal in the pot, you need either seeds or saplings from your local nurseries or online store. For brinjal, spring is the ideal time for germination.
Daily 2-3 hours of sunlight is required for this plant. The soil must be well-draining but it can stay moist as well. Mix garden soil, sand and compost to create the right mixture for eggplant. Water the eggplant when the topsoil is dry.
The eggplant plant needs adequate nutrients to grow the vegetable. Add NPK to the soil every 15 days for a better harvest. You can also add liquid food spray. You need to prune the plant from time to time and cut down the diseased and yellow leaves for better results. To save the eggplants from the pests like aphids, black flea beetles and cutworms, you can spray organic insecticides.
After all of these vegetables, how about some leafy options? You can also grow leafy vegetables like spinach on your balcony. Yes, you have heard right. You don’t need a lavish backyard to harvest green vegetables. It seems like, they are made for container gardening only.
Spinach is a very healthy vegetable full of nutrients like iron and minerals. And when you can have them fresh and organic; the food value will be increased. And thankfully, growing spinach is much-more easier than many other vegetables in containers.
To grow spinach in the container, you don’t need to find a bright sunlit place as you can cultivate it in the partial shade as well. You can keep a hanging basket on your windowsill and harvest spinach there.
Apart from lighting conditions, there is another advantage of growing spinach in the container. The roots of the spinach are very shallow, so you don’t need a deep pot either. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that the size of the pot should be wide so that the spinach can spread its leaves while growing.
The best way to grow spinach, you need to spread the seeds on a cocopeat filled planter. When the saplings start to come, you have to start to prepare the potting mix. You need organic material to prepare the soil which should be loose and crumbly. Make sure, there will be no problems like water clogging in the pot. Now plant the saplings in the pot and ensure that each plant is getting a space of 3 inches.
Spinach loves nitrogen. Add enough slow-release compost to the soil so that it gets all the nutrients while growing. You can also add fertilizer tea to promote the growth of the plant. Spinach is a hardy plant and you don’t need to worry about pests and diseases.
Not only, spinach, you can also grow lettuce in the container as well. Though it is a relatively new vegetable for the Indian platter, lettuce is gaining popularity day by day. You can enjoy fresh lettuce leaves raw or with salad or in between sandwiches or burgers.
Surprisingly, lettuce harvest is quite easy in the Indian climate as it loves the warm season. This vegetable is rich in vitamins, minerals and fibres. You can grow lettuce in a small shady corner of your balcony. And the best part is that you can always have it fresh while keeping it fridge is not an option.
Winter is the best time to cultivate lettuce. For this leafy vegetable, you don’t need to have a separate seed tray. It is better to directly saw the seeds on the main pot. You can keep the pot inside until it is sprouted and then only bring it outside
To make the soil, you can take normal garden soil and mix it with organic compost. Make sure it is loose and airy and there will be no problems like water clogging. You can add organic liquid fertilizer to the plants for optimum growth. Keep the soil moist for the best result.
Lettuce has the problem of attracting pests although the risk is much lesser in container gardening. It is not advisable to use insecticide as the lettuce leaves are consumed raw. If you find out that the pests are chopping off the leaves, it is better to separate the plant as soon as possible.
Okra or popularly known as lady’s finger is a very common vegetable in the Indian household. You may find this vegetable on the field but it can be grown in a container as well. This is a summertime vegetable and different types of dishes can be prepared with it.
The flowers of okra are very beautiful to see as it is a part of the hibiscus family of plants. Many people grow this plant as ornamental foliage as well.
For this plant, you need to sow the seeds at the end of March. Select the dwarf variety so that it will be suitable for the planter.
You need to prepare the soil with all the organic manure. Make sure there will be no clump in the soil as it can lead to root rot.
You can transfer the saplings to the pot when there are at least 2-3 leaves. Select a black pot of 10 – 12 inches in size for each plant. As this plant loves heat, the dry heat of the black pot helps the plant to grow and produce more okra.
You need to keep the pot in such a position that it will receive full sunlight. Okra plants love moist soil and for that, you need to take care of the watering routine, especially during the flowering season.
The risk of aphids and whiteflies attacking is quite high in okra plants. Apart from that, mealybugs can damage the plants as well. You need to harvest the okra to get more corps.
So, you don’t need to worry that you cannot grow your own food if you live in an apartment. These are some of the vegetables that can be easily grown in pots at home. Just purchase some vegetable seeds and the pots to get started.