Creating and growing a patio vegetable garden is one of the best ways to enjoy the simple pleasures of gardening. And it couldn’t be easier to do!
In fact, with just a few simple planters, containers and pots, you’ll be amazed at just how much fresh produce you can actually grow on even the smallest of patios. And patio growing has many built-in advantages for growing.
Like having fresh vegetables close at hand for grilling, salads and fresh eating. And livening up your outdoor entertaining spaces with beautiful foliage, blooms, colorful vegetables and fresh scents.
Growing vegetables on a patio or deck is also the perfect way to garden for those with limited space. After all, not everyone has room for a full fledged garden. Or the time to care for it either.
In addition, container gardening lessens many of the work chores of traditional gardening. Weeds and weeding are far less of an issue, and can kept up with easily and quickly. As can planting, watering and harvesting. Especially since having it all on your patio means it’s close at hand!
Here is a look at how to create your own patio vegetable garden, along with some ideas that have worked really well in our experimental patio garden here at the farm.
The Experimental Patio Vegetable Garden That Keeps On Giving
Over the last few growing seasons, we began the process of creating an own experimental patio garden at Old World Garden Farms.
Our goal was to show that growing vegetables in a small space wasn’t just possible, but could be beautiful and bountiful too. And has it ever accomplished that and more!
Using a combination of 4 growing styles – small pots, planter boxes, compact raised beds & large containers, we’ve been able to grow a sizable harvest. In fact, more than enough to easily feed a family of four or more.
So we thought for today we would highlight each of the growing methods. And more importantly, how they can be used on any patio to create the small space vegetable garden of your dreams.
Not all patios will have the same available shape or size for all of them. But the key to success is selecting the right combination of the four methods to fill your space with vibrant color. And, of course, lots of the vegetables you love to eat!
How To Create The Ultimate Patio Garden
There are two main keys to growing vegetables successfully on a patio. The first is to take advantage of the sun and shadier areas of your patio to grow the crops best suited for those areas.
The second is to then select the right sized vessel and growing method for each of the plants you want to grow. Here is a breakdown of each growing method, and what is best for growing with each:
Small Pots / Containers
Small pots are excellent for patio vegetable gardening because they can be placed anywhere. On ledges, tables, or even a small plant stand.
There are exceptions of course, but in general, small pots and containers are the perfect choice for growing herbs or small crops of greens.
Chives, mint, oregano, basil, thyme and other herbs do not establish deep roots. Nor does lettuce, kale and other greens. That makes them all ideal candidates for growing in small pots.
Even better, many of the herbs can be quite aromatic. They are simply wonderful for placing as a centerpiece on an outdoor dining, coffee or end table.
Some herbs, like oregano and basil even help to deter pests such as mosquitoes and flies. Talk about double duty on a patio space! (See: How To Grow Oregano – And Repel Mosquitoes Too!)
Large Containers / Buckets
To grow larger vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and zucchini for your patio garden, you will need larger containers. For best results, select containers with at least 12 inches of depth and circumference for small varieties, and 14 to 20″ inches of depth for larger varieties.
This gives the plants enough soil and space to grow adequate roots for good production. Make sure your large planters have holes for drainage, and always fill them with a good quality potting mix.
You can find all kinds of various planters to fit any patio space and theme. In fact, it can be overwhelming with the choices available!
For our experimental garden, we found it hard to beat the 5 gallon bucket as the perfect growing vessel. Not only are they inexpensive, they can be dress ed up with patio covers.
We used a combination of our 2 & 4 bucket Planter Boxes to grow 22 vegetable plants in our patio space. Not only are they attractive and easy to care for, but they produced bushels of fresh vegetables all summer long. (SEE: DIY BUCKET PLANTER PLANS)
Raised Beds / Garden Boxes – How To Grow A Patio Vegetable Garden
And finally, if space is available, raised beds are one of the best choices of all in creating a full-functioning patio vegetable garden.
They are excellent for placing around the edges of a patio. Not only do they help define the shape and space of the area, but they allow plenty of depth and space to grow nearly any vegetable plant desired.
And if the patio space is large enough, they can even be located within the space to create a beautiful, living focal point.
Raised bed boxes and planters are available in a whole array of shapes, sizes and styles. They can also be made quite easily from basic lumber to custom fit your space.
Even better, with their raised planting area, they can make it easier for those with mobility issues to garden. Especially when located near the house on a patio.
Growing It All In Raised Beds
We used our homemade DIY 36″ x 72″ long x 18″ high raised beds to grow all kinds of vegetables last year. And not just tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers , but lettuce crops and herbs mixed in too.
We also grew a fair amount of annuals to provide color and to help attract key pollinators to the vegetables. Flowers and vegetables are a great combination for raised beds for color and pest protection.
One thing is for sure, no matter what method you choose to grow on your patio, you can certainly liven up the space and your taste buds this summer!
Here is to creating your own patio vegetable garden, and experiencing fresh vegetables all summer long. Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary
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