Container gardening: harvest from the barrel

At first glance, container gardening may seem an appropriate solution only for those whose “garden plot” is located on the balcony. Why, you say, add work to yourself and fumble with bulky pots where there is already plenty of soil underfoot? There are at least four reasons that might change your mind.

What’s good about a container vegetable garden

New Opportunities

First of all, it greatly expands your options in the choice of culture. The climate of the Moscow region does not allow you to grow a lemon tree in the ground, but nothing prevents you from taking the container with the plant in the garden in the summer and sending it into the house with the onset of cold weather. Needless to say, it will develop much better in the fresh air.

The same goes for plants with a long growing season. If our summer is too short for the chosen crop, you can start it a little earlier on the veranda, where it is not afraid of frosts and the presence of snow cover in early spring.

A healthy back

The word “weeding” puts many people in a bad mood. It’s a thankless task, because you have to repeat it over and over again, and it’s not healthy, especially for your back and knees.

The height of the soil cover in the container garden will be as you need, which means you do not have to work in an uncomfortable position. And you can forget about moles, shrews and mice, because they have nowhere to be found in closed containers!


Even if you have a large plot of land, putting containers with greenery on the veranda or balcony will come in handy and save a lot of time, because you do not have to run to the garden in preparation for dinner.

Spectacular look

Do not forget about the aesthetic side of gardening. Lined on the steps or along the garden path, containers with bright fruits or flowers will dilute the atmosphere of the beds and give the site a neater and more attractive appearance.

Harvest in a container: peculiarities of care

While many rules can be neglected in the case of flowers, you still have to try hard to get a decent crop. The root system, confined to a limited space in a pot, must regularly receive nutrients, access to oxygen and a sufficient amount of moisture.

container of greens

Nowadays plastic containers are widely available for sale, but I would not recommend their use: it costs nothing to flood the plants in such containers. Ceramics or wood, capable of absorbing excess moisture, are another matter. If this new expense item is not part of your plans yet, an old barrel will do – the main thing that it is combined in style with the rest of the design.

Drainage is a prerequisite for the development of all plants, and the container garden is no exception. If the chosen container has no holes, make a few with a diameter of about 1 cm and place shards of clay or stones in the bottom. Excess moisture should leave the pot unhindered.

When choosing soil, also pay attention to its breathability: without proper breathing, the roots can rot. If you are using garden soil, add some sand and topsoil in addition to compost. You can also add slow-soluble fertilisers to the potting soil to save you energy when tending to your garden.

Container plants require more frequent watering than underground plants. The roots are only protected from the outside environment by the pot wall, and the ground dries out much faster in windy and sunny conditions.

Container vegetables and flowers are also the first to suffer in cold weather. Loutrasil can be used as an insulating material.

Crops for the vegetable garden in a container

There are not many restrictions in this matter: vegetables with a strong root system, a long maturation period, high-growing and especially demanding to a rich soil composition – cabbage, beets, carrots, celery, parsnips. However, there are exceptions to this rule, too. Thus, experienced gardeners manage to grow even potatoes in containers, choosing as a container spacious barrels or boxes.

If you are not going for a record, you will probably be satisfied with mini varieties, which perfectly match the size of the container – low-growing tomatoes, eggplants or peppers will be a bright and delicious accent on your beds, without much objection to endure the limitation of space. And as for herbs, the choice is endless: salads, chard, spinach, spices, parsley, dill, onions – these crops in containers will be no worse than in the bed.