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Container Gardening: How to Plant Vegetables in Pots

If gardening space is limited at home, you can still grow vegetables — just plant your vegetable seeds or seedlings in containers and place the pots on your deck or patio. With containers, you can plant seedlings or seeds a little closer together because you’re concentrating water and nutrients in a small space; therefore, the seedlings and seeds, not the general soil, get more of what they need to grow.

1

Fill your container with soil mix so that the soil reaches almost to the top of the container, and then wet the soil thoroughly.

Wetting the soil will probably take several passes with a hose. After the soil drains, it will have settled several inches.

2

After the water settles, add more soil until the soil level is within 2 to 3 inches of the rim.

Level the top of the soil with your hands.

3

If you’re planting seedlings, make a small hole in the soil for each transplant. Place one seedling in each hole.

The top of the root ball (the soil held together by the roots) should be level with or slightly below the surrounding soil. Use your finger to gently press down the soil around each seedling.

4

If you’re sowing seeds, plant them at the appropriate depth according to the information on the package.

Make sure to keep the soil moist until the seedlings are established or until the seeds germinate. Use a fine water-mister to wet the soil and to avoid drowning the seeds.

5

Water the seedling gently with a watering can or hose until the soil is thoroughly moist.

A watering can or a hose with a perforated attachment (that goes on at the end of the spout) works best because the gentle "rain" it produces is less likely to wash soil out of the pot or dislodge seeds.

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