The Garden Digs

How to Create a Successful Vegetable Garden with Limited Space

Whether you live in an apartment, condo or small patio home, don’t let your small space discourage you from growing an amazing vegetable garden! Many kinds of vegetables can be grown easily in containers on a deck, a terrace, a veranda or in your window sill.

Be sure that your chosen space receives six or more hours of sunlight. With the correct amount of light, the right container for the crop, good quality soilless mix, fertilizer and water, you can produce a full abundance of produce in most tight spaces.


Choose your container wisely


Cayennetta Pepper Seeds Lizzano Tomato Seeds

Consider drainage

  • Be sure there are holes at the bottom of the container for proper drainage. Drainage is reduced when the container is set on a solid surface, such as a patio or a deck.  

Choose your vegetables

  • Most vegetable seed varieties that are grown in traditional gardens can be grown in containers. Click here for great products that can be grown in containers.


Pinstripe Eggplant Seeds Vegetable Seeds Container Gardening - Large Patio Raised Bed

Choose the right soil

  • Soilless mixes are lightweight and free from soil-borne diseases. There will be quicker drainage and some even contain a slow release fertilizer to feed your plants. 

Feed your plants

  • Plants are hungry too! Be sure to feed your plants regularly throughout the season using a complete fertilizer at the recommended rate on the label.
  • Containers can dry out quickly so be sure to check your soil moisture daily. Keep the soil uniformly moist, but do not saturate, over-watering can be just as harmful as under-watering!
Give your plants some room
  • Planting and spacing requirements for most vegetables can be found on the vegetable seed packet and should be followed carefully for best results. Limit the number of plants based on spacing requirements and container choice.


Simply Salad Alfresco Mix Lettuce Seeds

If you follow these guidelines, you are on your way to creating a successful container vegetable garden that will have you eating fresh produce all summer long. Don’t let small spaces hold you back from achieving your best garden ever!

Mark Willis
Vegetable Seed Product Manager, Harris Seeds/GardenTrends 

Mark Willis has managed the vegetable seed division at Harris Seeds for 22 years. He is responsible for vegetable product development and has a strong passion for trialing and discovering new varieties that will make our customers more successful. Mark has 42 years of experience in the seed industry and enjoys working with both our professional and home garden customers discussing varieties and cultural practices that will benefit them.

Dig Deeper

It is toasty warm in the greenhouse. The kind of warm that goes right to your core and reassures you that after another long winter, spring is really here.

There is something truly magical about planting and nurturing seedlings. Time becomes irrelevant as I sit in the backyard greenhouse during cool spring evenings with my wife, a little space heater providing warmth to our wintered souls. We have been known to spend hours repotting sprouts just to look up and realize the sun has set and for a brief moment, we had disconnected with time. Feeling the soil, taking care to gently transfer the seedlings, and slowly watering the “big boy pots,”… Some may think of these tasks as work, but for me it carries a familiar feeling of wonder and magic like getting lost inside your favorite book.

Greenhouse Growing - Planting Vegetable Seeds, Flower Seeds

At our home we still start many of our flower seeds indoors, as well as pepper seeds and tomato seeds. When the evening greenhouse temps are finally warm enough it is GO TIME!

Our home gardening adventures evolve through each growing season. With every passing year, we seem to say the same two things.  “Let’s plant fewer seeds” and “Where can we expand the gardens?” We learn about soil nutrients, watering, crop rotation, weeds and wildlife “snackers”. 

Seed Starting    Pepper Seeds

Over the past two years, I have begun to experience a small but increasing sense of community because of my growing endeavors. I do not sell plants or produce, but instead look for ways to use everything that I grow. It brings me joy to give plants to a friend or family member, and the reward is even greater when that plant inspires others to find their own passion in gardening. I now barter vegetable plants for campfire wood with a dear friend and share weekly produce with a neighbor in exchange for lawn maintenance and watering my gardens when needed. It is worth all that work it takes to grow Sweety Peppers from seed when I see the faces of our neighbor’s granddaughters, reacting in glee to a handful of fresh peppers.

This year I am planning to grow some extra vegetables to share with local summer school students and their families. I am always looking for new ways to share what I grow and love with the world around me.

Here’s to a new gardening season of wonder and adventure!

Liz Sheehan
Warehouse Clerk, Harris Seeds/GardenTrends

Liz Sheehan has been an active vegetable and flower home gardener for 19 years, utilizing a backyard greenhouse for 7 years. She has worked seasonally at a Rochester, NY area garden center as well as a nursery and is currently a full-time employee at Harris Seeds/GardenTrends. Liz has a Master’s Degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies and completed a Gardener’s Certificate Program at the Rochester Civic Garden Center.

What’s all the buzz about…Gardening Trends for 2018!

The GardenTrends Team had the pleasure of visiting numerous vendors and breeders during the 2017 California Spring Trials. The team received an exclusive preview of the new varieties that will enter the marketplace in 2018.  We were able to get some snapshots of our favorite plants and are thrilled to announce what we can all expect to bloom in our outdoor and indoor garden spaces next year.

The color that caught our attention this year was mango! These flowers were a stunning blend of tangerine orange with the saturation of a bright fuchsia. Mango flowers were complimented in combinations with other warm, citrus colors and there were some bolder mixes pairing mango flowers with lime green foliage and dashes of tiny, blue florets.

Calibrachoa Chameleon Sunshine Berry Wallflower Sugar Rush Red

Pictured: Calibrachoa Chameleon Sunshine Berry & Wallflower Sugar Rush Red

Container gardening, with a mixture of plants, is a trend that will continue to flourish into 2018. Many vendors/teams we admired had constructed containers featuring different textures and heights to create both an interesting and unique visual narrative. Get creative and design your own pairings! There are many choices in components for the beginner gardener to the advanced master gardener.

Take a commercial mix you already love, add a base and accent plants and place all the components into a container of your choice. Do not limit yourself to just a patio container, think about a coordinating hanging basket near your front door or filling in a vacant bed with plants using a similar color scheme that will compliment your containers.

Bring the outdoors in! We were amazed to see how beautiful ornamental oregano or pepper can look tucked into a sunny nook in an indoor space. Imagine growing miniature, snack peppers right on the window sill in your kitchen. Convenient and sustainable, this is a trend for that has a place with families and urban gardeners alike.

Ornamental Oregano Kirigami Ornamental Peppers

Pictured: Ornamental Oregano Kirigami and Ornamental Peppers

My advice to you is don’t wait until 2018, you can be a trendsetter now! We are so excited to see what trends you pick up or start on your own to continue to influence the garden industry for years to come.

Happy Growing,

Marissa Verdi
B2C Channel Manager, GardenTrends
(in collaboration with Michael Wells, Ornamentals Product Manager, and Michelle Castaneda, Plug Department Supervisor)

Marissa, GardenTrendsMarissa Verdi is a recent graduate from the University of Georgia, earning her Master’s degree in Plant Protection and Pest Management, an interdisciplinary degree in entomology, plant pathology, and crop and soil sciences. Upon completion of her studies, Marissa was welcomed by the GardenTrends team as the B2C Channel Manager and serves as an editor to this blog. Marissa’s passion for gardening was influenced by her parents, avid garden hobbyists, who encouraged her to pick up her first butterfly net and to explore the interactions between insects and their environments.