The Q&A Archives: Flowers and Vegetables

Question: Hi , How can I have plants and vegetables out side on my patio . I don't have a garden . Thanks , Nancy

Answer: It is possible to grow many annual flowers (such as marigolds, geraniums, petunias) as well as herbs (basil, chives, dill, parsley, etc.) and vegetables (greens, radishes and carrots do well, with generally larger plants look for compact varieties of tomato, pepper, and zucchini for example) in containers. You can also grow tropical plants such as hibiscus and lantana in containers and bring them indoors for the winter if you wish to keep them from year to year. All of the above need a sunny location. In a shady location you could try shade loving annuals such as impatiens, coleus, caladium, begonia, and shade tolerant herbs and vegetables such as greens, basil and parsley.

Hardy trees and shrubs however do not do well unless you have extremely large containers that provide ample insulation for their roots during winter.

You would use large containers with working drainage holes and a potting mix formulated for container plants. Be sure to water as needed to keep the soil evenly moist like a wrung out sponge; fertilize with a slow release granular or a water soluble fertilizer with an analysis of 10-10-10 plus minors (or similar proportions) per the label directions.

Your local professional nursery staff should be able to show you a selection of plants that do especially well in containers.

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