Welcome to the world of container gardening! If you have limited outdoor space but a desire to grow your own food, a balcony or patio can become your mini vegetable haven. Lets explore how to cultivate a flourishing container vegetable garden, focusing on popular salad ingredients and other popular summer vegetables. By following these simple tips and tricks, you can savour the joys of homegrown produce all summer long.

Choose the right Container for your Container Garden

To kickstart your container garden, selecting the right containers is essential. Consider the following points: Balcony filled with vegetable planters

What Size Container do I need?

Size matters - opt for containers that are the right depth.  Using deep planters for salads - which have shallow roots - would simply be a waste of compost. And on the flip side potatoes need earthing up so need a deep Potato Planter.  
Regardless of what you grow if you are really short of space then consider using Vigoroot planters as you can grow plants in a much smaller volume of compost than a standard pot. 
There are different ways to grow plants beyond your standard planters.  If you have a little more space on a patio then an instant Raised Bed will work.  If you have small pockets of space then you can fit in individual Vegetable Planters here and there.  If you have a wall that you want to cover then a taller planter likd the Balcony Garden, or Easy Table Gardens might work beter for you.   
Whatever you choose make sure that it has good drainage.  Containers with proper drainage holes will prevent waterlogged roots.

Selecting the Perfect Location

Location plays a vital role in growing a successful garden. Here are some pointers to keep in mind:

Sunlight Requirements

Most vegetables prefer full sun, so select a spot on your balcony or patio that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.


Observe the microclimates on your balcony or patio, one side is sure to be more windy than the other.  Adjust your plant selection and where you place your planters accordingly.

Wind Protection

Consider placing windbreakers, such as trellises, tall plants, or screens, to protect your container garden from strong winds, which can damage delicate plants.

Choosing the Right Soil and Fertiliser

Creating a nutrient-rich environment is vital for container gardening success. Here's what you need to know:

Soil Composition

Use a high-quality compost specifically formulated for containers. It should be well-draining, lightweight, and rich in organic matter.

Fertiliser Needs

Since container plants have limited access to nutrients, regularly fertilize with an organic, balanced fertilizer to replenish the soil. Follow the instructions on the product label for the correct dosage.


Consider adding to your pots with your own compost.  You can easily set up a small composting bin on your balcony to recycle organic waste. Composting kitchen scraps is an eco-friendly (budget!) way to produce nutrient-rich compost. 

Which Crops to Grow 

Let's start with a seection of salad leaves! Here are some popular salad ingredients that thrive in containers.  The Shallow planter of our Vegetable Planter 3 Pack are suitable for all of these.  

Plant a few seeds at a time and then repeat every 3 weeks to keep a steady supply up.  Click on the title for each crop for full growing instructions.  


Choose loose-leaf or compact varieties like 'Salad Bowl,' 'Red Sails,' or 'Buttercrunch.' Harvest outer leaves as needed, allowing the center to continue growing.


Opt for baby spinach varieties that grow quickly and occupy less space. 'Baby's Leaf Hybrid' and 'Melody' are excellent choices for container gardening.


Fast-growing and space-efficient, radishes are a perfect addition to your container garden. 'Cherry Belle' and 'French Breakfast' varieties are reliable options.


Add some spicy rocket to your containers. Careful succession planting will mean a steady supply of fresh rocket and no gluts or wastage.  

Other Common Vegetables for Container Gardening

Apart from salad ingredients, you can also grow a variety of other vegetables on your balcony or patio. Here are some popular choices but a word of warning.  Only grow what you like to eat!  This is not a strict list so adjust to suit your eating habits.    


Tomato Crop Booster frame for balcony gardenSelect compact determinate varieties such as 'Patio,' 'Tiny Tim,' or 'Tumbler' that are specifically bred for container gardening. Choose a Tomato Planter than provides support for these or even a Tomato Crop Booster if you have a little more room.


Haxnicks carrot garden planter for container gardeningIt is always best to plant carrots in their final growing position not transplant them.  This is because their main predator, the carrot fly is attracted to the smell of the crushed leaves so the les you touch them the better. The Carrot Planter is ideal for growing a lovely crop of carrots in a tiny space.
Peas: fresh peas often don't make it in to the kitchen they are so delicious eaten  straight from the plant.  Our neat Pea & Bean Planter is great if you are short of space.


Haxnicks pea and Bean Planter for container gardeningClimbing beans grow into a large plant so you may want to avoid them (unles you have a something unsightly that you want to screen!) But bush beans are perfect for planters like the Medium planter in our Vegetable Planter 3 Pack


Haxnicks Potato planters for balcony gardenIt is far easier to grow potatoes in Potato Planters than in the ground so you may want to do this even if you have garden space!  They are easy to grow and have the most beautiful flowers too.