Sunday, June 19, 2011

How to Plant a Patio Veggie Garden

Today I decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and do some gardening.  A couple of weeks ago I bought some tomato plants at Lowe's for fifty cents.  I of course then proceeded not to plant them.  Wanting to  take advantage of my newfound motivation, I decided to pot my tomato plants and create a mini veggie garden.  This is an easy project and perfect for small backyards or apartment dwellers.  Now you might be asking, "Sunduri, don't you have a backyard?"  The answer is yes, I indeed have a backyard.  It is also a large one at that.  I could plant my future veggies in the yard, but I don't know if the soil has heavy metals, I have a dog, and it would require me to build out all sorts of things since it is not a level yard.  That being said, I have some fruit trees that are finally begining to yield some fruit.  So perhaps sometime in the future (after having the soil tested) I shall plant things in my backyard instead of in pots.

Back to today's tutorial.  For this project you will need: soil (being an organic evangelist, my soil is, you guessed it, organic), some pots (clay is the best), tomato plants (or anything you want to plant), and veggie seeds.  I also used some bamboo stakes, since tomato plants tend to need a little extra support.  I like to use clay pots because they retain moisture and are more attractive then plastic pots.  I am using heirloom  seeds today (bush beans, sweet peas, spinach, cucumbers, carrots, and radishes).  The lovely gentleman I work with (I like to call him my work dad), sent me these lovely seeds for my birthday this year. My love of things from yesteryear, and for veggies, makes this the most thoughtful present anyone has ever given me.  So, I thought why not plant some of these charming veggies and make a patio ensemble.  It will be both attractive and tasty.  Below are pictures of the supplies used:

Neglected tomato plants

Back of the seed packet


 I had all the supplies for this project with the exception of the soil.  I have lots of things like this that have great potential, but I never get around to using.  Well no more, this year will be the year of finishing unfinished projects.  I digress, back to the DIY project at hand.

Step 1: Block drainage hole

Step 1: Put something to block the whole at the bottom of the pot so that the soil does not spill out.  I used a leaf for this purpose, a paper towel or napkin, work well too.  

Step 2: Pot your plant  
Step 2:  Fill the pot halfway with soil and place your plant on top.  With tomato plants, I like to plant them a little deeper so that their trunks grow thicker and are more sturdy.  After this, cover the plant with soil up to the lip of the pot.  You don't want to put soil all the way to the top. 

Step 3 & 4:  Now it's time to add the seeds.  The advent of modern agriculture has resulted in monoculture planting of crops.  Not so long ago (and still in some parts of the world), plants were grown together for optimal food production.  For example, beans add nitrogen to soil, so when planted with other crops (like tomotoes) it results in healther and more bountiful yields.  I am planting bush beans, snow peas, and spinach with my three tomato plants.  Cucumbers, radishes, and carrots are going to be planted in smaller pots.  Hopefully, this variety will make for an attractive arrangement.  Another idea is to plant edible flowers with your veggies.  This too, makes for a very attractive potted ensemble.

Step 3: Make small holes for seeds
Step 4: Place Bush Bean seed
 in hole and cover
Step 5: Planting seeds in soil
Step 5:  For the rest of the seeds, follow the instructions on the seed packet.  Some seeds will be required to be planted  1/2 an inch deep and others will be deeper.  Spacing requirements will also vary by veggie.  Below is a picture of the cucumber seeds I planted.  I like to plant these types of vine plants three at a time. This helps give plants a little more support, and if one seed doesn't germinate, you have two more for back up.  Once all your planting is complete, water thoroughly.  As in water should be coming out from under the pot.  Watering needs will vary depending on the weather.  You want to keep the soil most, not soggy. 

Below is picture of the finished product.  I have three pots with tomato plants with spinach, sweet pleas, and bush beans respectively.  Three more pots have cucumbers (the slightly larger pot), radishes, and carrots.  I'm not sure where I am going to put them in the yard yet.  They might go on the patio, or maybe by the swing.  That is a decision for another day (I will be sure to keep all of you updated).  Right now, they will be in semi-shade until the tomato plants are a little stronger.  I hope this was a helpful tutorial.  Happy Father's Day Everyone! :)

All done!


  1. Can't wait to see the outcome. I love gardening too, but I have yet to dabble in veggies or fruit.

  2. I wish I could garden but I can't, well actually I don't have the patience to wait, and then my cat likes chewing on plants so it's not a good combination for me. Best wished with your garden!

  3. I will keep everyone posted on the Veggie Garden. Shey, I totally understand. My patience is limited, hence veggies in pots.