How to make a garden in pots? Top tips

pots with crops

Many people are left without making their own home garden due to space. In this case, we are going to explain how to make a garden in pots to optimize the space and be able to have the crops giving them a good yield. Although the care is increased when the plants are in a smaller portion of soil, it is worth having the garden even if it is in pots.

For this reason, we are going to dedicate this article to telling you everything you need to know about how to make a garden in pots and what aspects you must take into account for it.

How to make a container garden

make a container garden

make a garden in pots

You don’t need expensive garden supplies to have a garden at home. At the end of the day, what really matters is how things work, not their design or branding. We will see below.


Choosing the pots that make up an urban garden is one of the most important points, since they can regulate the use of space or become a real problem when it comes to keeping your plants nourished and hydrated.

They don’t really have to be jars, they can be any type of container that meets these requirements:

  • Have sufficient volume or capacity to house the plant or plants.
  • Depth is another deciding factor, especially for some vegetables.
  • It must be made of an inert material so that it does not decompose and release harmful substances to the substrate.
  • Your base needs to be able to punch holes without breaking and hurting.

Good materials for pots are high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or other similar plastics, ceramics and terracotta, cement, stone, wood (painted or unpainted), stainless steel, wicker, etc.

We didn’t mention glass because while it would work, drilling holes in glass is tricky and dangerous without the proper tools and safety measures. Glass containers can be used if the bottom has been perforated. Iron derivatives or other oxidizable (or toxic) metals are also not recommended unless we cover them with plastic.

reused containers

Many times, the easiest thing is to go to a garden center and buy a pot directly. They will be precious and we will have them right away, but it is not the most sustainable option. Your best option is to reuse the materials that end up in the trash and give them a new lease of life as pots for your garden plants.

  • Wooden, polystyrene or plastic boxes, like the ones usually used by greengrocers and other businesses.
  • Bottle, jar, plastic tupperware.
  • Old ceramic, clay or stainless steel bowls or pots.
  • Sew or tie the fabric into a bag and hang it from the ceiling with string.
  • The tires are stacked and lined with plastic.

If you have space, it can be fun to build a planting table out of trays, where it is more convenient to grow salad greens in a row. In short, anything that can contain a sufficient volume of earth inside.

Substrate to make a garden in pots

garden in pots

potted garden

In addition to the pots, the substrate is another pillar to maintain the health of your container garden. Remember that the portion of “soil” that the plant will have is limited by the volume of the pot, so the substrate must contain all the nutrients and water that the plant needs to absorb throughout the farm.

The lighter the pot, the better the substrate should be. It’s okay if it’s very large, as the roots will have plenty of room to explore. A good substrate for a potted garden should have:

  • It provides all the nutrients in the necessary amounts and proportions and in absorbable form.
  • A spongy and light structure that favors root development, allowing gas exchange and drainage, but at the same time retains a lot of moisture without flooding.
  • Free of pathogens and toxic substances.
  • If possible, it should not contain peat, since it is a resource whose extraction can destroy large natural spaces, peat bogs.

Substrates can be made at home from earth, compost or other organic fertilizers, perlite or vermiculite, sand and some natural fibers such as coconut. We will see how to prepare it later, but first of all it is better to buy a good one that is already prepared, even if it will be a little more expensive, because the quantity will not be huge and we will be spending a lot of money. A little.

The success or failure of a container garden largely depends on the substrate and pots used.

seeds or plants

This aspect is important from the point of view of what can and cannot be planted in a city garden or, more precisely, in a home garden. There is nothing that cannot be grown, but many vegetables are not suitable for this purpose for the following reasons:

  • They overgrow and take up a lot of space: pumpkins, melons, watermelons, etc.
  • They must be grown in large numbers to obtain acceptable harvests: potatoes, corn, peas, chickpeas, etc.

It is easier to understand than it seems. Let’s look at some examples. In a limited space like a home, it may seem impractical to harvest just 4 or 5 pumpkins in late summer from a pumpkin plant that can spread a few feet.

In the case of the second group of plants, although each plant does not take up space, it will be necessary to plant dozens or hundreds of plants to obtain an interesting harvest. For example, 2 or 3 ears of corn usually grow from a foot of corn, easily reaching a height of more than 2 meters and a width of 50 or 60 cm with the leaves extended.

What to plant in a container garden

vertical crops

vertical crops


To start at the right angle without getting frustrated, it’s best to start with one or a few of the following crops:

  • Vegetables for salads: lettuce, lamb’s lettuce, arugula, radishes.
  • Leafy vegetables: Swiss chard, spinach, cabbage.
  • Fruits and vegetables: peppers, cucumbers, beans, eggplants, strawberries.
  • Also aromatic, such as parsley or cilantro.


In addition to the above: tomatoes, carrots, garlic, onions, chives, leeks, courgettes, asparagusand everything that is suitable for growing in pots. That way you can see everything you can grow, but we stick with the first group, like lettuce and radishes.

The importance of water in a container garden

Like any garden, even if it is made up of pots, it needs water to irrigate, dishes, etc. In the case of irrigation water, it must be of good quality and free of chlorine or other chemicals added for its purification. The ideal is to use rainwater all the time, for example to collect rainwater that falls on a roof or patio, but of course you have to have space to store it in a bucket.

If you are going to use tap water, you must fill one (or more) containers with enough water for 2 days. We leave the container open for 2 days so that the chlorine evaporates and then we can use it to water. Before it’s over, we’ll have to refill it so it’s ready when we need it. If we desperately need it, we can always cook it in the pot for 5 minutes without the lid on. When it cools down, we can use it.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about how to make a garden in pots.

How to make a garden in pots? Top tips

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