When it comes to container gardening, size can make all the difference. The general rule of thumb is: the bigger the better. Plants need plenty of room to spread their roots in order to thrive.
When growing vegetables in particular, the best yields are obtained when plants are grown in a container which as at least half as deep as the plant’s mature height. Therefore, most vegetables require containers that hold 6 to 8 inches of potting mix. Tomatoes, squashes and other large plants require deeper containers, as do root crops such as carrots and beets. However, the growing medium in deeper containers is more prone to compacting, so 12 to 15 inches is all you really need to grow most plants. Even fruits like lemons, blueberries and papaya can be grown in containers of this size with regular attention.
Large containers are also more forgiving as the extra soil or growing medium provides insulation for the plants’ roots; they are less likely to dry out than smaller containers, and also take longer to heat up on sunny summer days, preventing heat stress and wilting. However, there is an obvious trade-off between size and portability, so chose the container that best accommodates your needs. There are many dwarf varieties of plants that have been developed specifically for container gardening and are more likely to thrive in smaller containers if your place can’t accomodate a larger one.
Recommended minimum container size for various plants
|Small 4”-6” planter
|Medium 8”-12” planter
|Large >12” planter
|ANNUALS <12” IN HEIGHT
|ANNUALS >12” IN HEIGHT
We are Garden365 and we love gardening. We hope sharing our tips and ideas will help you on your journey of becoming a better gardener.
*Please note, when you buy products through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. This helps to keep the website free for our readers. Thanks for your support!