It can be a serious problem.
Your container vegetable plants seem to grow very slow.
You have tried giving them more water and fertilizer, but it did not help. What else can you do?
Often, the issue is that the vegetable plants are not getting the required sunlight. So, it’s important to choose the right direction for growing the plants.
Southward direction is best for container vegetable garden if you live in the Northern hemisphere. The angle of the sun causes more sunlight to reach the plants. If you’re in the Southern hemisphere, the northward direction turns out to be the best.
Let’s take a look at this idea in more details.
Direction of sunlight in the location
Most vegetable plants will need at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight to grow well and give a good harvest.
Some might be shade tolerant, which means they can survive in shade, but the growth will slow down. I’ve seen this problem myself when growing plants on the apartment balcony. Lack of sunlight caused my pepper and tomato plants to grow slowly.
If you live in the Northern hemisphere, such as the United States, then the southward facing location will receive the most sunlight because of the angle of the sun. So you want to grow your container vegetable plants there if possible.
The sun will rise in the east and move towards the west so the container plants will receive sunlight the entire day.
It may happen that the south side of the location is not available, maybe because of obstructions such as the house, walls, fences, or trees and shrubs. If that happens, the next best location would be to put the container plants on the Westward facing location. So it’s important to plan your garden before you work on it.
My advice is to track the direction of sunlight in the location for an entire day. This will give you a good idea of which parts get the most sunlight.
If you live in the Southern hemisphere, such as Australia, then the best location to grow plans would be the Northward or Eastward facing location.
Orientation of the vegetable plants
The next thing to consider would be the plant orientation so that all the vegetable plants can get the required sunlight. You want a good orientation so that small plants don’t get shaded by taller ones.
First, find out the size of the vegetable plants at full maturity. You’ll find this information on the seed packets of those vegetables.
You want to place the tallest growing plants such as tomatoes and pole beans at the southmost part. Then in front of them you want to place the medium-sized plants such as peppers and cucumbers. And at the front you want the small plants such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach.
I would also suggest keeping enough spacing between the containers so the plants can get sufficient sunlight without blocking each other. You want to keep about 1-2 feet distance between the plants. Some larger plants may need more than smaller ones.
The benefit of growing container vegetable plants is you can move the plants around if you find that the location is not getting the best sunlight.
Choosing the best direction of your container vegetable garden is crucial, so you get the healthiest plants and a good harvest. There are other factors that will also influence the success of the garden and you’ll find the information below.
Here are some of my favorite container gardening tools
Thank you for reading this post. I hope it helps you with your gardening needs. I’ve listed some tools below that can help you with container gardening. These are affiliate links so I’ll earn a commission if you use them.
Gardening Gloves – I find the Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Gardening Gloves really good for both men and women. It’s made from bamboo so helps absorb perspiration. They are also comfortable and fit very well.
Containers – You know picking the right container is crucial for your container gardening. I’ve written a detailed post on the best containers you can choose from. If you’re happy with a plastic container, you can check out the Bloem Saturn Planter.
Watering Can – This is a must-have tool when you’re growing plants in pots or grow bags. It helps to water the potting soil without splashing on the foliage. The Kensington Watering Can is stylish, strong, and can provide precision when watering potted plants.
Trowel – Garden Guru Trowel is my favorite because it’s durable and comfortable to use. My gardening friends really love having a trowel because they use it for digging soil, mixing fertilizer, moving seeds, leveling out the soil, mixing compost or mulch, and also dividing tubers
Bypass Pruner – I really like the Corona Bypass Pruner because it’s durable and gives a clean cut that helps plants recover faster. If you’re looking for something cheap, get the Fiskars Bypass Pruner that is really good as well.
To see an extensive list of the best container gardening tools gardeners recommend, check out this resource that I made for you.
Kevin is the founder of Gardening Mentor, a website that aims to teach people to grow their own food in a limited space. As a self-taught gardener, Kevin has spent several years growing plants and creating gardening content on the website. He is certified in Home Horticulture and Organic Gardening by expert gardeners from Oregon State University.