That’s one word I would use to describe growing your own food in containers.
There are many reasons why a container vegetable garden is important. But, for me, the most important reason is that it encouraged me to start gardening.
I used to think that I needed a large backyard to grow vegetables. But container gardening helped me realize that’s not true. You can start small growing one vegetable in a container and expand from there. You don’t need tons of space to begin.
There are several other important benefits you get from container vegetable gardening. Let’s take a look.
1. Gives a beginner-friendly way to start vegetable gardening
One of the reasons I was attracted towards container vegetable gardening is because it’s easy to start. You don’t need a big garden space and even an apartment balcony is sufficient.
You can start with a single plant in a container and keep increasing the plants you grow depending on your space availability and capacity.
Once you start container gardening, it’s low maintenance as well. You don’t need to spend as much time tending to the plants as you would in a traditional garden. You don’t get too many weeds in a container plant. The chances of pests and diseases are also reduced in the controlled environment of container gardening.
Container gardening is also less physically demanding than traditional gardening, as you do not have to bend over or kneel to work the soil.
If the plant is not getting the required sunlight or air, it’s easier to move the container to a better location than transplanting plants from the ground.
2. Helps seniors keep active and continue gardening
Container gardening needs less maintenance than traditional gardening. So it works great for seniors who want to either start gardening or continue gardening but with less effort.
Container vegetable gardening is a safe form of gardening, especially for seniors with mobility issues. We can place the containers at a height, such as a bench or table, so they can tend to the plants with ease. It can provide seniors with good physical activity to help with mobility, flexibility, and strength. They can work on the plants at their own pace and comfort level.
The act of gardening is beneficial for seniors as it provides them a sense of purpose that helps boost mood and self-esteem. It’s a calming and relaxing activity for seniors that helps reduce stress and anxiety.
Seniors can work together on the container garden so it gives a sense of community. They will share their experiences with other seniors, friends, family, or neighbors.
3. Encourages consuming nutritious fruits and vegetables
When we take care of something, we grow emotionally attached to it. I think the same happens when we grow our own vegetables. Then it makes sense that I will eat more of those vegetables.
Growing vegetables in containers means you have better access to fresh and nutritious produce that is free from chemicals. You can grow vegetable varieties that you won’t find in the grocery stores. The organically grown vegetables will have a better flavor profile than store-bought ones, which helps increase their consumption.
I would also encourage to get your kids involved in growing container vegetables. They will feel happy to consume more vegetables when they have spent the effort growing them.
I suggest starting small and growing vegetables you enjoy eating. That will increase the chances your family will consume most of what you grow. You can gradually increase the type of vegetables you grow as you get more experience with growing them in containers.
4. Helps grow food in a sustainable manner
Container vegetable garden can help reduce the resources you need to use, such as water, soil, and energy consumption.
You add the potting soil in the container depending on the size. And only water the potting soil until it drains out of the drainage holes.
Since you’re growing fruits and vegetables for your consumption, it helps reduce or eliminate your travel to grocery stores. This reduces your carbon footprint and if many people start gardening, it can help reduce long-distance transportation and refrigeration of vegetables.
You’ll be using organic fertilizers and pesticides while avoiding chemicals which help reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well.
You can build your container vegetable garden so it can have native varieties of plants that encourage a habitat for beneficial insects and birds.
5. Can help you save some money
If you grow your own fruits and vegetables, it can help reduce your grocery bills. How much money you save will depend on how many plants you can grow.
You might not have enough space to grow enough food for your needs, but even if you grow a few vegetables, it can help reduce costs. You can use a strategy to grow vegetables that are expensive in grocery stores.
Your visits to grocery stores will reduce when you’re growing vegetables and this can help lower your gas bills as well.
Container vegetable gardening is a more budget-friendly option than traditional gardening. You can have a budget and build up the garden based on that. You can reuse containers you already have at home and get seeds at a cheap cost.
You also don’t need to spend money on expensive gardening tools for container gardening. You just need a few basic ones.
6. Can help build a community and relationships
The family that grows vegetables together stays together. You can use container vegetable gardening as a family activity to spend quality time with each other.
You can harvest the produce and share it with friends, family, neighbors and build relationships with them. If you have a surplus, you can share it with community kitchens and help a good cause.
You can build community container vegetable gardens that can encourage an entire community to grow their own organic food. The community can share the vegetables with each other and donate them to soup kitchens and shelters.
7. Encourages youngsters to learn about gardening
We have gotten so used to our urban lives that many of us have lost the knowledge about growing food. Our kids don’t know from where the fruits and vegetables they eat come from. They think it’s produced in grocery stores itself.
It’s our responsibility to encourage kids and youngsters to learn this skill of growing organic food. Container vegetable gardening can be a great resource to do this. You can have it in your house and use it as a teaching method for kids and youngsters.
It will help them understand the process of growing vegetables and the care required from seeds to harvest. This experience can be used to teach a variety of subjects, such as science, math, and even cooking.
We can encourage container vegetable gardening in schools, community organizations, and local groups. And use it as a method to teach subjects such as botany, biology, environmental studies, and sustainability.
8. Helps attract pollinators and increase their population
You can set up a container vegetable garden with a combination of vegetables, native plants, and flowering plants that can attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and birds.
This helps create a biodiverse environment that will improve the population of pollinators and encourage them in the garden.
You can set up resting places and shelters in the garden for these pollinators such as boxes, water sources, and feeding trays.
I would suggest avoiding any type of chemicals in the container garden, as those have a major impact of pollinators.
You can use organic fertilizers instead of synthetic ones. Don’t use chemical pesticides and I would suggest not to use organic pesticides as well unless absolutely required. Try non-invasive methods such as hand-picking the insects or using traps.
9. Container vegetable gardening can help reduce pollution
When you grow your own vegetables with container gardening, it means fewer trips to the grocery stores. This helps reduce carbon footprint by eliminating the need for transportation emissions.
When food is wasted in grocery stores, it also leads to greenhouse gas emissions as they decompose in landfills. Growing and consuming your own vegetables will help avoid this problem as well.
I would encourage growing container vegetables organically. So you don’t use chemicals for pesticides and fertilizers. This helps avoid using chemicals that get released into the environment, polluting the air and water.
The more plants you grow in urban areas, the more air purification it can help with. Having container gardens can help lower air pollution levels as the plants absorb carbon dioxide and harmful pollutants in the air.
Container vegetable gardening can also help reduce water pollution by using water more efficiently. With traditional farming methods, irrigation systems can lead to runoff and contamination of nearby water sources. Container vegetable gardening can help reduce the amount of water needed to grow produce and prevent runoff, leading to healthier water sources.
Now that you know why container vegetable gardening is important, I would encourage you to understand the basics required to set up your own garden. Check the article below for more details.
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.