Creative Ways to Grow Food on Your Deck

Growing vegetables without a spacious backyard might seem challenging, but cultivating food on a sunny deck or patio, or even a balcony, can be just as productive as planting a traditional garden. In fact, it can be even easier in some ways! Imagine having fresh produce within arm’s reach, ready to be picked whenever you need it. With a container garden right outside your door, you won’t have to drag a hose across your yard for watering, and pesky garden pests like voles, snails, and slugs are less likely to be a problem. Moreover, a deck adorned with beautiful edible plants provides the perfect spot to unwind and revel in your gardening success.

deck growing

How to Grow Food on a Deck: Exploring Various Container Types

When planning your deck container garden, it’s important to assess your deck’s existing structure and identify elements that can be incorporated into your gardening setup. Take note of whether the deck has railings that can support window boxes, an overhang that is suitable for hanging baskets, or stairs wide enough to accommodate pots. Additionally, consider the material of your deck and determine if it requires protection from water drainage.

Another crucial factor to consider is the selection of plants you want to grow. While virtually any plant can thrive in a container given sufficient space, certain varieties from Bonnie Plants® are particularly well-suited for smaller container gardens. For instance, consider growing Red Robin cherry tomatoes and Burpless Bush cucumbers. If you’re seeking quick and effortless success, try our Patio Ready plants. These come with everything you need to create a thriving garden in a limited space—simply place them in a sunny spot, and you’re on your way to a fruitful harvest! The reason why Bonnie Plants is a reliable choice is our century-long experience in cultivating strong and vigorous young plants for home gardeners. Additionally, with over 70 strategically located growing stations across the country, your plants never have to travel far to reach you.

Container Variety: Window Boxes

Start your deck container garden with simple window boxes on your deck or balcony railings. Window boxes provide an ideal home for a variety of vegetables, as well as lettuce, spinach, arugula, and crops with shallow roots. Enhance the visual appeal by adding edible flowers such as pansies or trailing nasturtiums. By doing so, you not only create a charming addition to your deck but also embark upon a delightful journey of food cultivation.

Container Variety: Vertical Vegetables

If you value your privacy and want to add a touch of greenery, consider creating a living screen using vertical vegetables. Place a large rectangular container filled with Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix—an ideal soil environment for strong root growth—in the desired area. Add a tall trellis to the container and plant vining cucumbers, peas, or pole beans at the base. As the vines grow, guide them to weave into the trellis’s openings. This living wall not only serves as a beautiful privacy screen but also yields delicious ingredients for your meals. For added fun, stack rectangular containers on a ladder or hang fabric wall pockets filled with herbs like parsley, chives, and thyme to create unique vertical structures.

Container Variety: Hanging Baskets

Overhangs present an excellent opportunity to cultivate food using hanging baskets. Lettuce or strawberries, which are vulnerable to slugs and snails, thrive when out of reach for crawling pests. Cascading cherry tomatoes, such as Tumbling Tom, are also well-suited for hanging baskets. Furthermore, a collection of carefully arranged plant containers always adds aesthetic impact to decks and their accompanying steps. Ceramic, terracotta, plastic, wood, self-watering, fiberglass—the options are endless. However, be mindful that certain materials, such as terracotta and ceramic, may crack in freezing temperatures. Therefore, if you plan to grow food year-round, select containers that can withstand the cold. You don’t need to splurge to cultivate food on your deck or balcony either; look for materials to upcycle and repurpose into unique containers. Transform an old wooden CD storage unit or bookshelf into a raised bed by laying it flat and adding potting mix. Drill holes in the bottom of a galvanized trough, fill it with soil, and create the perfect large container for tomatoes or a mix of smaller plants. Stack wooden wine crates in a staggered manner to build a privacy screen, then fill them with soil and edibles. Feel free to move a bookshelf against an outside wall and add containers of herbs. Get creative by drilling holes in the bottoms of old coffee cans, poking a hole on the top edge of each can, attaching the cans with zip ties to the deck railing—and voila! You have an innovative and upcycled food-growing station. If you happen to have an old burlap feed sack lying around, line it with a heavy-duty trash bag and poke holes in the bottom. Fill it with potting mix and plant away!

When it comes to containers, size matters. In general, larger containers require less maintenance. Smaller containers dry out quickly and need frequent watering, sometimes twice a day in hot weather. Larger containers still require watering but retain moisture better due to their increased soil volume. Additionally, if the plants you’re growing require support, such as stakes or a tomato cage, opt for larger containers to help anchor them. Utilize existing structures on your deck, such as slats in the railing, to provide additional support by using garden twine to secure the plants.

Effortlessly Cultivate Your Deck Garden with Patio Ready Plants

If you crave simplicity and convenience, consider starting your deck or balcony garden with one of Bonnie Plants’ Patio Ready options. These ready-to-go plants come in various forms, including caged plants, combo containers (like BBQ Herbs or Salad Greens), and hanging baskets. Simply select your desired option, place it on your deck or patio, and you’re ready to embark on your gardening journey. While you’ll still need to water, feed your plants, and harvest your crops, we provide all the information you need on the plant tag. Consider us your personal garden expert, guiding you through the care required to ensure a bountiful harvest. So go ahead, plan your garden layout, assess your deck space, and unleash your imagination. Soon enough, you’ll be enjoying delicious food grown right on your deck. Bon appétit!

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