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Container Gardens/Container gardening beginner help



I am so new to container gardening, it's not even funny. I currently live in a rental, and the landlord has forbidden any digging of any variety. So I was thinking 5 gallon buckets for some basic vegetables, but I'm having such a hard time finding information that's -useful-. I want to plant tomatoes of a few varieties, bell and ghost peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots, and maybe some potatoes and herbs. I'd desperately love to plant pumpkins and watermelons, but I doubt they would work in a container. I'm not finding if any of these are okay in a 5-gallon bucket (other than tomatoes and peppers), how many to plant, if there's a specific strain that would work best for a small container, and other such concerns. Any advice?

Also, there is a big maple tree out front, and I was hoping to maybe plant some hostas under it, but between the roots and the no-digging rule, I know that's not possible. Could I lay down a bunch of potting soil and plant the hostas in that?

Hi Amanda, five gallon containers will do fine for your Tomatoes, Peppers and Lettuce, but you are right, the rest of your list would need to be in the ground; Use Miracle-Grow Moisture Control potting mix and line the bottom of your containers with about 2 inches of gravel or pebbles for proper drainage. One Tomato per container and use varieties that emphasize this. Your Peppers can be almost any variety, for they do well in containers and of course you can put several lettuce plants in one. Make sure to mulch them after you plant them to keep the container from drying out too quick. Put them in a location where they get Sun for most the day and you should do just fine. Hostas will grow by the trees without any trouble, for their roots will work their way between the roots of the tree without much problem. Nick

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nick mccann


I can give concise answers on growing plants in containers instead of the ground, why and how to plant them and how to maintain them.


Master Gardner in Charlotte County Florida,,with 10 years experience.

Master Gardner Association of Charlotte County, Florida

Associates Degree

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I am currently also an expert in the Tropical Plant dept.

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