Container Gardening makes for an efficient method of vegetable, herb and flower gardening. You can create as big or as small of an area for your container gardens as you’d like or have the space to allow.

Container Gardening from

This year, we decided to step our container gardening game up. In years past, we’ve had a large vegetable garden on the farm that about July would become so hot to work in that we’d have to have all gardening done early, early in the mornings, or late in the evenings. If we traveled and were out of town for more than a long weekend, the garden would become so overrun that it would be hard to manage when we returned. We’d thought of just giving up on having our own vegetable garden for a while and then, finally, we began having smaller containers on our porches for some of our “must-have” vegetables like tomatoes and such.

This year though, we decided to turn our container gardening up a notch or two and developed a plan for our back porch garden.

Choosing Containers

Our back porch is fairly long and allows for larger containers. We chose three six foot, by two foot, by two foot galvanized troughs that you can find at most home and farm supply stores. These came from our local Tractor Supply, but you can also find them online if the shipping isn’t too prohibitive.

We chose the two-foot height to allow for easier working in the garden.


Container Gardening from

 Setting Up Containers

To each container, we placed a piece of mesh over the drainage hole of the trough and then added a layer of large rocks and then a layer of composted soil mixed with river sand to allow for good drainage. Then, we added organic soil, leaving about one foot of space to the top of the container.


Container Gardening from


Planting Plants

We used transplants for our garden this year since we had such a late winter this year and the weather has been indecisive until just the last week or so. Normally, we make our own seedling pots in February to plant around Easter.

I chose plants that were good for container gardening in their descriptions as well as plants that grow well together. Since our containers are fairly large, I was able to fit a good many plants into each container. However, I will admit that we have crowded our plantings on purpose based on seeing similar containers of our friends. If things become too crowded, we can add additional containers.

Container Gardening from


Adding Automatic Watering

We decided that we needed to add a method of automatic watering to our container gardens to make them as maintenance free as possible. We chose to use a drip irrigation system that we purchased at Lowe’s in our gardens. Each day, the timer is set to water the gardens at a certain time for a certain amount of time. We know that if it rains that day, we need to just adjust the timer to not use our well water for watering that day. Otherwise, by using the drip irrigation, the plants are watered deeply and consistently each day.

Container Gardening from


Container Gardening from


Container Gardening from


Now, we just have to make sure that Miss Annabelle doesn’t decide these gardens are for her!

Have you planted your garden? Are you planting in-ground or using container gardening this year?


Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post it does contain affiliate links.

Welcome to Add A Pinch

About Robyn

Robyn Stone is a cookbook author, wife, mom, and passionate home cook. Her tested and trusted recipes give readers the confidence to cook recipes the whole family will love. Robyn has been featured on Food Network, People, Southern Living, and more.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Hello!
    I wanted to try the container garden on my deck but was concerned about how to prevent possible rust spots underneath the container? Did you do anything to protect against this or have any ideas? Also, how does your drip irrigation system work? Thanks!

  2. I bought my house last March but too much moving in and getting everything meant no garden last year. Son wants raised beds I think will not come about. I love the containers and am going containers. They can be so cute and easy for me to take

  3. Robyn,
    I have the same size trough and plan on planting herbs this year. But I noticed you didn’t plant any flowers to keep away pest. Plus, it would also add some color for a beautiful herb flower trough.

  4. Yup. Garden planted. Loved this post and pinned it – we love planting our herbs in a trough. 🙂

  5. Will you keep us posted on the progress of your plants in the container? I’d love to see how it looks once the tomatoes are ripening. Looks great.

  6. Robyn,
    I use container too because the area we used to use had gotten overgrown with too many roots to turn over the dirt.
    Last year I didn’t have time to plant anything but I’m hoping I can buy a few plants this year as it’s too late to start from seed.

    1. Bless your hearts! Y’all have had more snow this year than I can even imagine!

  7. I am starting a container garden with tomatoes and cucumbers. I haven’t decided which herbs to grow but will add them later.
    I also bought a hanging basket of strawberries and will be able to manage that hopefully.
    I like how your garden looks but I am afraid my cocker will get into it! I have a small greenhouse and I hope it works out.
    I look forward to updates and photos of your garden!

    1. Tomatoes and cucumbers are a definite in our gardens as well. I can’t wait to have them in a salad this summer. Heck, what am I saying? I’ll gladly eat them with just a bit of sea salt right off the vines! Ha!

  8. We need to try this on our deck (gets almost all day sun). With the weight and size of these troughs you have to live with the location you place them in. How many bags of soil did it take to fill them?

    1. Hi Terry,
      We had planned on 8 2-cubic foot bags per trough on top of about a foot of our own soil in the bottom of each. But, we only used about 6 bags per container.