This post brought to you by Gilmour. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Gardening Cook.
Growing a Vegetable Garden on a Deck is easy with these 11 tips.
Growing fresh vegetables is one of the highlights of my summer gardening experience. To me, there is nothing quite like taking out an empty basket and coming back into the house with a basket full of fresh veggie harvest. But if you don’t have much space, vegetable gardening might not seem possible. It is though. You can grow an entire Vegetable Garden on a Deck and get a great harvest for your efforts.
I have gone back and forth in my mind about my vegetable garden. Two years ago, I had a 1000 square foot garden filled with vegetables. Alas, the squirrels made it their mission to eat the entire crop almost down to the last vegetable. (read about that disaster here.) Last year, I transformed that garden into a perennial vegetable garden. None of the vegetables produced much and the tomatoes were a disaster. Not being a person to be defeated by critters or diseased plants, I persevered! This year I am trying to grow an entire vegetable garden on a deck just outside my back door.
I have teamed up with a new sponsor, Gilmour. This wonderful company has a wide range of products for your gardening needs, including pruning tools, watering products and a great variety of garden hoses. They are a trusted and reliable brand with decades of American heritage. One of their products which is of special interest to me is their Flexogen hose.
You simply cannot beat their Flexogen hose. It has so many wonderful features:
- It has been proudly made in the USA for over 40 years and has a lifetime warranty.
- It is perfect for any type of homemaker, especially those, like me, who put their tools to the ultimate test and expect them to really last.
- The Flexogen hose is an unbeatable combination of quality, flexibility and durability.
- And it is the only 8 layer hose on the market with a one-of-a-kind patented construction (many other hoses are made with only six layers.) With these features, it is easy to see why the Flexogen hose is the longest-lasting and most durable hose in its class.
Gilmour provided me with both their Flexogen hose and a wonderful durable metal spray nozzle to test for them this summer and tell all of my readers about the quality of the tools and how well they work for me. I am just delighted to team up with them to test this and other products for them and to give my readers an opportunity to see the garden tools in action.
I decided to put the hose and nozzle to use in my latest vegetable garden project. I plan to grow my vegetable garden (as well as lots of flowers) completely on my deck. This summer the squirrels and rabbits will not defeat me! (that is my new mantra – I repeat it daily!) I am bringing the garden up close and personal as they say. It resides on my deck in very large pots. I figure that I will be able to keep an eye on the critters and keep the plants in tip top condition. So far, it is working pretty well. Keep tuned over the summer to see how it does!
11 Tips for Growing Vegetables on a Deck.
Do you wish you had a vegetable garden but don’t think you have the room? Think again! The following tips and photos show just what you can grow successfully in a very small space. Just follow these few tips and then start planting:
- Watering. Be sure your pots are within easy reach of your watering system. (this is where my Flexogen hose and nozzle are perfectly placed!)
- Size of pots. Have pots that will accommodate the size of the plant you want to grow. (there is no way a 5+ foot tomato plant will grow in a 5 gallon pot. It needs room for the roots!) Think of the final size of the plant when you choose the pot.
- Think Big. Err on the large size for pots. You won’t go wrong, I promise. The plants will need less water and get larger too. Think 12 inches at the smallest and up to 20 inches or larger for the biggest ones, such as tomato plants.
- Work area. Have a small potting area nearby. I take cuttings of my tomato plants for new plants later in the year and start my seedlings right on my deck.
- Room to Tend. Be sure you have room, either outside the deck or near the pots, for plant maintenance. You will want to inspect, water and tend to them easily without moving furniture.
- Supports. Have stakes and climbing support ready. I put my stakes in with the seedlings so as not to disturb the roots later. There are many things to use for support for cucumbers and beans. (I used pieces of old garden wire fencing. I just poked them into the earth and they allow beans to climb and supports for cucumbers too!)
- Plastic vs Terra cotta? I have both, but be aware that terra cotta pots need more watering because of their porous nature so plastic may be a better choice if water conservation is important to you.
- Color of pots. Very dark or black pots will absorb the heat, so lighter colors work better and will need less watering and be gentler on the roots.
- Soil for the vegetables. The soil needs to be well draining, and soil made especially for containers will give the best results, so no just digging up garden soil!
- How to get started. It doesn’t matter whether you plant seeds or seedlings. Water first before you plant. The seeds will get a better start and the seedlings won’t be stressed when they are transplanted.
- Good tools make for a better garden. Having the right tools on hand can make all the difference. For this project, the Gilmour Flexogen hose and their durable hose nozzle made watering my vegetable garden a breeze. There is no substitute for good garden tools. They last so much longer than cheap imitations and save you money in the long run by providing excellent use for years to come!
The Deck Garden in Photos.
And now for some photos of the vegetable garden in all its glory…
I have a very large deck which measure about 14 x 25 feet. It has ample room for seating, dining, a potting area and a BBQ area, PLUS the vegetable garden and several areas for flowers. Is is amazing, what can be grown on a deck, isn’t it?
The deck has room for two seating areas – one is a cozy place for afternoon drinks. It overlooks my newest flower garden bed and also my test garden and we spend a lot of time sitting there.
The other area has a large table and umbrella set up for home barbeques and guests. Even with those two areas, there is still a ton of space left for containers.
I also have a tiered plant stand which holds my seedlings and cuttings – a great way to increase my harvest and have plants ready for succession planting when the time is right. It holds lots of pots and some of my tools as well. It is just a few steps from my table that doubles as a work station when I am potting.
I am using the outside perimeter of the deck to place large pots and containers in which to grow the vegetables and herbs. They are within close walking distance of my kitchen, and also very close to my water source, which is ideal for my Flexogen hose!
I have the a wide variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers in pots growing on my deck:
- tomatoes (four varieties)
- sweet peppers
- swiss chard and leaf lettuce
- spring onions
- two kinds of bush beans (both yellow and green) I have climber beans in the garden, but guess who chomped them all yesterday? Hint. He hops, has a long tail and loves carrots (and obviously, beans!)
- basil and tarragon
- flowers – even with all my vegetables, there is still plenty of room for flowers on my deck too. After all, what is a garden without flowers? This vintage plant stand winds around and holds 6 potted flower plants in one small footprint. Add in the bird cage planter and the plants at the foot and there are 10 flower pots in a 3 foot space. Gardening on a deck just means thinking outside the box!
Who says you need a large yard for a big flower and veggie garden? Not me, that’s for sure.
I love my Flexogen hose set up! It is within about 10 feet of my water source and this makes it super easy to get just the right amount of water to the veggies. I have a corner near the deck where I keep the hose, and it’s ready to go when I am ready to water.
The durable adjustable spray nozzle makes watering a breeze. It is solid feeling in the hand, but the front trigger requires very little effort to get the water going. I love all the nozzle adjustments. It has everything from a fine mist to an energetic blast of water. The best part is the adjustable water flow with the twist of a button. It makes watering a cinch. The whole watering procedure of the garden from start to finish takes about 10 minutes at the most!
Growing the vegetables in pots also makes it easier for me to keep the water off the leaves. I can walk on the lawn around the edge of the deck, and the pots seem almost like raised garden beds. I can get the water right to the roots where it belongs.
Plant inspection is a cinch, and it will be super easy, later, for me to harvest at eye level. I am very excited to see how it goes during the summer months, and will be eager to share the progress with my readers.
I will be adding updates to this article and others as the summer progresses. Be sure to check back each month for the progress and find out whether I finally have a winning combination when it comes to vegetable gardening (or whether the squirrels will win again!) And be sure to check back in August for a wonderful Gilmour giveaway opportunity!
Be sure to have a look at the transformation of what used to be my vegetable garden last year. With the help of Gilmour, I have transformed this area into a wonderful Southwest themed garden bed.
Have you ever tried to grow vegetables in containers? What were your results? I would love to hear in the comments below.