20 DIY Container Garden Ideas for Vegetables and Herbs

container gardening Jan 26, 2024
20 DIY Container Ideas for Vegetables

Do you want to grow vegetables and herbs but only have a limited space? Growing in containers is a great way to maximize your space.

When I grow in containers, I like to get the most bang for my buck, so I build a one-bucket self-watering system that has all the fertilizer added for the season and my vegetables love it. It's called the Burkey Bucket, named after an extension agent that has now passed. You can download the instructions and build your own for under $20.

Image Credit: Rescue My Plant

This blog was created to provide you with an additional 20 ideas for container gardening with vegetables and herbs. Links are added with DIY instructions so you can make it yourself. 

1. One Pot Herb Garden

Growing herbs is easy to grow along with other vegetables you’re growing. We found this One-pot herb garden idea on Southern Living fascinating for urban gardeners.

Image Credit: Southern Living

2. One Pot Vegetable Garden

This one-pot vegetable garden idea is perfect if you don’t have space to set up a container garden. It is also useful for those who have a small balcony or open window that receives full sun.

Giving each plant enough room to grow is key. Use a large container with drainage holes, or drill your own; this trough measured roughly 2 feet tall by 2 feet wide by 3 feet long.

See some recipes for this one pot vegetable garden at Sunset.

Image Credit: Sunset

3. Vertical Lettuce Planter

I love this project done by Bonnie Plants, and why not? You can grow fresh herbs and greens easily in a limited space by following this idea.

They have a step-by-step DIY article on this for you to look at, check out!

Image Credit: Bonnie Plants

4. Vertical Garden with Drip Watering System

If you want to get serious about your vertical gardening, you're going to want to check out this project. In just an hour, with a little help from some power tools, you'll have the body of the garden built. A drip watering system is then added for irrigation so you don't have to worry about forgetting to water.

This focuses on the irrigation system but there is also a link to build the planter inside the post by Houseful of Handmade.

Image Credit: Houseful of Handmade

5. Grow in an 18 Gallon Storage Container

Using an 18 gallon or similar storage container to grow you plants may not be as attractive as using a clay or fancy pot but it is by no means ugly. What you sacrifice in the way of the round more attractive containers, you gain back 10 fold in the productivity and health of your tomato and vegetable plants.

The Rusted Garden Journal share how to create these easy-to-maintain containers. Get your DIY instructions for it here.

Image Credit: Rusted Garden Journal

6. Grow Potatoes in a Trash Can

Grow an abundance of potatoes in a simple trash can. This is an easy way to provide your potato plants with lots of depth so that they grow potatoes throughout the space.

Hope Gardens shows this easy technique in action. See the DIY instructions here.

Image Credit: Hope Gardens

7. Build a Double Bucket System

Create a simple double-bucket self-watering container. This design doesn't require quite as many tools as my Burkey Buckets and provides extra soil room for the plant.

Simply add water to the pipe to water the plant and it has a reservoir so you don't have to water as often. Get the DIY Instructions from this Popular Science post.

8. Grow Upside Down Tomatoes

Growing tomatoes upside down in buckets or hanging baskets, not only lets you take advantage of limited space, but also keeps you from having to stake tomatoes or dealing with certain pests like cutworms.

These are particularly good for tomatoes such as cherry and Roma tomatoes. Rural Sprout has some designs for buckets or hanging baskets here, as well as some commercial products.

Image Credit: Rural Sprout

9. Vertical Pallet Garden on Wheels

If you want to have a small herb garden that is closer to the house, then you can repurpose a pallet to create a garden that is free standing and moveable. Roeshel from DIY Showoff creates a gorgeous rolling garden from a pallet. Get her tutorial here.

Image Credit:

10. Pallet Herb Garden

You can also plant directly into the spaces of old pallets. In this simple DIY project, you upcycle by covering the pallet in landscape fabric and staple it on. Find out how Jen Around the World creates this garden with these DIY instructions.

Although this is for herbs, many other small vegetables and fruits could be grown this way like leafy greens and strawberries. You'll want to make sure this garden is well watered.

Image Credit: Jen Around the World

11. Freestanding Herb Garden

If you wanted to add some vertical garden support, but still wanted the convenience of growing in pots, you can create a support system using an old pallet. This one is prettied up to fit nicely in the garden.

Get the DIY instructions from Pink When.

Image Credit: Pink When

12. Rainbow Wooden Crate Garden

Here's another unique DIY vertical garden and this one looks great out by a fence. The crates are painted all different colors to give them some real interest, but you could take a more neutral take if you'd like. The crates are attached and then ready for flowers, vegetables, or herbs.

Find out how to make this colorful garden at The Paper Mama here.

Image Credit: The Paper Mama

13. Hanging Gutter Garden

Gutter gardens are a great way to take advantage of the vertical spaces around your home to grow flowers, edibles and create a stylish space divider or privacy screen without spending too much money.

Goods Home Design shares how to make these elegant gardens. Get the instructions here.

Image Credit: Goods Home Design

14. Free-standing Hanging Gutter Garden

This vertical garden is also free-standing, making it easy to move anywhere. If you have plants that need to be moved into the shade for a while each day, this might be a great solution.

If you don't have an area to hang planters, building a stand may be best. Here are instructions by Her Tool Belt.

Image Credit: Her Tool Belt

15. Garden Tower from a Barrel

If you like garden towers that compost kitchen scraps, but don't like the hefty price tag, you can create your own from a plastic barrel.

This design takes more time to make, but you will be rewarded with natural fertilizer and an abundance of places to plant. This design has a small footprint perfect for limited area.

Get the DIY instructions from Backyard Boss.

Image Credit: Backyard Boss

16. DIY Earth Box

If you like the idea of Earth boxes, but don't like the price tag, you can make your own version. This uses a plastic container with the inside of the top cut out. Add a pipe and you have a self-watering Earth Box.

Find out how to make these at Baking in Sunshine here.

Image Credit: Baking in Sunshine

17. Laundry Basket Garden

You can use laundry baskets for container gardening. How cool is that? One laundry basket alone can yield 8-10 pounds of potatoes. Who knew gardening could be so simple? If you really want to go all out, you can even create an entire laundry basket garden with tomatoes, herbs, and more. This is such a creative idea for people with a limited amount of garden space.

The Chic Burlap Boutique shares how to make laundry baskets look classy. Get the instructions here.

Image Credit: The Chic Burlap Boutique

18. Hanging Basket Garden

If you have some cute baskets that you found, you can make them into a garden with a vertical element.

This is great for balconies or patios. Find the instructions here by A Beautiful Mess.

Image Credit: A Beautiful Mess

19. Hanging Basket Container Arrangement

Don’t cast out the idea of growing herbs and vegetables in hanging baskets. Tomatoes, strawberries, many other vegetables, and herbs can be grown in hanging baskets successfully. It also creates space!

Credit: HGTV

20. PVC Elbow Joint Vertical Garden

If you have a fence wall and want to add a bit of color, you can create these small planters made of PVC elbows. This is easy to make, and you can paint it to match your decor.

Find out how to make these at The Kim Six Fix here.

Image Credit: The Kim Six Fix

That's it! When it comes to any container garden, make sure you have a plan to properly water them or they will be short lived.

If you feel like you kill every container plant you have, check out my Container Grown Goodness mini-course for both beginner and more advanced container gardening techniques for vegetables and herbs. By applying the training and making use of the resources provided with the course, your confidence and skills will grow and you will bring more food to the table.

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