Containers: There are a variety of planters to choose from at almost every store. Some places to shop for your planter are discount stores, department stores, greenhouses, or even garage sales. When looking for containers make keep in mind what you want to plant. Tomato plants will take a deeper container than lettuce. A rule of thumb is that the taller/bigger the plant the more space the roots will need to spread.
Soil: Although a lot of people pay special attention to the container and the plants, many forget to think about soil. However, Soil is the most important part of container gardening as it provides your plant with food and water. You will want a potting soil that drains well for your soil. Greenhouses provide some of the best soil for your containers. Garden soil or top soil is not recommended.
Plants: When picking out the variety of plants, remember that most plant varieties are designed for planting in the soil. Although there are an increasing number of what is called patio, bush, or container varieties. Look for these one of these varieties when you are planting tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, summer squash, or other vining or tall plants. They will be easier to manage and require a smaller container than the 'normal' varieties.
Placement: Now that you have your containers planted, you need to find a place to set them. Most vegetables require at least six to eight hours of sunlight, so you will want to avoid setting them too close to your house on the north. If you have more than one planter, leave some space between them for the plant to vine or spread over the side of the container.
Water: It is important to water your patio planters often, depending on the temperature. Using the shower setting on a spray nozzle, water each planter for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. You can probably water every other day unless the temperature is over 85 degrees. Don't water if the soil is still moist. Over watering can be a problem just like under watering your vegetables.
You too can have a perfect patio planter by remembering to take into consideration your container, the soil, varieties of plants, placing your containers in sunlight, and watering correctly. The only thing left to do is to reap your rewards by harvesting your vegetables.