Containers for Starting a Deck Garden

starting a deck garden




When starting a deck garden, you must have containers. It’s just part of the whole deal. In my case, I used 18 gallon Rubbermaid storage containers. They are rugged enough to hold the weight of a lot of dirt and plants as well as flexible enough to expand without cracking or breaking.

Filling the Containers with Empty Bottles When Starting a Deck Garden

starting a deck gardenThe book I read on starting a container vegetable garden recommended punching some holes in the bottom of each deck container so that excess water could easily flow out. I punched eight holes in each container with a 3/8″ drill.  The book also recommended using something to take up space in the deck container as not all of the plants required 12″ of soil. We saved our plastic drink bottles for a couple of months so that we’d have a sufficient number of empties to work with.

Larger Fillers for Your Deck Garden Containers

starting a deck garden

I also like pickles so we saved those plastic jars and used them as well. I think it’s important to note at this point in starting a deck garden that each plant species has a different depth requirement. Do a little research so that you have just enough soil depth without having too much soil. I promise you, it will be very important in the next step!

Potting Soil or Garden Soil Mix in Your Deck Vegetable Garden

starting a deck garden

Rather than buy the expensive bagged dirt from Home Depot for the Deck Containers, I elected to buy some really good compost soil from a local garden supply store. I have more than I need and it was less than $20. Buying bagged dirt would have cost well over $100!

Lessons Learned Starting a Deck Garden

The first lesson I learned is to plan ahead.  Do your research and think through what you want to accomplish and then make a plan.  This will make it much easier and less expensive to reach your goals.  For example, if you think through the weight of an 18 gallon container filled with dirt, you’ll realize that it will weigh approximately 125 pounds – that’s a lot of weight to move.  Also, if you plan ahead, you will save a ton of money on the cost of the potting soil by purchasing it from a local farmer rather than in bags from the store.  That said, you’re going to need some method to either get it delivered or transport it yourself.  Next time, I’ll talk in more detail about filling the containers for starting a deck garden and getting them up to the deck.


The containers you choose will be integral in stating your own deck garden.  Before deciding, be sure to learn more about raised garden beds and planter boxes.