Container gardens deliver big yields in small spaces

Think you need a big space to grow your own food? Think again.

Containers on your patio or deck, balcony or stoop can yield plenty of food and beauty.

There are many advantages to container gardens. Obviously, they’re great for anyone with limited space. They’re inexpensive. Plus, there’s no digging or tilling.

Containers limit bending, a plus for us — ahem — of an age. They work well in areas with poor soil or persistent soil-borne disease. They’re moveable and largely weed free.

The sunny spot is also a must. Now vegetables need full sun, at least six hours a day. A few cool-season plants like lettuce grow best in spring and fall or in less sun or the shade of taller plants.

What containers work best? Those with drainage holes. Other than that, you’re limited only by your imagination. Think half barrels, crocks, clay pots and hanging baskets. Use what you have, hit a garden center or go online.