Root Depth: What Size Should The Container Be?
Whether you're using containers, building raised beds over a surface that prevents root growth, inter-planting, or wondering how deep to prepare the soil, knowing the general root depth of a plant can be very helpful information - especially important for those of us who work with limited space.
Should you be dealing with limited space, keep in mind you don't really need to accommodate every possible inch of root growth, only where the plant's roots are the most heavily concentrated. For example, some of a tomato plant's roots may go down 4 feet, but most of the roots are no deeper than 2 feet, so the tomato will grow fine in a 2 foot deep container.
-Maximum depth of 12-16 inches, doesn't need more than 12 inches
Blueberries - Roots are very shallow, but grow about 2 feet wide
Corn - Shallow, but roots spread about 20 inches wide
Lettuce - Very shallow, can be grown with only 4-6 inches of depth
Radish - Very shallow, can be grown with only 4-6 inches of depth
Spinach - Very shallow, can be grown with only 4-6 inches of depth
Strawberries - Roots are very shallow, but grow about 1 foot laterally
Most Herbs (basil, chive, cilantro, mint, oregano, parsley, tarragon, thyme)
-Maximum depth of 16-24 inches, doesn't need more than 16 inches
Beans - Roots grow about 10 inches wide
Cucumber - Roots grow about 20 inches wide
-Maximum depth of 36+ inches, requires at least 24 inches
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