Online Course: How to grow your own fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs in containers.

Grow Anywhere | Harvest Anytime


Transform your balcony, patio, yard or rooftop into a green edible space.

And harvest delicious and nutritious food whenever you want.

This course is for beginners or anyone who wants to master the basics of growing successfully in containers. It will give you the knowledge and the confidence to grow strong, healthy plants. From planning to essential growing skills, you will learn everything you need for success.  


Mark Ridsdill Smith Balcony

The Course is in two stages.

Stage 1 is weekly lessons, Stage 2 is monthly lessons for ongoing support.

Stage 1: Master the Basics 

Four weekly lessons and projects in March to get you set up and ready for a successful growing season. In these lessons you will:

Plan What to Grow

Learn what grows best in containers, how much sun and what container size each need, and when to sow them.

Learn The Essential Skills 

Including how to water and feed your plants and how to grow healthy seedlings from seed.

Design, Plan, Prepare

Design and sketch an initial plan for your container garden - and get everything you need ready for the growing season.  

Grow Healthy Plants

Learn how to grow strong, healthy plants and minimise pest damage using organic techniques. 

Stage 2: Get Growing!

Monthly lessons and Q&As from April to July

These lessons will give you ongoing advice, support and encouragement as you start to grow! And you will: 

Grow some of the best crops

Sow and grow potatoes, tomatoes, courgettes / zucchini, rocket / arugula; lettuce; French beans; mint; spring onions / scallions, and herbs.

Develop Your Growing Skills

Including how to pinch out tomatoes, how to deal with different pests, and how to support plants in containers.

Ask Questions / Get Support

Share your progress (successes and challenges) and ask Mark questions from April to July. 

Key Elements of the Course

  • Eight Zoom lessons over five months for ongoing support. Join live or listen to the recordings anytime. 
  • Additional 'how to' videos filmed in my container garden. 
  • Practical activities and projects: plan, design and grow!
  • Ask Mark your questions on the Course Website at any time or in the live Zoom sessions.
  • Meet others and share your progress on the course website.
Windowsill herbs

Online Course: How to grow your own fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs in containers.

Grow Anywhere | Harvest Anytime

Cost: Early Bird until 9 March: £120 or three monthly payments of £40. 

After 9 March: £150 or three monthly payments of £50 

Enrolment closes on 16 March 

Enrol in Course

Course Details and Dates

Below is a more detailed outline of each lesson. 

Recordings of each lesson will be available within 48 hours, and can be downloaded onto your phone or tablet if you choose.

Part 1: Mastering the Basics

Weekly lessons from 6 March - 27 March.  Each Zoom lesson runs three times (and is recorded to listen to anytime). 

  • Wednesdays at 1pm GMT / 7am CT AND repeated on 
  • Wednesday at 7pm GMT  / 1pm CT, AND repeated
  • on Saturday at 3.45pm GMT / 9.45am CT

Wednesday 6 March, repeated on Saturday 9 March

  • Overview of course.
  • The Eight Steps to Success Summary.
  • How Sun Determines what you can grow.
  • The most worthwhile - and easiest - crops for containers.
  • Exercise: Observe your space.

Wednesday 13 March & Saturday 16 March

  • What to sow when.
  • What type & size of container?
  • How to Select a Good potting mix.
  • How to grow healthy plants from Seed.
  • Exercise: Decide what you want to grow and when you will sow it. 
  • Sow pea shoots. 

Wednesday 20 March & Saturday 23 March

  • How to design your growing space
  • Exercise: Draw an initial plan of your garden.
  • When & how to water and why drainage is important.
  • How to move plants from pot to pot successfully.
  • Exercise: repot a supermarket mint plant. 

Wednesday 27 March & Saturday 6 April

  • How and when to feed your plants in containers.
  • Common pests and diseases and how to manage them. 
  • How to grow healthy plants & recap of the eight steps. 
  • Sow: tomatoes inside. 

Part 2: Get Growing!

One lesson a month, where I show you how to sow good crops for that month, offer other seasonal tips, and answer any questions. All lessons are at 7pm BST / 1pm CT; the last lesson is also repeated on Saturday at 3.45 pm BST / 9.45 CT.

Wednesday April 17th & Saturday April 20th

  • Grow together: sow rocket / arugula, lettuces, potatoes, spring onions / scallions and more tomatoes. Lots of sowing this month!
  • How to support tall plants in containers (important or the stems break!). 
  • How to harvest and the different techniques.

Wednesday May 15th & Saturday May 18th

  • Grow together: sow courgettes / Zucchini and French / Green beans or Runner / Pole beans.
  • How to reuse a potting mix. 

Wednesday June 19th & Saturday June 22nd

  • How to make a potting mix for herbs. 
  • How to grow from cuttings.
  • Plant a variety of herbs. 
  • Q&A, seasonal tips - and a check it to see how everything is growing. 

Wednesday July 10th & Saturday July 13th

  • In this last session, we will review how your growing has gone, and answer your outstanding questions.
  • If you can't join live, send in your questions and I will record an answer for you. 
  • What to sow in August and September. 
  • Sow now: kale and chard for autumn and winter. 

Mark Ridsdill Smith

Meet Mark, Your Tutor

I have been running container gardening workshops for over 13 years, and teaching online for over 10. I have learnt what people find difficult about growing and how to explain it in clear, simple ways. I also understand the challenges of growing in the city, not least lack of space, lack of sun, and lack of time! 

I have extensive experience of growing in containers at home, including on a balcony, window sills, in various rental properties, and currently in a front yard. I've also learnt a lot from professional food growers, and the Vertical Veg community of container gardeners, who grow in cities all over the world.

My book, the Vertical Veg Guide to Container Gardening, won the 2023 award for the Best Practical Gardening book. The judges praised it as 'very accessible' and the 'most comprehensive' guide they had seen. 

I adore growing at home in containers, and it makes me very happy to share my learning with others - and I'd love to help you make a successful start!

Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the questions people most frequently ask:

How much sun do you need to grow food successfully?

You need at least three hours a day in the summer. While it's possible to grow some crops in less than that, the choice gets more limited. If you have less than three hours sun, I recommend taking my microgreens course first as these are a good option in less sun. 

How much time do I need to do the course?

You'll need about two hours a week for Part 1 - one hour to watch the lessons and one hour for the follow up work.  Part 2 will require about 2 hours a month to watch the lesson and sow the seeds. You'll also want to allow a day or two to create your container garden, and a few minutes each day to water it.  

Can I grow inside?

Yes you can, and many of the principles I teach in this course will apply. However, you may be better off looking for a course that is tailored more specifically to indoor growing (this one isn't). 

How much experience is needed to take the course?

The course is designed for complete beginners and all those who have had difficulties growing successfully. That said, feedback from more experienced gardeners is that they often learn lots from my introductory courses, too! 

Vertical Veg

“Well structured presentation, kept simple, beautiful and inspiring photos – and absolutely encouraging.”

Online Introductory Workshop for Bio Balcony in Germany

Vertical Veg

“I have just watched the workshop and it was fantastic!
Really well done, Mark. Very informative and extremely helpful going forward”

Online Workshop for Capital Growth in London

Vertical Veg

“As a recent convert to balcony gardening, Mark provided an analytical structure that I am confident will help me to take my growing to the next level. Not only wonderfully clear but the session was also presented with a wonderfully engaging and unassuming personality!”

Workshop at Regents Park Allotments, London

Online Course: How to grow your own fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs in containers.

Grow Anywhere | Harvest Anytime

Cost: Early Bird until 9 March: £120 or three monthly payments of £40. 
After 9 March: £150 or three monthly payments of £50 

Enrolment closes on 16 March