Mistakes To Avoid When Growing Vegetables in Containers
Container gardening is a very exciting experience. It allows you to grow plants and vegetables in your own home and makes it much easier to take care of them.
However, many people, especially beginners, don’t even know how to get started. Or they make mistakes that prove to be costly when it comes to growing plants, especially vegetables in containers. Today we’re going to go over 4 common mistakes that you must avoid at all costs.
1. The Wrong Container
There are two ways to go wrong when it comes to the container for your vegetable plants. The first is with the size of the container, and the other is with the type of material the container is made of.
One of the many advantages of container gardening is that you can grow stuff in confined places and unconventional containers. That being said, the pots you’re growing the plants in should not be selected based on how small they are.
First take the plants into account, make sure they have enough room to grow and produce the desired vegetables. Sometimes, people will get confused as to why their plants are not producing any flowers or veggies at all. When all you need is larger containers.
For a guide on what pot size or container to get for your vegetable varieties take a look below:
- Bush beans – choose a large window box or a pot that’s at least 15 inches in diameter for best results
- Pole beans – the container should be at least 18 inches in diameter that’s the best way to achieve optimum growth.
- Tomato plant – the ideal pot size is 18-inch diameter for determinate tomatoes and 24-inch diameter for indeterminate tomatoes. The type of container can be anything from a bucket to a grow bag to a deep pot.
- Leaf lettuce – you can grow several varieties in 6 to 12 inch containers
- Hot peppers – a 5-gallon container that is at least 12 inches deep
- Sweet potatoes – container that is at least 16 inches in diameter and 16 inches deep
- Swiss chard – the container needs to be at least 8 inches deep and 12 inches wide
- Sweet peppers- choose a pot at least 12 inches in diameter
- Asian greens – containers that are at least 6-inches deep and hold 1 to 3 gallons of garden soil or potting soil
Double-check the size of your container because that can affect production. Then comes the type of material used to make the container.
Opt for something that is not toxic. Don’t use recycled plastic containers to grow these plants, as they can be toxic. Plastic would be ideal, but make sure it’s made of non-toxic material. Clay or terracotta would look good, but they aren’t that good for growing veggies as they tend to dry out more quickly.
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2. The Wrong Vegetables
Another major mistake that a lot of beginners make is planting veggies without knowing whether they’ll grow in the climate they are in.
Weather plays a huge role in the growth and production of plants, especially vegetables. You need to know which season they will grow in, and what type of weather conditions are needed for a better yield.
Say you’re in Jurupa Valley, Ca. and the weather in Jurupa Valley from March to June, and August to October, are ideal for growing carrots. Based on the current weather data, you would want to to plant them accordingly.
The temperature will vary from year to year, so will other conditions like rainfall, sunshine, etc. Unless you know that you can only grow carrots or lettuce during this time of the year in Jurupa, you will probably not get a proper yield or no yield at all from your efforts.
3. Not Knowing When or How to Water the Plants
Water is vital for growing any type of plant. However, there’s a limit to how much water you can give your plants. There is also a proper time for watering.
Again going back to the Jurupa Valley example, you’ll need to know the weather forecast so you don’t overwater or under-water the plants. So when it is raining heavily, and your containers are on your roof or on the porch, you don’t need to provide extra water.
Similarly, in case it is extremely hot outside and there is full sun, you might have to water only when there is a bit of shade or partial shade, if the temperature cools down a little. Otherwise, the water will evaporate rapidly causing your plants to not get the amount of water they need.
Good drainage is key to not having your plants drown and preventing root rot. You do this by having adequate drainage holes at the bottom of the container or bottom of the pot.
4. Pests and Diseases
Ignoring pest infestations or infections of any type is the worst mistake you can make while growing veggies in containers. Pests and diseases will ruin all your hard work.
Despite all your efforts to ensure a proper yield, your plants will suffer due to infections and diseases. So, you can’t ignore infestation and infection. Use pesticides in small amounts.
The moment you notice an infection, a rot of any sort, or a pest infested part of your plant, prune it and treat for it.
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Don’t let the disease or infection spread. Learn to identify the disease or pest by researching online.
There’s often no exact science to diagnosing the varying types of diseases and infestations. So you may have to dig into them and try to learn as much as you can.
Supplies you may need for growing plants in containers:
- Large pot
- Plastic pots
- Small pots
- Large containers
- Plastic buckets
- Ceramic pots
- Wooden containers
- Window boxes
- Potting mix
- Organic fertilizer
- Clay pots
- Liquid seaweed
- Granular fertilizer
- Small containers
- Peat moss
By making sure you’re not making any of these mistakes, you can successfully grow vegetables in containers, and rest assured that you’ll get an abundant harvest.
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