Release Your Inner Farmer: Container Vegetable Gardening
Container Vegetable Gardening or in ground gardening can easily bring out the inner farmer in you. After tilling the soil, watering the plants, and tending to them non-stop, you will reap the rewards once they bear fruit or are ready to be harvested.
Even if you don’t have a backyard to work in, you can still experience the pleasure of growing your own crops. All you need is a container, potting soil, and a spot in your house or on your porch or balcony.
Container gardening is becoming more and more popular. Many people are now appreciating the flexibility of growing vegetables in containers, especially if you lack the yard space.
Here are the must haves when choosing to container garden with vegetables:
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The Size Of The Container Matters
When it comes to choosing the size of the pot you will use in your Container Vegetable Gardening, the bigger the pot is, the better.
A large pot holds more soil. Because of this, it holds moisture longer so you don’t have to water the plant as much. Look for a vegetable container that is at least 10 inches wide and 12 inches deep.
There are some vegetables that need a much larger pot to grow. Tomatoes and cucumbers do best if the container is 20 inches or more. Since these plants grow taller or produce vines, there should be enough space to grow up a support. Placing a support in the container will help.
Choose The Right Location
A lot of vegetables like lots of sun, so, it’s a must to place your pots where they will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. South or west facing locations are the best spots.
To keep the plants out of cold and drying winds, choose a sheltered spot. Walls, hedges, and fences are good locations. You can also try to screen the pots to reduce any wind effects. If you don’t have a garden, you can also place the plants on your balcony or window ledge.
Type Of Soil To Use
When beginning Container Vegetable Gardening keep in mind that although vegetables are not fussy about what kind of pot they are in, they do care about the potting soil you use.
Vegetables will grow best in organic potting mixes. Not only that, your vegetables will also produce a better flavor.
You can save more money if you blend your own garden mix. Use equal parts potting soil, peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and gardening sand. You can also purchase ready-made ones. Don’t forget to use your compost when planting, too.
Fill the pot to within an inch or two of the rim.
Water As Needed
Since the vegetables will not have access to moisture below the ground, watering should be your number one priority. During hot sunny days, they can easily dry out within hours, resulting in wilting. Especially if you live in Texas where I live.
Water plants thoroughly in the early morning or late afternoon. Make sure not to just wet the surface, you need to make sure it also soaks down the roots.
If you want a more convenient option, install drip irrigation.
Feed The Plants
To keep your vegetables fed for the whole growing season, use a slow release or complete organic fertilizer.
Sprinkle organic fertilizer in the soil before or after planting. But, be careful! Remember not to over-fertilize as the plants will grow too quickly, get too soft, and the flavor will not be as intense.
Feed your plants once a week with a water-soluble fertilizer. Keep the soil from drying out as fast by mulching them with straw, compost, or other similar materials.
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Install A Plant Support
Support your climbing vegetables by installing cages, netting, twine, stakes or trellises.
Use a teepee of bamboo stakes for your peas. For your cucumbers to develop fruits that hang down and grow straight, let the plant climb up a nylon mesh fence.
Top Vegetables For Containers And Pots
There are a variety of vegetables that you can grow in pots and containers:
- Green Beans
- Swiss chard
- Summer Squash
- Winter Squash
Additional Care Tips For Container Vegetable Gardening
- Clay pots look more attractive than plastic containers. However, plastic pots retain moisture better. They also don’t dry out as fast as terra cotta ones. If you want the best of both worlds, plant your vegetables in a plastic container then plant that pot it in a larger clay pot.
- When sitting in the sun, black pots absorb heat more and can dry out faster.
- To keep the plants cool and moist, especially during hot summer days, double pot. Place the pot in a larger one then fill the space between them with crumpled newspaper or sphagnum moss. When you’re watering the plant, also soak the filler between the two pots.
- Other than making use of your extra space, use hanging baskets for your cherry tomatoes, herbs, and strawberries. Growing these plants at eye level can make tending and harvesting a lot easier.
- Improve drainage by adding 1 inch of coarse gravel at the bottom of the container.
- Add trace elements to container soil by adding an occasional application of fish emulsion or compost.
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You can make your own vegetable garden even without a backyard. Thanks to pots and containers, you can now harvest and eat your own vegetables grown indoors or out at home.
Do you enjoy Container Vegetable Gardening? Which vegetable do you find the easiest to tend?
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