Vegetable Container Gardening Ideas: What About Beginners?
If you are new into gardening, going grand and starting with a full-scale garden can be scary and probably not successful. If you want to start a garden and you’re still a beginner, these vegetable container gardening ideas will be a great stepping stone. I use containers of all shapes and sizes all over in my garden. I don’t have much that I grow directly in the ground, that’s why I think these container garden ideas are so handy.
Container vegetable gardening isn’t just for beginners. If you live in an apartment and you don’t have enough room to start a garden, it’s your only way to grow plants. If you live in a place where soil is a major problem, container gardening is the best way to enjoy fresh vegetables and herbs.
For me, this year I had a few vegetable container gardening ideas and decided that I am going to grow a few things indoors that have given me issues in the past years. Any kind of squash I try I lose out to the Squash Vine Borer – even the ones that say they are resistant :/ so, I am going to try them indoors this year.
Another one I have issues with outside are cucumbers, they grow beautiful vines and look great and then the cucumbers start and … nothing… they fizzle, dry up, or they end up in a very weird shape “J” shape with a fat ball like shape on one end and a very thin hook on the other….
My feeling is that there’s a bug of some sort outside that is causing some sort of virus. So, to combat that, this year I am growing a bush variety cucumber in the house.
What Is Vegetable Container Gardening?
From its name, container gardening is the practice of growing plants in different containers. Instead of planting the plants in the ground, they are grown in boxes, baskets, barrel, or tubs indoors or out.
Container gardening includes planting both edible and non-edible plants. It is suitable for people who want to give gardening a try, but, have limited time or space or those who live in places where the soil is not suitable for planting. Or those, like me, who have issues with insects outdoors and want to grow inside.
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Why Should You Give It A Try?
There are several advantages to giving these vegetable container gardening ideas a try.
You need a lot of water when you’re maintaining a whole garden. If you have a limited water supply or you want to lead a greener lifestyle, this type of gardening is a good option.
Fewer Pest Issues
Since the plants are in containers, it is easier to move them around. This makes life difficult for diseases or pests that find safety in the soil of your garden.
This means you can enjoy gardening and spend more time taking care of your plants than finding ways on how to remove the pests from your garden.
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It’s convenient to care for your plants and easier to harvest the edible ones, too. I have spinach on my porch in a container and I can pick it up and put it on a table and clip exactly what I need, instead of kneeling or stooping in the garden just to get enough for a salad.
Perfect Starter For Kids
These Vegetable Container Gardening Ideas will simplify the process, making it a great way to bond or start a hobby with the family.
How To Start
If you’re new to growing vegetables or herbs in containers, don’t worry, here are a few tips to help you succeed in your first hands-on gardening experience.
Select The Container
Select a container as large as possible, for the plant you’ve chosen. Smaller containers tend to dry out quickly. They may need daily watering, too. Plus, you may need to later move your plant if you’ve used a container that is too small.
You might also want to think about the weight of the container. Once the pot is filled with wet soil, it’s going to be very heavy.
There are a lot of pot varieties that you can use:
Terracotta pots are the most common pots used in gardens. They can be heavy to maneuver and breakable. They can be a bit expensive to purchase, too.
Ceramic pots are less expensive than terracotta pots. They are durable and come in different colors. However, they can also be a bit heavy and difficult to move around.
If you are starting on a budget, plastic pots are a great option. They’re durable, inexpensive, and easy to move around.
Most importantly, you need to think about the depth of the container. There are plants that have a deep root system. If there is no adequate space for them to grow, they will become unhealthy and stunted.
Plus, the deeper the pot, the larger the reservoir of the moist soil. This means you need to water your plant less often.
Choose The Right Potting Mix
Once you fill your containers with soil or potting mix, do not use soil from your garden or bagged topsoil.
You should use a potting mix that can resist compaction and retain moisture. These potting mixes contain a liberal amount of granular organic fertilizers which will make your plants grow healthier.
Placing Your Container
A lot of vegetables require at least six hours of sunlight in a day. But, herbs and salad greens can get by with a lesser light source.
If your place is short on sun, you can place your plants on caddies or add casters. You can move them during the day or follow the angle of the sun, in case of changes. You can also buy grow lights, if you need them. I use grow lights because I don’t have a good place for plants and sun to meet indoors :).
Another factor to consider is wind. We have A LOT of wind here in Texas and it can BEAT up a seedling in no time. Your plants should be placed in a location where the wind doesn’t dry out their foliage. You may use a temporary windbreak made from plastic or fabric or use the shelter of a building. Arrange the pots, too, so the larger plants can shield the smaller plants. It also helps raise the humidity levels of the plants, keeping them more productive. Just be sure they get enough air through them to keep them from getting too wet. They need moisture, but, not to be wet so they don’t get mold.
Water Your Container Garden
Plants need a consistent supply of water. So these Vegetable Container Gardening Ideas are great for filling that need.
To ensure that your vegetable garden has a consistent water supply, you may use a self-watering planter. This is best for beginners as you need to fill the reservoir every few days and the plants will absorb the moisture that they need. This is my favorite way of growing anything. I use watering systems outside and inside that allow the plants to take up the water they need, when they need it.
Feed The Plants With Fertilizer
Since the plants are in an “alternative” growing place, fertilizer is important to help them grow healthier. Since you are watering your plants a lot, every time you water them, you wash some nutrients from the soil.
Mix a granular organic fertilizer into the soil when planting then feed your plants with a water-soluble fertilizer.
You might also want to use compost as a mulch and that way every time they are watered they get more of the important nutrients in the compost:
Use our Mulch Calculator to find out how much you’ll need for your next project:
What Are The Plants You Can Grow In Your Container Garden?
A lot of people don’t realize that container gardening can be as good as having your own mini garden on your terrace, veranda, or porch. There are a lot of edible and non-edible plants that you can grow such as these
Vegetable Container Gardening Ideas:
- Green Beans
- Dwarf trees
Bonus Tips To Keep In Mind
Unlike traditional gardens, vegetable container gardens cannot hold as much moisture. You need to check your plants everyday and give them water as needed.
If you have more budget to spare, consider investing in a self-watering bulb or a drip irrigation system, especially if your containers are close together. You can also use self-watering pots.
Keep The Soil Aerated
Instead of pressing the soil down, keep it fluffy and aerated.
Aerated soil drains better. You want your soil to drain well to boost the plant’s health.
Add A Trellis
Another one of the important Vegetable Container Gardening Ideas is a trellis. Many veggies need a spot to sprawl out. Consider adding a trellis.
A trellis keeps the plant contained and supported. It also aids in the overall health and production of your plant.
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Now that you know have read over these Vegetable Container Gardening Ideas, you can start growing your own container vegetable garden!
Container gardening is not complicated. As long as you know the basics and you are committed to growing your plants, you will soon find success in it!
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Do you have any great Vegetable Container Gardening Ideas? If so, please share them with us, we’d love to hear them!
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