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Vegetable Container Gardening

vegetable container gardening 1
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Vegetable Container Gardening

Happily, most vegetables aren’t fussy about what kind of vegetable container garden they grow in. The only basic requirements is that the vegetable container garden is large enough to hold the plant and that it has drainage holes so excess water can escape. When it comes to size, the bigger the pot is, the better, especially for beginners. The reason for this is that large pots hold more soil—and thus, hold moisture longer so you don’t have to water as much. Look for vegetable container gardens that are at least 10 inches wide and 12 inches deep. Large flowerpots, half barrels, plastic-lined bushel baskets, window boxes, planters, and large containers (like 5-gallon buckets) work just fine. Some vegetables need particularly large pots to grow in a vegetable container garden. Standard-size tomatoes and vining crops, such as cucumbers, will do best for you in containers 20 inches or more across. Peppers like pots at least 16 inches in diameter. In a pinch, most will still grow in a 5-gallon or larger container. If your vegetable container garden does not have drainage holes, you will need to add several. Use a 1/4-inch drill bit to create holes in the bottom or along the sides near the bottom. Line the bottom of the pot with screen or landscape cloth to prevent soil from spilling out of the holes. Plants that grow tall or produce vines—like tomatoes and cucumbers—will be more productive if grown up a support in a vegetable container garden. A wire cage, inserted into the container at planting time, will do. Use larger, heavier containers for trellised plants to minimize the risk of tipping.
vegetable container gardening 1

Vegetable Container Gardening

Your browser’s Javascript functionality is turned off. Please turn it on so that you can experience the full capabilities of this site. Burpee Seeds and Plants Home Tomatoes Container Vegetables /* * Writing breadcrumbs to the temporary storage */ monetateData.breadCrumbs = ; Areas of Interest Vegetables Annuals Perennials Herbs Fruit Organic Gardening Pests & Diseases Seed Starting Flower Gardening Tools & Resources Growing Zone Finder Regional Gardening Guide How-To Videos How-To Articles Encyclopedia Recipes Ratings & Reviews Container Vegetables No place to dig a garden? You can still grow your own food! You can raise substantial amounts of many edibles in containers on a patio, deck, porch or balcony. Container gardening has grown rapidly recently and we have developed an increasing number of compact and dwarf varieties intended to succeed in small spaces. Containers also make it easier for you to control the soil, light, water and fertilizer. Here are some tips for getting started with container vegetable gardening: Bigger is better. The greatest challenge of container vegetable growing is watering, since soil dries out faster in pots than in the ground. A larger volume of soil won’t dry out as fast, so choose the biggest pot you can. It’s fine to mix compatible plants in a single large pot. Make certain that any container has holes so excess water can drain away from the soil. Plan for watering. So-called “self-watering” containers have a reservoir beneath the soil topped with a grid through which the roots can reach down to the water. With these containers you won’t have to water as often, but you still have to keep that reservoir filled. And in the hot summer, mature plants will empty that reservoir fast, so you may have to fill it daily. Spread mulch over the soil in pots just as you would in a garden, to keep moisture from evaporating. Planning a summer vacation? It’s wise to stick to spring and fall crops, such as greens, peas and radishes, and let the pot garden go fallow while you’re gone. Start with herbs. They are easy, especially if you begin with transplants, and will add a fresh-grown taste to almost any meal. Just remember to give them the conditions they prefer. All herbs need full sun, but some, such as rosemary, prefer dryer soil and fewer nutrients; basil needs more fertilizer and watering. Move it. With pots, you may be able to finesse a sun shortage. Place a wheeled pot trolley (available in garden centers) under a large pot and move it to follow the sun. For example, move it into the sun in the morning; in the evening, when you want to sit on the patio, scoot it out of the way. Green up. Baby greens, such as lettuce and spinach, are perhaps the simplest vegetables to grow, beginning in spring when they will tolerate cool temperatures. Sow seeds right in the pot. They will take a week or more to sprout, but then will quickly reach a harvest size of three to four inches. Use scissors to snip off only the largest leaves and you can keep your harvest going for several weeks. Then pull out the plants and re-sow. Accept the challenge. Everybody loves tomatoes, but they take some work. For pots, seek out dwarf varieties that are “determinate”–meaning they will grow to a certain size, then stop and bear all their fruit in a few weeks. Choose cherry tomatoes or those with fruit no more than two inches across, and if you can, buy transplants rather than trying to start your first tomatoes from seed. You will need a large container, at least the size of a five-gallon bucket. Self-watering containers are wise because they even out the water and fertilizer supply and deter cracking, but you still will need to water frequently in summer. Tomatoes sprawl and the fruits get heavy, so provide a cage for all but the most dwarf determinate tomato varieties. Or install sturdy stakes when you plant and be attentive to tying new shoots to the stakes.
vegetable container gardening 2

Vegetable Container Gardening

How to Plant Vegetables in Containers Plant your vegetable container gardens the same time you would plant in the garden. Depending on what types of vegetable you want to grow, you can start seeds in your containers, grow transplants from seeds started indoors, or purchase transplants from a garden center. Here’s a hint: Start vegetable container garden crops such as beans, corn, carrots, radishes, and spinach, from seeds sown directly in the container. Regardless of whether you are planting seeds or transplants, thoroughly water the container before you plant. Soak the potting mix completely, then allow it to sit for a few hours to drain excess water. Plant seeds according to the package directions. Because not all seeds will germinate, plant more than you need, then thin the excess later. Set transplants at the same level they were growing in their pot (except for tomatoes, which you can strip off their lower leaves and plant them deeper in the container). After planting, water gently but thoroughly to settle the seeds or transplants. Keep the soil in your vegetable container garden from drying out as fast by mulching with straw, compost, leaf mold, or a similar material.
vegetable container gardening 3

Vegetable Container Gardening

Container Vegetables No place to dig a garden? You can still grow your own food! You can raise substantial amounts of many edibles in containers on a patio, deck, porch or balcony. Container gardening has grown rapidly recently and we have developed an increasing number of compact and dwarf varieties intended to succeed in small spaces. Containers also make it easier for you to control the soil, light, water and fertilizer. Here are some tips for getting started with container vegetable gardening: Bigger is better. The greatest challenge of container vegetable growing is watering, since soil dries out faster in pots than in the ground. A larger volume of soil won’t dry out as fast, so choose the biggest pot you can. It’s fine to mix compatible plants in a single large pot. Make certain that any container has holes so excess water can drain away from the soil. Plan for watering. So-called “self-watering” containers have a reservoir beneath the soil topped with a grid through which the roots can reach down to the water. With these containers you won’t have to water as often, but you still have to keep that reservoir filled. And in the hot summer, mature plants will empty that reservoir fast, so you may have to fill it daily. Spread mulch over the soil in pots just as you would in a garden, to keep moisture from evaporating. Planning a summer vacation? It’s wise to stick to spring and fall crops, such as greens, peas and radishes, and let the pot garden go fallow while you’re gone. Start with herbs. They are easy, especially if you begin with transplants, and will add a fresh-grown taste to almost any meal. Just remember to give them the conditions they prefer. All herbs need full sun, but some, such as rosemary, prefer dryer soil and fewer nutrients; basil needs more fertilizer and watering. Move it. With pots, you may be able to finesse a sun shortage. Place a wheeled pot trolley (available in garden centers) under a large pot and move it to follow the sun. For example, move it into the sun in the morning; in the evening, when you want to sit on the patio, scoot it out of the way. Green up. Baby greens, such as lettuce and spinach, are perhaps the simplest vegetables to grow, beginning in spring when they will tolerate cool temperatures. Sow seeds right in the pot. They will take a week or more to sprout, but then will quickly reach a harvest size of three to four inches. Use scissors to snip off only the largest leaves and you can keep your harvest going for several weeks. Then pull out the plants and re-sow. Accept the challenge. Everybody loves tomatoes, but they take some work. For pots, seek out dwarf varieties that are “determinate”–meaning they will grow to a certain size, then stop and bear all their fruit in a few weeks. Choose cherry tomatoes or those with fruit no more than two inches across, and if you can, buy transplants rather than trying to start your first tomatoes from seed. You will need a large container, at least the size of a five-gallon bucket. Self-watering containers are wise because they even out the water and fertilizer supply and deter cracking, but you still will need to water frequently in summer. Tomatoes sprawl and the fruits get heavy, so provide a cage for all but the most dwarf determinate tomato varieties. Or install sturdy stakes when you plant and be attentive to tying new shoots to the stakes.

Vegetable Container Gardening

Vegetable Container Gardening
Vegetable Container Gardening
Vegetable Container Gardening

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