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Vegetable Container Gardening Tips
It is easy to have a great harvest with vegetable container gardening. Many vegetables are well suited to growing in pots on the patio or balcony. Select varieties which remain smalls such as patio tomatoes, herbs, lettuce, spinach, and other low-growing plants.
Prepare the containers be ensuring proper drainage is available. There should be a hole or several holes in the bottom of the container. You can also add a layer of clean stones in the container bottom to increase drainage. Vegetable container gardening requires that you do not allow your plants to sit in water which has drained out of the pot after applying water.
When using commercial potting mix, place it the containers loosely. Pack around the plants firmly but do not compress to the point that water will not readily drain through the soil.
Commercial potting soil does not require fertilization right away. Wait one month before applying a weak solution of fertilizer. Most potting mix has plenty of nutrition in the soil to begin the growing season.
As your plants grow, whether from seeds or seedlings, ensure they are properly supported. Tomatoes which grow taller need to have a stake for each plant so that the stalk will not break from the weight of the limbs and fruit.
Water your vegetable container garden only when the soil is dry when a finger is inserted to a depth of one full inch. Insert your finger up to the second knuckle and feel whether moisture is present. If the plants are dry, water deeply. If the soil is moist, delay water application for another day or two.
Place your containers in proper sunlight. Each seedling or seed package will explain how much sun is required for the best results. For vegetable container gardening indoors, you will probably need to provide grow lights to have the best possible harvest.
As fruits and vegetables mature, remove them as they ripen for optimal flavor. You will enjoy a harvest of each variety for several weeks and can preserve some of your harvests by freezing. Plant as many vegetables as your space allows ensuring you have fresh, produce for the entire season and preserved, healthy vegetables during the winter months.
If growing vegetables indoors, you are not limited by seasons. Container vegetable gardening can be done all year long as long as sufficient light is available.
Vegetable container gardening tips
Vegetable container gardening tips for people who live in an apartment, condominium, or mobile home. They do not grow a vegetable garden because space is not on hand for a garden plot. Lack of yard space is no reason for not gardening since many kinds of vegetables can be grown in containers.
In addition to providing five hours or more of full sun, consideration must be given to picking the proper container, using a first-rate soil mix, planting and spacing necessities, fertilizing, watering, and variety of vegetable selection.
Containers are offered in many different sizes, shapes, and materials. Every container, whether clay, wood, plastic, or ceramic, should have a sufficient number of holes in the bottom for good drainage. Supplementary holes should be drilled in containers that do not drain rapidly after each watering.
Drainage is reduced when the container is set on a solid surface such as cement or a patio floor. Raising the container one or two inches off the floor by setting it on pieces of wood will solve this drainage problem.
Vegetable container gardening tips for planting and spacing requirements for most vegetables can be found on the seed sachet or plant label. A container can maintain only a definite number of plants, therefore, it is important to limit the number of plants based on the container size and the final size of the plant at maturity. Constantly plant more seed than needed in each container, because there is hardly ever 100% germination and appearance. After the seeds have sprouted and foliage of seedlings is touching, thin plants to the desired number.
Vegetable Gardening Container
The vegetable size will determine the size of the container. Usually, most vegetables grown in the soil can be grown in containers as long as ample space is provided for root growth. Shallow-rooted crops like lettuce, peppers, radishes, and herbs need a container at least 6 inches in diameter with seven-inch soil depth. Bushel baskets, half barrels, wooden tubs, or large pressed paper containers are ideal for growing tomatoes, squash, beans, and cucumbers.
The idyllic planting medium for containers should give rapid drainage with enough water retention to keep the root zone uniformly moist. The majority of container gardeners have found that a soil-less potting mix works best. Vegetable container gardening tips for the addition to draining quickly, soilless mixes are lightweight and free from soil-borne diseases and weed seeds.
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These mixes can be bought from garden centers in numerous sizes under many brand names.
The do-it-yourselfer can make a planting mix by mixing equal parts of sand, loamy garden soil, and peat moss. The mix must be heated in an oven for about 1 hour at 230o F to kill any bacteria, fungi, insects, or weed seeds. vegetable gardening items Regular fertilization applications using a comprehensive analysis should be followed narrowly since soilless mixes contain little if any nutrients. There are many kinds of specifically formulated fertilizers available.
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The most widespread formulations are 5-10-10 and 10-10-10. Time-release fertilizer that releases nutrients over a period of time can also be used. Because many gardeners are heavy-handed when it comes to applying fertilizer, it might be to the plant’s benefit to apply fertilizer at half the label’s recommendation two times as often.
Vegetable container gardening tips for watering is one of the most significant jobs a container gardener will do. A number of vegetables need watering each day, depending on container size and weather conditions. The finest way to water is with a watering can or sprayer attachment on a garden hose. Be certain the water is cool before applying it to the vegetables, particularly if the hose sits in the sun. Hot water does not stimulate root growth.
Plant breeders have helped to make container vegetable gardening more convenient by breeding plants with compact growth habits and relatively high crop yield. Just about any vegetable can be tailored to container culture.
The following is a listing of some of the widespread container-grown vegetables, container sizes, and recommended varieties:
- Beans, Snap / 5 gal window box / Bush Romano, Bush Blue Lake
- Beans, Lima / 5 gal window box / Henderson Bush, Jackson, Wonder Bush
- Beets / 5 gal window box / Little Egypt, Early Red Ball
- Broccoli 1 plant/5 gal pot; 3 plants/15 gal tub / Green Comet
- Brussels Sprouts / plant/5 gal pot; 2 plants/15 gal tub / Jade Cross
- Cabbage / 1 plant/5 gal pot; 3 plants / 15 gal tub / Dwarf Morden, Red Ace, Early Jersey Wakefield
- Chinese Cabbage / 1 plant/5 gal pot; 3 plants/15 gal tub / Michihili, Burpee Hybrid
- Carrot / 5 gal window box at least 12 inches deep / Short & Sweet, Danvers Half Long, Tiny Sweet
- Cucumber / 1 plant/gal pot / Patio Pik, Spacemaster, Pot Luck
- Eggplant / 5 gal pot / Slim Jim, Ichiban, Black Beauty
- Lettuce / 5 gal window box / Salad Bowl, Ruby
- Onion / 5 gal window box / White Sweet Spanish, Yellow Sweet Spanish
- Pepper / 1 plant/2 gal pot; 5 plants/15 gal tub / Sweet Banana, Yolo Wonder, Long Red Cayenne
- Radish / 5 gal window box / Cherry Belle
- Spinach / 5 gal window box / Dark Green Bloomsdale
- Squash / 2 gal pot / Scallopini
- Tomatoes / Bushel baskets; 5 gal pots / Tiny Tim, Small Fry, Sweet 100 Patio, Burpee’s Pixie, Toy Boy, Early Girl