photo credit: Mike the Gardener
|When it comes to container vegetable gardening, is it possible to grow enough fresh fruits and vegetables to feed your family? The answer is a resounding yes. In this blog post, I want to cover various container vegetable gardening ideas that I believe you can implement to maximize space, growing various fruits, vegetables and herbs, all in containers.
Not too long along I interviewed Stacey Hirvela author of the book Edible Spots and Pots: Small-Space Gardens for Growing Vegetables and Herbs in Containers, Raised Beds, and More where we discussed some container gardening ideas and container gardening plans that you can use when growing your fruits, vegetables and herbs. Here are some tips Stacey offered up.
SOILEverything starts with the soil. Container vegetable gardening is no different than any other type of gardening when it comes to the soil. Your soil should be loose, friable and loaded with nutrients. You can make your own container gardening soil by mixing equal parts peat, compost and perlite, or purchase a good organic gardening soil from your local home or garden center. You will also want to replenish the nutrients in your container as the season goes along by layering in about an inch to two inches of compost, right on the top. Your daily waterings will help the nutrients get to the roots.
CONTAINERWhat kind of containers should you use? Well you can use just about anything as a container, so as long as it is wide enough and deep enough, with plenty of drainage, to hold the fruits or vegetables that you will be growing. For example, if you plan on container gardening herbs such as chives, you can get away with a pot that is four inches in diameter, however, if you plan on container gardening tomatoes, you will want at least fourteen to sixteen inches.
Photo credit: Mike the Gardener Various plants growing in containers
WATERINGDaily watering, or at the minimum every other day watering is a must for container vegetable gardening. The soil in your containers will dry out much faster than if you had a traditional garden bed. So keep a watering can handy and give your plants a good watering every day, especially if it is very hot.
You can also set up a drip irrigation watering system for your containers as well. Drip irrigation is not just for large gardens, but plenty of gardeners I spoke to, also run lines to their pots. This works so long as you don’t have to move the pots around.
SUNLIGHTJust like a regular garden, container vegetable gardening requires sunlight, but unlike a regular garden, container gardening gives you the ability to move your plants to the sun. Many people that want to garden live in apartments and condominiums. This may limit the amount of sun they receive, so they have to be able to move the container where the sun goes.
Such is the case as when you are container gardening tomatoes. Tomatoes require at least 6 hours of sunlight. You can place your container in the sun first thing in the morning, and when you get home from work, you can move the container to where the sun is for the remainder of the evening. This can be a bit more work, but if you want to grow your own, sometimes you have to do tasks such as these.
Now get out there and start growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs in containers. You can grow just about anything if your container is large enough.
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