Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tips for growing vegetables in containers.


Container vegetable gardening allows you to grow your own produce almost anywhere. Some of the factors you’ll need to consider in order to be successful growing vegetables in containers includes deciding what do you want to grow, where are you going to put your containers to get the best light, what  size of container do you need, which soil to use and then learning good container gardening practices such as watering, fertilizing. In the first part of this series we look at location and container selection. If you want to grow tomatoes, peppers and other fruiting vegetables, you’ll need a spot that receives at least 8 hours of full sun every day. Root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, onions need at least 6 hours of sunlight. Leafy vegetables and herbs need at least 4 hours of sunlight. When selecting a container, size and drainage are key factors.
You look for a container that’s big enough to support your plants without tipping over, can hold enough water without drowning your plants, can handle the sun, wind and temperature swings and still look good. For larger plants like tomatoes and potatoes, choose at least a 5 gallon container for each plant.
For herbs and leafy vegetables, you can use smaller containers. Make sure the container you choose has drainage holes to allow excess water to drain off. No matter how careful you are, water will build up in a container without drainage and ruin your plants. Adding rocks or pot shards to the bottom doesn’t work.  The water will still build up.
There are advantages for every type of container you may use. Plastic pots are light weight and come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.
Terra cotta and clay pots are garden classics. Ceramic pots offer a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Next up, choosing the right soil and fertilizers for your vegetables.  

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