How to Grow Vegetables in Pots
The Vegteable Container Garden
There is nothing like eating a tomato that you have grown yourself. The same eating pleasure goes for carrots, cabbages and just about any vegetable that you can name.
You do not need a large space to grow your own food. All you need is a balcony, patio, deck or other small space to experience the wonders of food that you grow yourself.
You can grow your favourite vegetables in containers as all vegetables will do well in a container provided that container is big enough for the vegetable.
For example, if you try to grow even cherry tomatoes in a three inch diameter terra cot pot you are going to be disappointed; however, if you use a three gallon container or any container that is at least 24 inches across and 18 inches deep you will be able to enjoy tomatoes fresh from your own garden.
Add some basil which grows very well with tomatoes and you are all set.
You can grow cucumbers, green peppers and zucchini in the same size (24x18) containers. For both zucchini and cucumbers, you may want to add a trellis to the container to keep the plant growing upright.
For soil, I recommend that you purchase an organic potting soil, one that is designed fro growing vegetables, from you local plant nursery. If you are new to container gardening, it is worth the time to have a chat with the nursery manger and let her or him know what your plans are. They will be able to make suggestions for selecting vegetables that are ideal for your region.
Next to selecting the appropriate size container for the vegetables you plan to grow, you can use just about anything for a container; the shoe can be round, square or oval, for example, as long as there are drainage holes in the bottom for the excess water to run out and the container is the correct size you can have some fun.
You will need to water your container garden more frequently than your standard garden, especially in dry spells. The wind and heat tend to dry out containers so get to know the conditions where you are and check the plants regularly.
You do not want them to wilt, they will bounce back when watered but if they are allowed too dry out too often they may not produce fruit and will suffer.
The most important step in creating your container garden begins before you even plant one seed or place one seedling in a container that is the planning process.
Now if you have only one container or 50, the process is similar, just simpler.
The containers must be placed where they will get the six to eight hours of sun they need each day. Do not plant more vegetables or use more containers than you have time to look after as you will be disappointed and discouraged if the garden fails because you planted more than you actually had time to look after.
So be sure to match the size of your container garden to your schedule. Take into consideration the need to water and the time to look for signs of trouble such as pests and diseases.
If this is yoru first garden start small. Select three of yoru favourite vegetables and grow them. Keep a journal and make regular notes, paying attention to grow rates, problems, surprises and when the plants flower and bear fruit.
This information will be invaluable next year and for years to come when you sit down to plan your future container gardens.
You can add a container or two each year until the garden reaches the size you wish.
Before and After
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I am not talking about growing hydroponically which is an option but using natural light to keep your family supplied in some fresh produce all year round.