Container Vegetable Gardens
Growing Vegetables in Pots
You don't need a plot of land to grow fresh
vegetables. Many vegetables lend themselves well to container
gardening. With some thought to selecting bush or dwarf
varieties, almost any vegetable can be adapted to growing in a
pot. Vegetables that take up little space, such as carrots,
radishes and lettuce, or crops that bear fruits over a long
period of time, such as tomatoes and peppers, are perfect for
container vegetable gardens.
What you can grow in a container vegetable
garden is limited only by the size of the container and your
imagination. How about a Summer Salad container? Plant a tomato,
a cucumber and some parsley or chives all in a large (24-30")
container. They grow well together and have the same water and
sun requirements. By late summer they might not be very pretty,
but they'll keep producing into the fall.
This makes a great housewarming present, too.
Containers for your vegetable gardens can be almost anything:
flower pots, pails, buckets, wire baskets, bushel baskets,
wooden boxes, nursery flats, window planters, washtubs,
strawberry pots, plastic bags, large food cans, or any number of
Containers and Pots for Vegetable Gardens
matter what kind of container you choose for your vegetable
garden, it should have holes at the base or in the bottom to
permit drainage of excess water.
You should be careful when using dark colored containers because
they absorb heat which could possibly damage the plant roots. If
you do use dark colored pots, try painting them a lighter color
or shading just the container.
Size: The size of
the container is important. For larger vegetables like tomatoes
and eggplants, you should use a five gallon container for each
plant. You can grow these plants in two gallon containers,
however you need to give the plants considerably more attention.
You can use soil in your container vegetable
garden, but the synthetic mixes are much better. Peat-based
mixes, containing peat and vermiculite, are excellent. They are
relatively sterile and pH adjusted. They also allow the plants
to get enough air and water. Mixing in one part compost to two
parts planting mix will improve fertility.
Soil and Fertilizer
Using a slow release or complete organic
fertilizer at planting will keep your vegetables fed for the
whole growing season.
Pots and containers always require more frequent
watering than plants in the ground. As the season progresses and
your plants mature, their root system will expand and require
even more water. Don't wait until you see the plants wilting.
Check your containers daily to judge the need for water.