Friday, May 22, 2015

Pot up a vegetable garden

Pixabay/Public Domain/CC0
Nothing can beat the taste of home grown #vegetables and with today's rising price planting your own little garden can save you a fist full of money.   Even if you do not have a yard, with today's container plant systems you can have a garden almost anywhere, even hanging off a ceiling.  Plant and seed companies now offer space-saving plants that cut the need of plant area almost in half; so the biggest worry is to find the right plants for your climate, figuring out placement, so that the plants get the required amount of sun and shade each day and finding the right size containers for your plants.

When growing vegetables in #containers one rule to remember is bigger is better.   Most vegetables have a more expansive root system than flowers, so the deeper and wider your container, the greater your success of growing a healthy plant that will produce high yield of produce.   When selecting your vegetables to grow look for varieties that state they are “compact,” “bush” or bred for container planting.  Below is a list of some varieties suitable for a container garden.

The type of soil you use is also important – garden or pure topsoil might be your first chose but they can harbor weeds, diseases and pests and does not drain as well in containers.  Potting mixes are better, especially if it contains water retaining particles to save on watering (great if your the type that forget or don't have time to water); since watering is essential, another way to retain moisture longer would be to top off your soil with one inch of mulch.  Plus potting mixes are formulated to ensure good water drainage for those times when you just watered and it starts raining.

Here are some varieties I have plant with success:
  • Tomatoes - Pixie, Sweet 100, and Red Cherry – for dwarf plants you will need a pot that is 12" deep, for regular standard plants like Husky Red or Gardener's Delight a 24" deep pot;
  • Cucumber - Spacemaster, Burpee Pickler container should be about 20" wide, 16" deep and water, water, water;
  • Lettuce - Tom Thumb, Green Ice, Little Gem, container 8" wide, 6-8" deep
  • Peas - Little Marvel, Snowbird, container 12" deep
  • Carrots - Nantes, Little Finger, container 10" wide, 10" deep
  • Beans, Lima - Fordhook Bush Lima in container 12" wide, 8-10" deep

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