TRY GARDENING IN CONTAINERS
Many people living in urban areas would like a garden but feel that lack of space limits gardening activities. Regardless of where you live, usually an enjoyable and productive vegetable garden is possible by using containers. A “micro garden” or container garden can be an attractive part of the landscape of an urban home or apartment, whether a windowsill, patio, rooftop, balcony, or doorstep.
These container-grown, mobile vegetables can be protected easily from”Blue Norther” cold snaps during fall months by moving them to warmer locations such as a garage. With the USA having its cold weather in short intervals during the fall, a gardener can protect plants during these periods, and the growth and vegetable production of container-grown plants enhance this possibility.
What can be grown on a doorstep?
Most vegetables grown in typical backyard gardens also grow well in containers under favorable growing conditions. The most important factors for successful container gardening are sufficient sunlight, proper moisture, adequate fertility, and, perhaps most important of all, tender loving care. Most vegetables grow in a potting mixture of”soils” that do not contain native soils. When soils are eliminated, problems such as fungus, root rots, and nematodes also are eliminated.
Many suitable types of soil mixes are available for growing vegetables in containers. A”synthetic soil” is ideal as it is a disease and weed-free, holds moisture end yet is well-drained and lightweight. Make your own by mixing 10 tablespoons of limestone, 5 tablespoons of 0-20-0 (superphosphate), and 1 cup of garden fertilizer such as 15-10-10 or 10-10-5 to 1 bush each of vermiculite and peat moss. It is best to transplant healthy plants into containers rather than seeding. Purchase transplants at local nurseries or grow them at home.
When transplanting, avoid jury to young root systems. Plants growing in containers require adequate fertility for vigorous growth and high yields. For bests results, prepare a nutrient solution and periodically water the plants with it. Many good commercial fertilizer mixes are available for solutions. Always use a water-soluble fertilizer to avoid excessive salt buildup in the container. Need for watering with the nutrient solution!).
Most vegetables grow in containers, but some are more suitable than others. Since limited space encourages container gardening, the gardeners should grow vegetables that will produce a large quantity of food for the amount of space and time required. Crops for container gardening include tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash, leaf lettuce, herbs, and green onions. To add color to the patio or windowsill, plant ornamental peppers, red leaf lettuce, red cabbage, or flowering kale.
Various containers are suitable for growing plants, including bushel baskets, drums, gallon cans, wooden boxes, wash tubs, and plastic trash cans. Container size should vary with plants and the pace available. Plant smaller vegetables in 8 to lO inch pots and larger crops such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants in 3- to 5-gallon containers. Good drainage is important when growing vegetables in containers. A 3- to 5-gallon container should have at least four drainage holes. After obtaining a container fill it with a commercially prepared potting mix sold at local garden centers. The mix should drain well and contain no soil.
A real advantage of prepared with it. Many good commercial fertilizer mixes are available for solutions. Always use a water-soluble fertilizer to avoid excessive salt build-up in the container. The need for watering with the nutrient solution varies but generally, two or three times per week is adequate. As plants mature, more frequent watering may be necessary, perhaps even daily. Plain home tap water at least once a week to reach out to material that accumulates in the soil mix.
Artificial mixes or “soils” are deficient in fertilizer elements so mix slow-release fertilizer pellets into potting mixes and supplement periodically with water-soluble fertilizers on a weekly basis. Slow-release types are not necessary if water-soluble fertilizers are used regularly.
Vegetables are grown in containers and also are susceptible to attack by insects and diseases. Inspect plants periodically for foliage-feeding insects as well as disease. Timely applications of approved fungicides and insecticides are helpful if insects and diseases become serious problems.
Container-grown plants are completely dependent on the grower for correct amounts of water and nutrients. A garden plant can be neglected for several weeks and “Mother Nature’s” water and nutrients will carry the plant through but do not neglect the container plant for even a day or the plant will be dead and dried up by harvest time.