Container Vegetable Gardening is a great way to grow your own vegetables if you don’t have the garden space for it. Vegetable container gardening is also a useful introduction to gardening for beginners. You can grow just about any vegetable in containers, not only giving you pleasure in growing your own, but saving you money as well.
It is possible for most vegetables to be grown in a suitable container, there are some basic tips that apply to container vegetable gardening to ensure your crop survives. Most vegetables require full sun for at least six hours a day. So you will need to locate your vegetable container in a suitably warm, sunny position. Having said that, if you live in a particularly hot area, you may need to consider some shade for your vegetables in the middle of the day, otherwise they may scorch and die. For this reason metal containers are not advisable as the roots of the vegetables will cook. The same applies to dark colored plastic garden pots or ceramics.
It is very important to water your container vegetable garden. Your vegetables at the height of their growing season will need lots of water. You should aim to keep the soil moist but not wet. If unsure that your vegetables need water, the best way is to put your finger into the soil up to your knuckle. If the soil feels dry, add water, if it feels wet, leave for a day or two and test again. Adding too much water or leaving plants to sit in water will cause the roots to rot and the plant to die.
It is also worth thinking about the effect of heat on your vegetable container, you should also consider the cold. Many vegetables do not like the cold, especially frost. Placing your vegetable container somewhere where it can either be brought indoors or protected from the cold is a good idea. If you are unable to move your container, plants can be protected from the cold by using garden fleece.
When choosing your container, you are only limited by your space and imagination. Many containers make good vegetable container gardens. Garden planters and pots or even garden bags can all be used. Wooden garden planters and garden boxes are very popular and make very decorative additions to garden patios. Garden sinks and garden troughs make unusual vegetable containers.
Whichever container you decide to choose from it is important to consider drainage. Your pot or container needs to let excess water out of the bottom, so your plants won’t sit in the water. Make sure your container has at least one large hole at the bottom and a few smaller ones for drainage.
Self-watering containers can be very useful when growing vegetables, especially if you are away. However, if it rains hard you need to make sure that the excess water can be easily poured away or it has an over-flow hole. Plastic garden pots and ceramic pots are fine as are terracotta. Terracotta pots are harder to keep moist as the clay dries out very quickly. So if you live in a very hot area this may not be the best choice. Large garden pots mean more space for growing, even buckets make good vegetable containers.
When you have chosen your container, it needs to be filled with a good quality garden potting soil. It is not advisable to use garden soil as it is too compacted and may contain weeds. Buying ready prepared soil will also make sure it contains all the right nutrients to grow your vegetables in. Adding a garden fertilizer every couple of weeks will also help give your vegetables the right amount of goodness they need.
Finally, you can start to plant your wonderful vegetables. These can be planted as either young plants or from seeds. Growing from seeds can be a lot harder than from young plants and they need a lot more attention. If you are a beginner to gardening, starting your container vegetable garden from young plants might be more successful.
The following are vegetables which are particularly suitable for container gardening are, peas, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, lettuce, and zucchini. If you have enough height, runner beans grown in a large plastic tub with canes for support can yield a good crop in a very small space.
Container vegetable gardening can be very versatile not only giving you a lot of pleasure but by being an attractive addition to your garden, patio, roof garden etc. It will also produce a surprising amount of fresh vegetables easily and conveniently.