Thursday, January 22, 2009

Planting A Vegetable Garden In Containers

Planting A Vegetable Garden In Containers

Planting a vegetable garden in containers. Save time space and money, and enjoy fresh garden produce.
Nothing tastes quite as good as a succulent tomato, ripened on the vine, unless it's the taste of sweet corn, picked just minutes before being plunged into boiling water. If you have ever experienced these culinary delights, you know what I am talking about. If not, this is the year to make it happen. Sure, you can't till up half of your back yard for a garden plot, and no, the neighbors probably do not want you dumping a truckload of cow manure where the pool used to be, so what to do?

Plant a container garden! With the variety of vegetables today, you will be able to find anything you want in a compact size. Tomatoes, cucumbers and even squash can be grown right in containers on your porch. Any place that gets six or more hours of sunlight a day becomes your garden, and if your location is really shaded, you can move your pots around to get the required amount of sunshine. The growing instructions are just like that of those things grown conventionally, with a few exceptions.

  1. Look for "compact" or "bush" varieties. These plants are genetically predisposed to growing smaller, and taking up less room.
  2. Water often. This is perhaps the most important thing to remember. Plants grown in pots dry out quickly. If it is hot or windy, they may need to be watered twice a day.
  3. Fertilize frequently. With all of that watering, you are going to leach the vitamins out of the soil quickly. One method of fertilizing is to dilute a regular liquid fertilizer 25%, and use it every time you water.
  4. Check for bugs. One of the best things about growing your own vegetables is your ability to keep them free of chemicals. By checking your plants frequently, you will notice any bug problems before they get out of control. If you do see bugs, you can either pick them off by hand, if there are just a few, or you can rinse the plants off with soapy water.

So, how to decide what to grow? You can of course, plant a pot with lettuce, a pot with cucumbers and a pot with radishes, but why not grow a "salad pot"? In one larger pot plant a bush cucumber, surround that with radish seeds, and then plant a variety of leaf lettuces around the edge. The shapes and textures add to the beauty of the pot, and everything you need for a salad is in one place. What next? How about a "salsa pot"? Plant your bush tomato and peppers, and surround them with scallions and cilantro. At harvest time, chop everything coarsely, and you have terrific homemade salsa. What other ideas can you come up with? Let your imagination run wild and enjoy your garden fresh produce.

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