Growing Vegetables in Containers for Small Vegetable Varieties
vegetable gardening is ideal for small spaces, balconies,
urban-homesteading and roof
tops. Growing vegetables in containers and pots can sometimes be more
successful than conventional
as you can control the growing conditions more easily. You can easily
move your plants from one area to another, and your soil moisture
content is often better than open ground.
Another way of container
vegetable gardening is to grow your plants and vegetables in wooden
boxes, with a fixed grid and to
plant within each grid which measures one square foot. This method is
What are Suitable
Containers and Pots for Container Vegetable Gardening?
You can create a container vegetable
garden any type of container from the simple bucket to purpose
made planters and pots. In the past I have used plastic buckets, old
retrieved from the fruiterer, cut down wine barrels and window
As long as you have good soil, a sunny
place, fresh seed and good drainage in your containers, you can grow
vegetables in containers anywhere.
Remember though, if you are using
terracotta or wooden containers for container gardening the soil will
dry out quicker than if you are using plastic containers. For top heavy
plants like tomatoes,
peppers and eggplants, make sure that the container is heavy and
For trailing plants like snow peas
think about growing vegetables in hanging baskets instead. Hanging
are also a novel way of growing
What is the Best Soil for
Growing vegetables in containers really
need to have good soil to thrive. Most potting mixes that you can
purchase these days will be fine. Some even state that they have been
packaged for herbs and vegetables. However, by adding a little lime to
this kind of soil you will grow better lettuces, beans, and in fact
most vegetables. Add 1 heaped teaspoon of either garden lime or
dolomite mixed thoroughly with 10-12 liters of soil mixture.
However, there are some vegetables that
don't like lime added to the soil and these are rhubarb,
Make your Own Container Gardening Soil:
You can make your own container
gardening soil by
taking 3 parts of good garden loam, 1 part of moistened peat moss, and
1 part coarse river sand. Added to this should be some well-rotted
manure or compost.
In addition to your organic material,
you can add the following to every 8 liters of soil:
coffee grounds (rinse
shells (dried and
crushed to powder)
To get air into your soil and to make
it lighter, add some granular polystyrene, or better still Perlite. A
couple of cupfuls to your
containers should be enough. Adjust according to the size of the
container, but can make up 1/3 of the volume. Don't add too much as it
is a water-repellent, and unless you add extra peat moss, you will find
that your soil will dry out quicker than you want.
Finally I always add a good handful of
blood and bone to give the vegetables a good start in their containers.
I am also a fan of poultry manure more than any other for vegetables
because of its high
nitrogen content. Just make sure that it is not fresh, as it will burn
the roots of your vegetables.
Growing Vegetables in Containers and Companion Plants
In the picture above we
have beetroot and strawberries growing together. Whereas they won't
help one another in any way, as true companion plants should do, they
won't harm each other either. Just remember that when growing
vegetables in containers that they are planted with good companions. If
not, you will not have much success. See which plants are good for Companion
Vegetables in Containers and Drainage
Making sure that your containers have
good drainage is essential. In wide, shallow containers make sure that
the holes are well spaced around the perimeter of the base. Rectangular
containers should have at least one drainage hole in each corner. If
sufficient drainage is not provided your plants will become
water-logged and the soil will turn sour. In the end they will come to
You don't need to waste space by using
broken pottery or stones at the bottom of your containers. However, to
prevent the soil being washed away through the drainage holes, place a
piece of metal mosquito netting or fly screen across the holes before
adding the soil.
What are the Best Types of
Vegetables to Plant when Growing Vegetables in Containers?
The sky is the limit really.
even grow potatoes in old tires! Here you can see tomatoes being grown
in a plastic bucket. Sweet peppers can also be grown in this way, and
because they are ornamental and attractive, they can be very
successfully grown in a nice pot on your patio. Both tomatoes and
peppers will probably need to be staked.
As long as you containers have depth
you can grow carrots
and parsnips in containers and other root vegetables such as beetroot,
turnips, and radishes, and even garlic.
Small vegetables like cress, mustard,
spring onions and most herbs
of course, are ideal for growing in
containers, as is fast-growing
rocket, spinach and a variety of
lettuces. Leaves can be picked on an ongoing process, even before they
Vegetables that give a continuous
harvest are also popular container growing vegetables. Silver beet,
beetroot and rhubarb
are examples of these.
is a must when growing vegetables in containers because if you plant
horseradish in the garden it will soon become so invasive you will wish
that you hadn't planted it in the first place!
horseradish is done in the spring. Divide the crowns into four pieces,
each with some root and some of the leafy top. Allow the cuts to heal
for 2 - 3 days. Set the pieces at 45 degree angles, with the tops 2
inches below the surface in your containers.
your horseradish during and throughout the winter and continue to do so
until just before the tops begin growing again in the spring.
10 Best Vegetables to
Grow in Containers
of the above vegetables grow well in containers. Horseradish,
particularly will spread throughout any vegetable garden and therefore
is better grow like this to keep it contained.
Small Vegetable Varieties for Container
below you can find miniature vegetables suitable for your container
vegetable gardens, you can also plant conventional vegetables but
harvest them early so that they don't end up taking up too much space.
Carrots, lettuces, beets and peas can all be harvested early.
Mini Greek, Spicy Globe
Baby Head, Little Leaguer, Pee Wee
Lady Finger, Little Finger, Planet,
Patio Pik, Little Minnie, Tiny Dill
Bambino, Modern Midget, Pirouette
Little Gem, Tom Thumb
Dwarf Long Pod
Dwarf Grey Sugar, Knight, Little Marvel,
GARDENING BOOKS ON GROWING
VEGETABLES IN CONTAINERS
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