You don’t have to have a big garden (or a garden at all!) To grow your own vegetables this summer … try a container garden!
If you live in a condo or apartment, or just don’t have the time and space to start a sunken garden, container gardening is the best option to grow your own food.
When you choose a container to grow, bigger is better. But a container for gardening can be almost anything. A 5 gallon bucket is an easy solution, but there are also baskets, plastic bags, flower pots. Get creative!
Keep in mind that your container will need a drainage hole, so poke or drill a few in the ground before planting it. Covering the drain holes with coffee filters will prevent the soil from washing the soil.
Deciding what to grow can also help you decide which container to use. Peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, and other larger plants need a larger and deeper container … at least 12 “deep.
But smaller vegetables like lettuce, beets, kale, herbs, and radishes can grow in containers as small as 6 “to 8” deep.
Once you have a container, fill it with some good quality potting soil. Adding compost is also a good idea.
Another big rule is not to overfill the pot. When planting small seedlings, it is easy to plant a lot, but nothing more is more. These plants need space to grow, and your container soil will only absorb a limited amount of nutrients and moisture. Too many plants mean there may not be enough to get around.
1 tomato plant, 1 basil, 1 coriander and 1 marigold.
2 lettuce, 3 herbs, 1 kale and 1 nasturtium.
3 strawberries and 2 herbs.
Make sure you put a flower in the pot! Flowers attract pollinators, which help turn flowers into vegetables. Nasturtiums, marigolds, and alyssum are good choices, but you can add almost anything small enough so it doesn’t take up too much vegetable space!
Now make sure it gets as much sunshine as possible. If you can, move it through the day, but that’s not always possible or practical.
Water it regularly and more often as the days get long and hot. Just make sure the ground isn’t muddy. Let the top 1 “of the soil dry out before adding more water.
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