If you like the idea of a vegetable garden more than the effort of maintaining a gardening plot, have we got a solution for you. Container gardens!
Container gardens take up less space and are easier to care for than your normal vegetable garden. Not only will you be using a spade less you may find pest management easier. If one plant gets a disease, it won’t spread and wreck all of your hard work.
As a bonus, the flowers and vegetables are beautiful and can spruce up the back patio of your new Sierra Vista home all year round. They are also great for introducing kids to gardening.
What can you grow in a container garden? Almost all vegetables can be grown in a small space. Your best bet, if you are new to container gardening, are herbs, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, green onions, beans, lettuce, spinach, squash, turnips, carrots, broccoli, peas and radishes. You can also try cucumbers and pole beans, but they do require more space.
Here are a few more tips for starting a container garden.
Let There Be Light
Some plants need more light than others, so your covered patio might not be the best place for them. Tomatoes in particular need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. Check with your local nursery or on the seed packet to see how much sunlight your plants will need. Then, check the location you want to put your container every 30 minutes throughout the day to see how long the sun hits that spot.
Choose the Right Container
You can grow vegetables in any container. However, bigger is usually better. Large containers are easier to maintain, and the soil will retain more moisture. If you decide to use terra cotta pots, lay down a plastic liner to help keep moisture in.
Wet But, Not Too Wet
Obviously, plants need water, but you don’t want to drown them. Make sure your containers will drain properly. That means enough or bigger holes so the water can get out. If you don’t, the soil will become too wet and the roots will rot. The recommended minimum size for a drainage hole is 1/2 inch in diameter for small or medium-sized pots. For larger containers, you will need at least an inch in diameter.
Quality Soil Counts
Digging up your backyard and throwing the dirt into the container seems like a cheap option but it will cost you in the long run. Your backyard dirt could have organisms in them that are detrimental to your vegetables. Spring for high-quality soil from a gardening center.
Feed Me, Seymore!
Even with good potting soil, you will need to add fertilizer. Some potting soils are more nutrient-rich than others, so talk to the staff at your local gardening center. Make or buy compost to add extra nutrition.