Don’t let a lack of space stop you from growing fresh vegetables. Even if you only have a small yard or live in a condo or apartment you can enjoy fresh and tasteful vegetables from your own garden. Most people think you need a big gardening space to grow your favorite vegetables, but you don’t. Picking the right type of vegetable and a variety of containers you can grow succulent vegetables too.
When choosing your vegetables look for varieties that will grow well in small places. Choose bush beans instead of climbers. Choose from the many determinate tomatoes out on the market. You are not limited just to determinate varieties, you can also grow indeterminate tomatoes like Brandywine, Celebrity, Better Boy and many more. With the indeterminate varieties will have to install a trellis. There are many dwarf varieties of vegetables on the market.
When choosing your container, how it looks is no big deal to your vegetables, just make sure it is big enough for the plant that you stick in the container. Look for containers that are 10 wide and 12 inches deep. Your larger plants like tomatoes and cucumbers need containers that are about 20 inches wide. Make sure the container you choose has good drainage. There a lot of commercial type containers sold in magazines and on the internet like “Earth Boxes” that are great for growing vegetables. Alas they are expensive unless you can find one at a yard sale. I have used half whiskey barrels, 5 gallon black plastic containers leftover from my many purchases from local nurseries.
Once you determine what you are going to grow and have picked out the container make sure you purchase a good potting soil made for containers. Just like if you were going to grow your vegetables in a regular garden bed, soil is a key factor in your gardening success. When growing vegetables in containers you must pay more attention to watering. Plants grown in containers tend to dry out faster and vegetables require regular watering for them to thrive.
Like your vegetables in a regular garden they require fertilizer to grow and thrive. If you use a water-soluble type you should fertilize every time you water. Since you have to water your plants in a container more often the soluble type fertilizer tends to leach out. A better choice would be a time released pellet fertilizer. This type of fertilizer usually lasts between 3-6 months depending on the manufacturer.
You have decided on what vegetables you want to grow. You have a chosen your container, planting mix and what type of fertilizer you are going to use. It is now time to plant your vegetables. You plant your vegetables in your containers the same way you would plant them in a regular garden bed. Vegetables like radishes, carrots and beans you can directly sow them in the container. Tomatoes, peppers and eggplant use transplants like you would normally do in a garden bed.
Growing vegetables in a container is limited only by your imagination. Don’t let your space confinements deprive you from growing fresh, delicious vegetables
Contributed by Rich Young, Certified Colorado Gardener.