Container gardening is perfect for newbies especially if you have little to no backyard space.
Gardening isn’t just for those who have a big yard or a farm but its also possible for anyone living in an apartment.
Do you want to start gardening but don’t know how?
Or maybe you just need to cut back on your grocery bills.
Whatever your reason is, it’s valid!
And the great thing about container gardening is that you can plant anything from vegetables, fruits, herbs to even flowers.
WHAT IS CONTAINER GARDENING?
Basically, what it meant – planting in containers instead of the ground. I felt dumb giving an obvious definition. But hey, it works.
You can purchase containers made specifically for gardening or recycle one (but you need to bore holes in it beforehand). An example would be a bucket.
I wouldn’t recommend beginners to use recycle container.
You got your container, what next?? Should you fill that container with any type of soil?
Before I go any further, never fill your container with soil or dirt from your yard. That’s just a no-no. Why? You could be transferring diseases or pests that may be in your backyard soil into your containers which will be harmful to your plant in the long run.
To begin with, container gardening for vegetables do the following:
- Find the right size container or pots for your plants
- Ensure that it has proper drainage
- Find quality soil (potting soil)
- Place that container in the best-growing conditions
WHY USE CONTAINER GARDENING?
There are many advantages why you should try container gardening instead of conventional gardening.
Saves on space
As stated earlier, you don’t need a yard to start container gardening. You can start gardening right on your patio, deck, or porch.
Container gardening is a phenomenal option for anyone because it can literally be accomplished anywhere.
Convenience of location
You can literally move your container to and fro so it can get more sunlight or shade if you place your container in the wrong location.
And if you’re renting or planning to move soon then a container garden is ideal.
CONTAINERS GARDENING ESSENTIALS
With container gardening, you don’t need a lot of material to start with. You only need a few simple tools along with some basic requirements.
When purchasing a container to put your plants in; you must follow these guidelines:
- Must have drainage holes – Proper drainage encourages healthy root growth. In addition, excess water in the soil limits oxygen supply which is vital for plant health.
- The size of the container – Choosing the wrong container size is a mistake you don’t want to make. Before you get excited and start buying containers, first decide the type of plant you’re going to plant. Why? Because if you plant a larger vegetable such as zucchini in a small container then it will not reach its full potential. Some plants do much better when they have enough soil to support their root system.
In order for your plant to reach its full potential it needs good soil.
Since you’ll be able to choose your soil, it will have all the nutrients you need for your plant to thrive. Henceforth, you’ll be able to decide on the specifications for your soil.
But what does good soil entails?
The potting soil that you’ll be using in your container should be loose, light, fluffy, and contains the necessary nutrients and minerals the plant requires.
Another factor to consider is the ph value of the soil.
This measures how acidic or alkaline the soil is. The pH scale range from 0 to 15. The lower the number, the more acid it contains, the higher the number, the more alkaline it has in it.
Naturally, a score of 7 is considered neutral.
But what impact does this have on your plants?
Imagine if your plant requires a pH of 8 but your soil has a pH of 4, then the plant won’t reach its full potential or it will be a complete failure.
SHOULD YOU USE SEEDING OR SEEDLING?
You may be wondering which is best for starting a container gardening.
Well, seedlings are the most common way to start out which is less risky. If you start with seeds then you’ll need extra time to watch them until they’re ready to be transplanted.
For many, seeding is too risky especially when the planting season has already begun. So it all comes down to if you have the time!
If you have decided to use seeds instead then ensure it’s given enough sunlight about 4 to 8 hours.
Once they have developed two to three leaves you’ll be able to transplant them to their container.
GENERAL RULE FOR CONTAINER PLANTING
|VEGETABLES||CONTAINER SIZE||AMOUNT OF LIGHT REQUIRED|
BEST VEGETABLE TO GROW IN CONTAINER
You have various types of tomatoes to choose from. Bush Tomatoes aka determinate tomatoes are best for growing in containers.
They tend to grow no more than 3 to 4 ft tall while indeterminate tomatoes will grow and produce fruit until it is killed by frost. These types of tomatoes can grow up to 12 inches.
If you have a short growing season or got a late start in the season start with determinate tomatoes.
But if you’re early, and have large containers then you can try planting indeterminate tomatoes.
You should water your tomato plants so that it’s evenly moist, not wet or dry.
For instance, if its a rainy day then it would be best to hold off on watering so you don’t drown your plant. And when it’s hot, you may need to water more than once a day to keep them from wilting.
Your plant should get at least six (6) hours of sunlight each day.
Peppers are my favorite spice for meals. They thrive in rich, well-drained soil.
Growing your favorite type of pepper is simple and easy especially for beginners.
Plant them in areas that receive at least six hours of sunlight each day.
Watering the plant depends mainly on the weather but they should receive adequate amount of water.
It’s best to use transplants or seedling when planting eggplant.
Eggplant grows best under warm conditions and should be watered consistently. During the summer, you may need to water your eggplant more than once daily.
Tomatoes and eggplants have a few things in common and one of them is that they love sun. So ensure that your eggplant get at least 6 hours of full sun.
Green beans are tasty when steamed or stir-fry.
Green bean is popular in vegetable gardening. With plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil, your plant will thrive.
When harvesting your green beans, ensure to pick them before maturity as this will make them very stringy.
Once you picked them when they’re ready, the plant will continue producing for you for several weeks.
Green beans are usually planted in the spring after all danger of frost has passed.
This could be spinach, swiss chard, or kale. These are perfect for planting in containers.
Greens are able to grow and flourish in cool weather. Ensure it gets full sunlight for at least 6 hours but it can still get by with partial sun or shade.
They grow best in well-drained soil. Ensure you water your plant thoroughly so it won’t wilt.
I love lettuce in my sandwich and in my salads.
Lettuce will grow in partial sun or light shade and perform best in cooler weather. Note that lettuce cannot tolerate hot weather.
Ensure to keep the plant well watered but don’t overwater it as this can cause the roots to be soggy.
Tip: When the leaves are ready to be harvested, cut the outside leaves. These will grow again to produce a second crop.
Carrot is a well-known vegetable.
It’s best to start with seeds as carrot seedling doesn’t transplant well. They grow best in cool temperatures and in loose and well-drained soil.
Try to protect your carrots from high temperatures or summer heat. It’s best to place the container in a shady area for it to thrive.
Water your carrots regularly – soil should not be too wet or dry.
Let’s wrap this up!
Container gardening is perfect for beginners and there’s a lot of benefits to doing it.
Once you have all the essentials such as the right size container and potting soil, then you can attempt this method of gardening.