Vegetable Container Gardening

We’ve had various herbs growing in hanging ‘flower’ pots on our deck for the past five years. While making a meal, all I have to do is step outside the door, snip a few sprigs of what I want/need, and get back to the meal preparation. This year we’ve added a half whiskey barrel planted with lettuce. We also have lettuce in the garden, but this will make it easier to put a salad together. We also put five rhubarb plants in containers this spring as we weren’t having any luck with rhubarb planted by the garden. The soil stays too wet and the fox enjoy digging out the newly planted crowns.

Having expanded our ‘container’ gardening led me to wondering what other vegetables would be candidates for containers. If you have limited space for a true garden or don’t have the ‘vigor’ for garden work anymore but still enjoy fresh vegetables, this may be the way to go. You can plant as many or as few containers as you feel comfortable tending. Here are some vegetables and a fruit which can be grown in containers and the type of containers they need.

Beans – A bush variety bean in a container that is at least 12 inches deep is best.

Beets – Allow 4 to 6 inches of space to grow between each plant in a medium to large container is recommended.

Carrots – User a container that is at least 18 inches deep. The Parisian variety carrot is a great variety for containers.

Cucumbers – You will need a trellis or tomato cage to allow the vines to climb in a medium to large container.

Eggplant – A container at least 6 inches deep will be needed.

Garlic – Allow 5 to 6 inches of space between each clove in a container that is at least 6 inches deep. Besides the bulbs, plan on eating the greens in salads, sandwiches, etc.

Herbs – A medium-sized flower-pot with water reservoir in its base works well.

Peas – A trellis to support the peas in a medium to large container would be ideal. The soil will need to be kept moist for best results.

Peppers – A large pot at least 12 inches deep will be needed. New Ace would be a good container variety.

Potatoes – A large-sized container will be needed. A stack of used tires is one possibility for multiple layers of the spuds.

Radish – Any sized container with at least 3 inches of space between plants for growth is recommended.

Squash – A medium to large container  with a summer squash (yellow or zucchini) is best.

Strawberries – A container with multiple openings in the top and sides is best.

Tomatoes – A large pot with water reservoir and tomato cage for support is ideal. A cherry variety tomato works best but if you want a large slicer, get a Determinate bush type variety.

Kale, Lettuce, Swiss Chard and Spinach also grow well in containers. A large container would be best.

You can use almost any type or thing for a container in most instances. A store-bought container, a 5 gallon pail, a garbage can, etc could be used. Be sure to provide a drainage port in the bottom to get rid of excess moisture. We drill a hole and put in a layer of larger stones covered by smaller blue stone or gravel covered with a landscape cloth before placing our top or garden soil in the large containers. Check containers daily for moisture or buy a water meter to read how wet the soil is. Think about mulching the container, if possible, to help conserve moisture. You will also need to fertilize the containers every four to six weeks as nutrient supply will be depleted from the soil in the containers.

Happy gardening!

Keep your fork

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