Spring is in the air at The Home Garden and very soon we can start our vegetable and herb container gardens. Here are 5 easy steps to help you get started.
1. Before you start your vegetable container garden you will need to take a look at the space you have available, and decide on what type of vegetables you want to grow. Some vegetables do better in containers than others. Most of the leafy vegetables, such as lettuce or spinach do well in container. Vine type vegetables such as cucumbers can grow well in containers but can take up a lot of space. Other vegetables that do well are root type vegetables such as radishes or carrots. Most anything that can grow in a garden can be grown in containers.
2. Almost anything that will hold soil can be used as a container. The container size will be determined by the vegetable that you decide to put in it and will require an adequate number of holes in the bottom for proper drainage. Your container should also be elevated a little off the ground. Leafy vegetables will require at least a 1 gallon container. Broccoli or green beans will require a 2 gallon container; they are much larger plants than spinach or lettuce and will need more room for them to fully mature. The fruit type vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers will need a 5 gallon container and also some type of support to keep them from falling over.
3. You will need to put some type of soil in your containers. Soil from your backyard typically will not work because it is too heavy and will hold to much moisture in it, resulting in to little air for the roots. Container plants will require water and air to survive and you will need a porous type of soil. You can buy potting soil at most garden centers; it is light weight and will make moving your container around much easier. You can also make your own using 1 part sand, 1 part yard soil and 1 part peat moss.
4. You are now ready to plant. Some vegetables work better by seeding while others work better by transplanting. Typically tomatoes will be a transplant while lettuce or radishes would be sown with seed. You will start planting the same time you would plant in a regular garden. Sow the seeds or transplants according to the directions on the package or transplant tag. Most vegetables will require full sun and the advantage of container gardening is you can move them around to get the best possible sunlight.
5. Label each container with the name, variety and planting date. After you have planted your vegetables, gently soak the soil being careful not to disturb the seeds. If you used transplants be careful not get water on the leaves this may encourage plant diseases. If you planted tomatoes or peppers you will also need some sort of support such as a cage. You should check your soil everyday to determine if it’s damp. Your vegetables will need to be watered everyday and on very hot days maybe twice. Vegetables should also be fertilized once every 2 weeks.
There you go, there are 5 easy steps to help you get started, you now have know excuse to get started.