Vegetable Gardening

A salad in a pot

One of the nicest things about the summer is the ability to grow and eat fresh vegetables at every meal. If you don't have a garden, container-grown vegetables are a great solution.

Container Vegetable Gardening

Many veggies will grow in a confined space just as well as they would in an open garden, and provide not only great food, but amazing color in the spring and summer seasons.

Some varieties that you may find appealing are:

  • Tomatoes, any size
  • Bell peppers
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Beans
  • Herbs
  • Cucumbers

Choosing the Right Container

Containers for vegetable growing should be fairly big and allow for the potential root growth of the vegetable. For example, radishes have a shallow, spreading root system, so a container about 6 inches in diameter and 8 inches deep will give them ample space to grow. Wooden tubs, half barrels and other large containers are ideal for growing cucumbers and squash. You can choose from wood, metal, plastic or clay containers, but make sure that they drain properly by drilling drainage holes if needed. Plant your vegetables according to the directions on the package or label, and don't overcrowd the containers, or you won't see any healthy growth.

The latest trend in container gardening is the upside-down tomato garden. Have you heard of this ingenious planting method yet? It is just what it sounds like. Simply plant the tomatoes so that the plants emerge from the bottom of the container and the roots grow up into the soil. This eliminates the need to stake tomato plants and prevents tomatoes from resting on the ground and rotting. You can fashion your own upside-down garden by cutting a hole in the bottom of any hanging planter, or buy an upside-down tomato garden kit for a truly striking indoor or outdoor plant.

The Growing Process

Soil for planting should be a soil-less mixture, and you should fertilize your vegetables well. A good fertilizer is a nutrient mix that you make up yourself and pour over the vegetables. You can buy the mix at a garden center - just follow the directions on the package. Carefully check the light conditions in your growing area and plant vegetables that will do well accordingly. If you find that your veggies aren't growing or look a bit listless, try moving the plant to a sunnier or shadier area as applicable. Regular watering will be important, because pots don't hold water like a soil garden does. Make sure to weed the plants and check carefully for diseases or pests. When the end of the growing time is done, you can harvest your vegetables and enjoy the taste of the summer season.

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