If your chosen container does not have drainage holes, get out your drill and make several half inch holes in the bottom or bottom of the sides. After you ensure that water will be able to drain freely, fill the container with good quality potting soil. Never use garden soil in containers. It will not drain properly and could carry harmful pathogens.
By summer your greatest challenge with container growing will be watering. Many containers will need to be watered every day once the plants are mature and the weather is hot. Be sure some water runs out of those drainage holes each time so you are sure you have thoroughly soaked the root systems. Cooperative Extension.
Match the plant to the size of the container. Large growing plants such as squash or tomatoes will need at least a 5 gallon container. Even with large containers it is best to select dwarf, or compact, plant types. For tomatoes try cherry, grape Converse Hi Tops Leather or patio tomatoes such as Patio Pick, Tom Thumb or Pixie. Large tomatoes grow on big plants that are very difficult to keep adequately watered in containers. You can also find dwarf cucumber varieties such as Patio Pick, Space Master and Bush Pickle.
Containers do not necessarily need to be large or expensive. Be creative. Lettuce, radishes, beets or greens grow fine in window boxes. For larger containers, consider recycling plastic buckets, flower pots or bushel baskets. Converse Maroon Low Top
A few years ago I moved in spring garden season. With no time to start garden beds, my garden that summer was planted in an assortment of buckets and pots at the edge of the driveway. Still, I was able to enjoy tomatoes, Converse Gold
When looking for containers to recycle as plant pots there are only three requirements:
They should be large enough to maintain the mature plant.
Grow a garden on your patio
They must have drainage holes.
You can grow a pepper plant in a 2 gallon pot, or four or five plants in a 15 gallon tub. Or use that large tub to grow three or four Converse Pink Glitter
Many potting soils now contain fertilizer, so read the package and take that into consideration when planning fertilizer applications. If there is not fertilizer in the media, you can add some slow release fertilizer before you plant. Every couple of weeks, use a liquid fertilizer such as fish emulsion or Miracle Gro to keep plants growing steadily.
squash, peppers, cucumbers, basil and parsley.
The most important thing you need for a garden in pots or in the ground is sunlight. Most vegetables need six to eight hours of direct sun every day to give the best results. Don't have quite that much? Although I don't recommend trying tomatoes with less than six hours of sun, if you have five to six hours, go ahead and try squash, green beans or cucumbers. With as little as four to five hours, you can still do pretty well with leafy vegetables lettuce, radishes, onions, kale, spinach.
Large plastic storage bins can be inexpensive and quite functional. Standard hanging basket pots can be used for parsley and other herbs. I have also grown cherry tomatoes or bush type cucumbers in a hanging basket.
They have not contained materials that could be toxic to plants or people.
Don't have space for a garden? If you have some sunny space on a deck or patio, you can probably grow some vegetables in containers. Having the plants up close and personal can be a great way to get children involved. Let them help pick out what to grow, plant seeds and plants and help with daily watering.
broccoli or cabbage plants, or a garden of mixed greens, or an herb garden.
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