GROWING IN CONTAINERS Posted on 9 May 19:58 , 2 comments
Even if you have the space to grow in ground, there are many reasons to grow in containers. A few reasons to grow in containers include
Great for small spaces
Economical if you use recycled containers
First, SOIL! Soil for containers should be lighter and "fluffier" than garden soil. I like to add Coconut Coir, Humic Acid and Greensand
Additional soil amendments:
Endo & Ecto Mycorrhizae
Organic, Non-GMO Alfalfa Meal
Organic Kelp Meal
What is Compost?
Compost is a natural soil amendment/garden fertilizer. It can be made using kitchen scraps and yard "waste." Not only does composting save money on expensive fertilizers, it keeps all of the organic "trash" from going into your garbage bins and out of the landfills. Using compost improves soil structure, texture, aeration and increases the soils water-holding capacity.
Warning: Everything I read about composting says not to use meat, dairy products or pet waste. Stay away from using lawn clipping if they are contaminated with weed killer or other harmful chemicals.
Do you need to buy a fancy Compost Bin? Nope! I use a large "tuff-bin" with holes drilled in the bottom. I've added kitchen scraps, yard clipping, shredded newspaper and then re-cover. Every 4-5 days I turn the soil with a shovel to speed up decomposition. Seaweed is a great activator and is high in nitrogen.
Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are produced naturally by the feeding of microorganisms and decomposing waste. These are essential to a thriving veggie garden.
|Tomato seedling in a recycled container|
Veggie Varieties that Grow well in Containers
Most vegetable and herb varieties grow well in containers. Below are a few of the easier veggies for containers.
Bush types are easy and can be prolific producers. Pole & Runner types will need to be trellised. If you have a fence to use, place your container approx 6 inches from the fence and let your beans take over!
If you've got an area with partial shade, cabbage is a great option. Smaller varieties such as Nero Toscana (Lacinato Kale), Pak Choy and Dwarf Pak Choy will grow well in Containers.
Surprisingly easy to grow, cucumbers are a great addition to your container garden IF you keep your eye out for pests. Aphids love my cucumbers and they like to take over the garden. Using Diatomaceous Earth BEFORE you find aphids is a great solution. If you find aphids, a simple soapy water spray and Organic Neem Oil should do the trick.
You can grow just about any eggplant variety in containers. Smaller varieties such as the Japanese White Egg might grow the best. I have grown Eggplant both in-ground and in containers successfully.
Seriously, anything lettuce or "greens" will grow VERY well in containers. Most greens do not require a lot of nutrients and will grow well in sun or partial sun (even shady).
The He Shi Ko Bunching Onion is a great container variety. You can use the small bulb AND the green.
One of my favorite container varieties. Personally, I have had better yield and less pests growing peppers in containers. Peppers are considered "heavy feeders" and growing in containers allow me to feed accordingly and without wasting.
If you're looking for the easiest veggie to grow, try radish. The French Breakfast Radish and the Early Scarlet Globe Radish can be ready to eat in as few as 23 days. One thing to keep in mind, if your radish grows spindly, you might need more calcium in your soil.
They require full sun and a fair amount of your premium growing space for what will be a relatively small yield. Growing corn in containers is possible but not necessarily easy.
Yes, it is possible to grow tomatoes in containers. It might not be easy but it's possible! Good soil, and getting the watering just right is the key to success. If you're looking for a good compact, heirloom variety, try the Thessaloniki Tomato or a cherry-type such as the Black Cherry or German Lunchbox.
Root crops such as beets, radish and turnips require deeper containers than greens but don't let that stop you. Turnips are delicious and nutritious and are a great addition to your container garden.
HERBS!!! I have yet to meet an herb that does not do well in containers. Seriously, most herbs are easy to grow and do VERY well in containers!
All of the varieties listed above (and probably more) will do well growing in containers AND raised bed gardens. If you have additional questions pleas feel free to ask.
Thanks for stopping by my little spot on the web...Stay tuned for more organic gardening and health related topics. If you have questions or suggestions please feel free to ask.
Sign up for our E-Newsletter