You don't have to live in the country in order to reap the benefits from growing vegetables. Growing your own vegetables not only brings out the farmer in you, but it helps keep your household healthy. Harvesting your own produce can be accomplished through use of growing in oversized plant pots and containers. You can do this in an area, indoors or outside, that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day. This is beneficial for those living in apartments who feel they're missing out on growing opportunities.
Containers and What to Put in Them
Because potting soil is warmer than the ground, container gardeners find that produce such as tomatoes and peppers grow faster. Choose pots that are deep and tall to prevent the plants from becoming root bound and to prevent yourself from having to bend over too much during the harvest. If you are planting in these containers outside, you will notice immediate "curb appeal" as the fruits and vegetables plants begin growing, flowering, and producing throughout the season.
How to prepare the container for growing:
· Choose a high quality potting mix containing perlite and peat moss. Choose an organic fertilizer to provide the plants with natural nutrients. There are also slow release fertilizers offering three and six month fertilizing periods once mixed into the potting soil.
· For those intending to water using a hose or watering can by hand, add a soil polymer to allow for wet-dry water balance in the potting mix.
· Feeding container gardens is essential and should occur once per week. However, if you are using a slow-release fertilizer, only feed your containers once every two or three weeks.
· Containers should receive no less than a half-gallon of water per day. If the containers are oversized, water with a gallon for each container. The soil should completely dry out between watering, so this is the best way to gauge if you are using too much water the previous day.
Pest control is easier for containers that are grown inside because these critters tend to stay on the ground. However, if you are growing your vegetable container gardens out on decks, porches, or balconies, you'll still notice issues with mites and pests like that. Use a horticultural oil or other types of natural pesticides offered through garden centers to spray down all the plants in each container. If you notice hornworms on your tomato plants, you will need to pick them off by hand.
Source: 25 years of experience