The smallest area of land, or even a patio or porch, can be perfectly adequate for you to grow your own vegetables. The use of containers to plant your crops is the ideal alternative for the person who has little or no garden in which to grow fruit or vegetables.
You are virtually unlimited in the choices of container to use for your container garden. For instance, you can use gallon cans, tubs, wooden barrels, drums, planter boxes, hanging baskets or even old shoes. The list is virtually endless.
Here are some essential tips for you to grow a successful container garden:
A good choice of container should have plenty of room for the soil and roots, and provide bottom drainage. Ensuring that your container has lots of holes at the base guarantees that the plant will never stand in wet soil. Stand the container on blocks or bricks to aid drainage.
Your plants will have a greater chance of survival if you choose a bigger container. This will need watering less frequently as the more soil there is, the more moisture it will retain.
It is important to note here that a container garden will require watering once a day, but make sure that you have put plenty of holes at the base of the container. Poor drainage will slowly kill your plants from lack of oxygen. Be careful not to wet the leaves too much as this encourages plant disease.
To ensure that over-watering doesn't occur, put your finger into the soil about half an inch. If the soil feels dry, water your plants. Apply enough water to run through the drainage holes at the bottom of the container. This assures that the soil is thoroughly and evenly wet, and that excess salt is washed from the soil.
You should never use black containers for your container garden because this traps the heat from the sun, especially in places that have a hot climate. Instead, use light-colored containers to lessen heat absorption and deter uneven root growth.
Wooden containers are liable to rot. Don't use wood that is treated with creosote, or some other chemical compound, as the vapors will likely damage the plants.
Clay and Terra Cotta pots are porous and dry out rapidly, so plants and vegetables in these types of containers will require watering more often.
Plastic containers will most probably degenerate in sunlight over time, but in the short- to medium-term they should be fine.
Your container garden should receive at least five hours of direct sunlight a day. Root vegetables, such as Turnips, carrots and potatoes, will need more sun, whereas leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach and broccoli, can survive on less. Fruit vegetables, such as apples and tomatoes, need the most sun out of all the vegetables, or fruit, that you can grow.
Container gardening is an excellent way to grow vegetables if you find yourself with a very limited, and limiting, plot of land.
Following these tips should help you start and maintain a healthy and fairly trouble-free container garden for you to grow healthy vegetables, and save a little money on your grocery bills at the same time.