Containers Make Growing Edibles a Cinch
With all the focus on buying locally sourced food nowadays, it’s easy to get excited about buying new produce close to home. And what’s more local than your own backyard? One of the most convenient, functional and attractive methods of going local is planting veggies and herbs in containers. Done right, they can become a focal point element in your landscape design.
The key to success in growing crops in containers is picking the appropriate plants, the right pots and the ideal place, and supplying the right care. Here, six essentials for edible gardens and how to use them.
1. A container. It has been stated that when choosing a container, you are limited only by your imagination and a drainage hole. Proper drainage is essential, as edibles do not like wet roots.
Here, chives, oregano and other herbs grow in a custom steel planter using two layers of planting area and plenty of drainage right into a gravel courtyard.
Beertje Vonk Artist
Window boxes are a lovely and effective way of growing small edible plants like herbs and greens, especially in urban settings with little if any yard. Pictured here are pansies, that have edible flowers.
Size matters when it comes to containers for edibles. Most vegetables have quite large root systems that require pots to be deep and broad. Plus, larger containers will not dry out as quickly, making it easier for you personally and less stressful for your plants. Find baskets at least 12 inches broad and heavy; 16- to 20-inch pots are much better.
2. Seeds or plants. Generally, it is easiest for beginner gardeners to purchase plants instead of start from seed. The exclusion is root vegetables, that do not like to be transplanted. If carrots and beets are your favorites, then sow these directly in your pot following the seed packet directions.
With the popularity of container gardening rising, many growers and seed companies are offering varieties of veggies specifically for growing in containers. These kinds are practical for smaller pots, but you might have the ability to use regular-size varieties if you’ve got a container that is large enough. By way of example, a solitary standard-size tomato plant would be happy in a container at least 20 inches deep and broad.
3. Soil. One of the biggest benefits to growing edibles in containers is that you can use a high quality potting medium to help ensure success. Locate a potting soil that’s specifically devised for containers. Wet the soil well and allow it to drain before adding your plants or seeds. This helps to ensure that the soil will not wick moisture from the plants you’re incorporating.
4. Fertilizer. At the time of planting, include a granular, slow-release fertilizer that supplies the proper nourishment within 3 to six months. Because edibles are heavy feeders, you can even supplement with a liquid organic fertilizer twice per month.
5. Water. One of the most crucial responsibilities in container gardening is watering. The key here is moist yet well-drained soil. Drip irrigation is the best method for accomplishing this. If you’re watering by hand, you will need to water once every few days once the weather is moderate, and at least once every day if temperatures are at their peak.
If you water only once every day, choose the morning so that there is less opportunity for fungus to develop. For the same reason, it is also best to water the base of the plant instead of the leaves.
6. Sun. Most edibles will work best in full sun, so choose a spot that gets at least six hours of sunlight daily, even in the event that you need to move your pot to achieve it. Placing your pots on wheels makes this simple.
Tend to a containers every day if at all possible. Pick herb leaves throughout the growing season, make sure you snip the tops to keep them from going to seed (setting flowers). Harvest vegetables whenever they have gotten to the size you want. Deciding them early and frequently will help to keep the plants productive.
Oh, and one more thing: patience. With a little time and effort, you will be rewarded with all the fruits of your labour. There’s barely a more satisfying sense than choosing a ripe vegetable from a plant you’ve nurtured.
Best of luck, and I want to know in the Comments section the way your edibles are growing!