Grow vegetables in containers anywhere (Google / Deseret News)

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http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700129821/Vegetables-can-be-grown-easily-in-containers.html

Vegetables can be grown easily in containers

By Larry A. Sagers

The garden stage is set, the props are all in place and now it is time for the production to get under way. Gardens are about growing good plants, and container gardens are no exception.

Intensive vegetable gardening is open to all who have access to some water, sunshine and a bucket of soil. Those alone do not the garden make, because we have to add in the plants.

While virtually any vegetable makes a good container plant, there are a few commonalities that make them more successful.

I prefer vegetables that crop multiple times. In this category are different kinds of leaf lettuce, spinach, chard and other salad crops that can be cut again and again and still keep producing.

Pole beans also fit this category. They can produce for much of the summer when properly cared for. Summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants also keep producing as long as you keep them picked.

At the other end of the spectrum are those crops that are a one-time harvest and take much more space. I also look at the price of the vegetables. If a vegetable is inexpensive to buy, use your limited space for something else.

In this category are sweet corn (very top-heavy so the tall stalks usually tip over the containers), potatoes and maybe winter squash. However, it is much easier to extract the potatoes out of the planting mix than chisel them out of your heavy, clay soil.

Other root crops also thrive in the loose soil. Carrots grow long and straight and the onions, radishes, turnips and other bulb crops are smoother and not as mangled.

Another important way to increase your production is to grow the vegetables up and not out. Large pots are excellent for growing tomatoes on stakes.

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.