Vegetables in a self-watering container box (Google / Sun Sentinel)

Read at : Google Alert – container gardening

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/features/home/fl-hgjuneau-garden-column-100911-20111009,0,6753414.column

Food for thought on growing vegetables

Christine Winter Juneau

In a couple weeks, I plan to set my tomato seedlings in my Earthboxes. Over the years, I have picked up these random tips about growing veggies in South Florida at various lectures and classes I have attended.

If you want to grow tomatoes on your screen porch, you can, but you have to tap the branches after the flowers appear to spread the pollen. Both the male and female parts are in the flower and you do not need bees to spread it. But you do need wind or some kind of movement, so give them a gentle shake.

If you are going to use some kind of self-watering container box, such as an Earthbox, use soilless potting mixture, not garden soil or dirt from your yard. Also, for tomatoes, add some dolomite (garden lime) to the mix in your Earthbox. Water the container every day to every other day; water until it pours out the holes on the sides of the box, you cannot overwater. Add the fertilizer just once a season, as instructed.

Here are some basic requirements for garden tomatoes: plant them where they get six to eight hours of sun a day. The ideal planting time is October, though you can extend it through February. Just be sure the tomatoes are ready for harvest before it starts getting hot in May.

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

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