Get your daily fruits, vegetables with container gardening
By Brenda Anderson
Four of the 10 leading causes of death in America (heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes) are linked to foods eaten. Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help to reduce the risk of developing these chronic diseases. One of the best ways to make sure you are getting enough is to grow it yourself so that it is handy and less costly.
If you think that you can’t grow your own fresh, healthy vegetables because you don’t have a yard or because you have mobility issues, think again. Container gardening is the answer. Here is a brief step-by-step guide to getting started on your own container garden:
1. Choose what you would like to grow.
Tomatoes, carrots, beets, kale, peppers, eggplant, green onions, okra, beans, lettuce, squash, radishes and parsley are good container crops, but read each seed packet to see when they should be planted in our area and for other tips about the amount of moisture and light needed for that particular vegetable.
2. Use a potting mix instead of potting soil.
It is free of disease and weed seeds, holds moisture and nutrients, drains well and is lightweight.
3. Decide on a container.
Almost any container will work as long as it can drain out water and is large enough for your plant. Examples of great containers are a milk jug with holes poked through the bottom for drainage, the bag your potting mix came in, an old shoe or a small trash can. If you have mobility issues, you may want to choose a container that is smaller and more portable or buy a plant stand that has wheels on the bottom of it.
4. Plant your seeds or seedlings.
If you purchase seeds, you will have to start them in starter pots or sections of an old egg container (anywhere from about 4-14 days) and then transplant them to your chosen container when the second set of leaves appears. See each seed packet for how deep to plant your seeds. If you choose to start your plants from seedlings, simply place them into your container of potting mix and lightly cover the root area with soil.
5. Sprinkle water your plants two to three times a week at first, then water as needed.
Check the top inch of soil for dryness.
Read the full article: Victoria Advocate