There are so many reasons for people to grow their own vegetables in pots - what's yours? Does the appeal of fresh, juicy tomatoes and crisp beans on your dinner table sound appealing? Do you want to be sure that no harmful chemicals are in the vegetables you serve your family? Or could it be that the economic woes of the world mean that saving a few dollars a week at the supermarket will make a difference to your budget?
Whatever your reason, it is well known that vegetables are best eaten fresh and closest to their natural state. What better way to get them fresh than by harvesting them from your own garden?
Generally, most vegetables grow in any kind of container: an old pail, flower pots, buckets, or old tin cans. Among all the kinds of plant containers you may use for your vegetables, the best one would have to be a terracotta pot with holes at the bottom for draining excess water. To prevent moisture escaping from your terracotta pots, make sure you apply a sealer to the inside of the pot before use.
The following are some helpful tips for growing your potted vegetable garden:
Cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, green onions, lettuce, peppers, radishes, squash and tomatoes are only some of the vegetables that you can plant in pots or small containers. While it is best to devote a pot for each vegetable you plant, you may group some vegetables that have the same water and sun requirements in one large pot or container. One such vegetable group is a pot with salad staples like tomato, cucumber and parsley.
Not all vegetables require intense heat to grow well. If your vegetable is one such variety that is known to suffer from too much heat, then you should not use dark coloured pots for these vegetables because dark colours tend to absorb more heat than their lighter counterparts.
The size of the vegetable you intend to grow will determine the size of its container. Large vegetables such as tomatoes and eggplants thrive in large 20 litre plant containers.
You should choose a quality potting soil for your vegetable pots - a sterile and pH-adjusted plant mix containing peat, slow release fertilizer and water retention granules. Plant mixes are commercially available at your hardware store, nursery or garden supplies store.
Plants need sun and water to grow. To give your vegetable pots ample sun exposure, you may have to rearrange them at various parts of your garden where the sun hits. Plants that grow in pots tend to lose water quickly. Keep your plants from getting dehydrated by checking the soil or potting material constantly.
Growing vegetables in pots is a great project to undertake with your children, and one that can be accomplished in apartments. Choose vegetables that your children love to eat, and ask them to 'harvest' their own at dinner time, or when packing their school lunches.
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