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Vegetable Gardening - Container Gardening

Jul 4, 2008
Growing vegetables in containers - whether inside the house, in a greenhouse or just on the porch - has many advantages. Soil maintenance is easier. Pest control is simpler. There are more options for adjusting light and temperature levels.

Most vegetables that can be grown outdoors will do well in containers. Pumpkins and cucumbers, both of which take considerable space, might not be great choices. But tomatoes, peas, peppers, carrots and many others will do just as well (sometimes better) in a container.

When deciding what size container to use it is important to consider how large the plant will grow to be. Using soil that is weed free and fertilized will help ensure your success, although some prefer to use synthetic, soil-like media. For some plants, mixtures containing peat moss, perlite, and wood chips are the best choices.

For easiest water control, prepare the soil before planting, or use a synthetic medium. To grow the healthiest plants possible, it is necessary that there is the right balance of drainage and moisture retention. If the soil is full of clay particles, they can be broken up by using commercial soil. In addition, putting marbles at the bottom of the container allows the water to drain out through the bottom by not letting the holes be blocked by soil.

The key to growing a healthy plant is by carefully watching its water intake. If a plant is placed near a window, the soil can dry out quickly. Over hydrating can cause root rot, and forgetting if they have even watered the plants that day so it is best to keep a soil tester on hand to ensure proper moisture levels.

When trying to decide which soil to use, many think that regular outdoor dirt is a good choice, but in all reality it isn't. It is believed that the clay-like soil will better retain water, but in such a small space, the retention is exaggerated, and water will not drain properly. In the case of the soil being too sandy, it will need to be fortified. Basically, much effort is needed to properly adjust outdoor soil for containers, and therefore it is often best to just use soil that has been professionally prepared.

A good long day of sunlight is what most vegetables usually thrive under. Tomatoes, for example, do best in windows that face south, and they handle the heat well. More delicate vegetables, such as lettuce, need to be places where there is less direct sunlight and more shade. If you need a little more or less sun, all you have to do is pick up the pot and go!

The need for pest control is vital in container gardening. Many think that as long as their plants are not outside, that they are safe; However, this is not the truth. Insects can get in through small cracks, screen doors, or even in the soil itself. For that reason it is important to use insecticide soap, or other commercial mixtures. This keeps the plants, the crops, and you safe.

Growing vegetables in containers may require a bit more work, but the produce is definitely worth the effort. In addition, the health benefits that fresh vegetables offer help to complete a well rounded diet.
About the Author
Thinking about planting a garden this year but aren't sure where to start? Whether you're gardening plants or gardening vegetables, you'll find lots of helpful tips & advice on the Gardeners Atlas website. Visit http://www.gardenersatlas.com for more information.
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