Do not think that container gardening is only for flower-bearing and ornamental plants. Growing vegetables in containers is highly possible also although it may be more demanding. When growing ornamental plants, small lapses in everyday maintenance may stop the flowering but will resume once the needed care is given. But with vegetables, once a small lapse in caring happens, the size and taste of the produced vegetables suffer so much. The quality of the produced vegetables is dependent on a number of factors. Healthy vegetables are the outcome of the soil’s ability to nourish the plant with enough water and nutrients. Dry or unfertile soil can alter the flavor as well as the texture and the size of the fruit. It is imperative for you to know the kinds of vegetable plants to grow in containers. You have to be familiar with the type of soil and soil mix as well as the size and depth of the containers.
Best veggies to pick when growing vegetables in containers
Herbs and green leafy vegetables like lettuce are the best kinds when you are growing vegetables in containers. There are more but you have to classify them into cool season vegetables and warm season vegetables.
• Cool season vegetables are grown under 60 to 80 degree Fahrenheit temperature. They are the best vegetables grown in containers during the spring and fall seasons. They cannot survive the summer heat and neither can they tolerate even the slightest frost of winter. The quality of the harvested vegetables is determined by the quality of the soil mix, light fertilizers and regular supply of water. The crops are strong flavored when they grow in dry soil. There are plenty of cool season vegetables but the most commonly grown are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, carrots, lettuce, radish and peas.
• Warm season vegetables grow under 70 to 95 degree Fahrenheit summer temperature. The warm season vegetables need full sunshine. They are best grown from mid-May to early June. Among the most common vegetables grown in containers during summer are beans, cantaloupes, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers and summer squash.
Type of soil and soil mix when growing vegetables in containers
Growing plants on the ground, gardeners have preference for garden soil. However, when growing vegetables in containers, the soil type has to be changed. The soil must be well-aerated and should allow for good drainage. Thus, the soil suitable for container gardening must be modified to meet the aeration and drainage requirement for healthy plant growth.
Here is a suggested modification or amendment to the soil that will be suitable to grow vegetables in containers. The soil-based mix must constitute of one part good garden soil, one part peat moss and or one part coarse builder sand. If you could not amend your soil in this way, you might as well go to a gardening depot and buy a ready mix soil for growing vegetables in containers.
Know the depth of the container
Actually any kind of container can be used provided it is deep enough. You can have synthetic pots, terracotta and ceramic pots if you want your vegetable containers to be decorative. You can also pick any bucket as long as it conforms to the depth requisite. You can even grow root crops like carrots and turnips if your container is really too deep.
If you are growing vegetables in containers in warm climates, it is best if you opt for light-colored containers. The dark colored containers will have the tendency to absorb heat that can burn the roots of your vegetable plants. You should also pick containers that have good drainage holes.