A new hobby that has attracted a lot of apartment and townhouse dwellers is gaining popularity. This is growing vegetables in containers. This method of gardening is the solution to gardening enthusiasts’ query on how to grow vegetables given a very limited space. The balcony, patio, al fresco, and a sunny corner in the dining or living rooms are potential locations of the vegetable plants.
Aside from being able to plant within a limited space, growing vegetables in containers offer more other advantages.
• You can make the vegetables a part of the indoor decoration especially when you personalize the containers.
• You can easily arrange the plants as the containers are portable or moveable.
• The control of the spread of plant diseases is easier.
• Choosing organic indoor gardening, your plants act as air purifier.
• You have an immediate supply of fresh vegetables.
• You do not need to repair your lawns when your plants are not suitable.
When you are growing vegetables in containers, there are golden rules to follow regarding soil, types and location of containers, water and fertilizers.
Soil type needed when growing vegetables in containers
Soil is the foundation of the vegetable plants’ healthy growth. When vegetables are planted in containers, you should never use heavy potting soil. Even ordinary garden soil may not be suitable. You need to plant them in soil with good container mix; the soil must be able to retain moisture and prevent compaction. There are good soil mix that are available for sale in nurseries but you can make your own by adding compost with manure to the garden soil. Furthermore, in selecting the soil, you should also be careful in picking the type of vegetable to be planted in it. Potatoes and carrots for instance have different soil requirements. Potatoes grow healthier with loamy soil while carrots are better grown in sandy and free-draining amended soil.
Type and location of the container
The next rule is about the container, their types and the place of their location. When choosing containers, you should already be sure of what vegetables to plant in them. If you expect the vegetables to grow into big plants, you will need bigger containers. They should be deeper to allow for adequate space for growth of roots. This is taking the depth and diameter of the container as vital factors. If your plants are smaller like pepper, tomatoes and lettuce, 3 to 5 gallon containers may suffice.
When considering the location of the growing vegetables in containers, think of sunlight availability. Healthy plants are the result of sunlight sufficiency. A windy location in the patio or terrace will make the plants and the soil drier. If it is inevitable to place the vegetables in containers in these places, think of installing windbreakers around the plant.
How would you arrange together different plants? Ensure that the tall-growing plants do not shade or cover the shorter ones. Locate your vegetables in containers in places where they will all receive equal exposure to the heat of the sun.
Water and fertilizer for the indoor plant
Talking about moisture, growing vegetables in containers will take a bit more water as the containers tend to absorb heat. They should be placed in areas where there is easy access to water. This will make maintenance easier. You should know how much water is needed by your vegetable plants. You should not leave the soil soaking wet otherwise there is a tendency for the roots to rot. Do a finger test as a clue to the water needs of the plants. Dip your index finger into the soil. Is the soil dry and hard? Or does it feel moist? For dry soil, immediate watering is a must. If the soil is moist, water the next day.
Because growing vegetables in containers require more water, the fertilizer in the soil tends to dilute faster. Thus you will have to regularly replenish the lost nutrients. Add more compost as needed.
Growing vegetables in containers in your home can be a rewarding hobby. You reap the benefits of having a supply of freshly picked vegetables. If you have done this indoors, you can do it better outdoors provided you have the right location for your containers.