No place to dig a garden? You can still grow your own food! You can raise substantial amounts of many edibles in containers on a patio, deck, porch or balcony. Container gardening has grown rapidly recently and we have developed an increasing number of compact and dwarf varieties intended to succeed in small spaces. Containers also make it easier for you to control the soil, light, water and fertilizer. Here are some tips for getting started with container vegetable gardening: Bigger is better The greatest challenge of container vegetable growing is watering, since soil dries out faster in pots than in the ground. A larger volume of soil won’t dry out as fast, so choose the biggest pot you can. It’s fine to mix compatible plants in a single large pot. Make certain that any container has holes so excess water can drain away from the soil. Plan for watering So-called “self-watering” containers have a reservoir beneath the soil topped with a grid through which the roots can reach down to the water. With these containers you won’t have to water as often, but you still have to keep that reservoir filled. And in the hot summer, mature plants will empty that reservoir fast, so you may have to fill it daily. Spread mulch over the soil in pots just as you would in a garden, to keep moisture from evaporating. Planning a summer vacation? It’s wise to stick to spring and fall crops, such as greens, peas and radishes, and let the pot garden go fallow while you’re gone. Start with herbs They are easy, especially if you begin with transplants, and will add a fresh-grown taste to almost any meal. Just remember to give them the conditions they prefer. All herbs need full sun, but some, such as […]
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