There’s absolutely nothing like garden-fresh vegetables– especially if you grow them yourself. In a perfect world, we’d all be able to maintain full vegetable gardens in our backyards, where we can always provide organic veggies at each meal. But for most of us, although we like the idea of home-grown, we have to rely on the grocery stores for our produce.
There are still ways to grow your own organic vegetables without having to go all out with the full-fledged, backyard overhauled, rowed and tilled garden beds. You don’t have to be an expert gardener to grow your own organic veggies, it just takes a little planning and a few big pots– then you’re on your way:) If you’re not ready to take the leap of planting a raised bed vegetable garden, you can always start small– with maybe a few herbs or peppers, and then work your way up. The first step is just deciding what you’d like to add to your menu! Here are a few pointers for planting your own container veggie garden:
- Containers: As a general rule, select as large a container as possible. Small containers dry out more quickly and need daily watering. You’ll want to think about appearance, and also weight (once the pot is filled with wet soil and plant material it’s going to be very heavy). Lastly, you’ll want to make certain that any container has holes (if indoors, put something underneath for protection) so that excess water can drain away from the soil. Grow your vegetables in hanging baskets if ground space is scarce. Herbs are perfect picks for baskets.
- Watering: 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 (hence the reason for choosing bigger pots. Vegetables require a consistent supply of water to perform their best. Inconsistent moisture causes lots of problems, such as blossom drop, poor root development, leaf curling, insect problems and rot. If you’re bad at remembering, just try and set reminders on your phone:)
- Sun: Most vegetables require six hours of sunlight per day. Salad greens and herbs can usually get by with less. Tomatoes, peppers, beans and other sun-lovers will appreciate as much sun as they can get. To maximize sun exposure, raise containers onto tables and move them around as needed.
- Planting: This is the fun part. Make sure to use fresh potting soil, and the right type of fertilizer for your particular vegetable or fruit. It’s fine to mix compatible plants in a single large pot, but when combining, it’s best to match plants that have a similar need for water and fertilizer. Some plants actually grow better when grown near a compatible companion! (Awww)
- Picking/Maintenance: Harvest regularly! Instead of admiring your crops laden with fruit, pick regularly to promote new growth. Snip herbs and dry for later use by bunching them with rubber bands, then hanging indoors. When it’s hot, you can spread mulch over the soil in pots just as you would in a garden, to keep moisture from evaporating.
And there you have it! You’re well on your way to growing your own organic veggies without all the fuss! We sell vegetable plants and containers here at Digger O’Dell, and we’re happy to help you get started! Come by and see us!
–Digger O’Dell Crew