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Vegetable container gardening is a fun activity. Although it eliminates the thrill of traditional vegetable gardening, growing vegetables in containers make the activity more challenging. However, with so many available materials to read, a novice gardener can get overwhelmed by all the tips or pointers that are presented by these materials. But the good news, gardening is easy as 123. If you are like me, you don’t want to reinvent the wheel, or spin your wheels. Right. You see, the methods of garden preparation and maintenance are thoroughly discussed in detail and so many versions, but the basic knowledge that is applied in gardening is the same. Here are some ace in the whole points that you can use in starting up and ensuring the success of your container vegetable garden.
* On soil type selection. Since you are gardening in containers, choosing the best type solid for your garden will be convenient. All you need to do is step out and reach the nearest garden shop. The lack of yard space is sometimes an advantage; it eliminates the trouble of soil testing and preparations before gardening. Ask for the most experienced shop keeper’s advice on container vegetable gardening. Allow him to help you select the type of soil that you need. Also, be guided by the soil type recommendations that are placed at the back of the label of vegetable seed packets.
* On pots and pot sizes. The size of the vegetable dictates the size of its container. As long as the container provides ample space for the vegetable to grow, you can virtually grow anything on the container. For shallow-rooted crops like lettuce, peppers, radishes and herbs, it is advised to make use of a container that has a minimum of 6-inch diameter with a 7-inch soil depth. Gardening containers are offered in various sizes, shapes, and materials. Whether you choose clay, wood, plastic or ceramic containers, what’s important is its drainage capacity. The container has to have enough holes to allow excess water to drain rapidly and prevent over watering- a common container gardening problem. The material and the type of container are irrelevant as long as it sits right and allows proper drainage.
* On your vegetable selection. The choices for container vegetable gardening is diverse; ranging from beans to leaves to fruit bearing shrubs and herbs. However, here are some of the ideal choices for gardening beginners. Green leafy vegetables as in leaf lettuce will do great. These vegetables just keep growing. Having them cultivated in your garden allows you to fill up your salad bowl every time. With regular watering, a garden of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and cucumbers will do great. In growing beans, you may need to have a trellis which also makes a charming accent for any garden. For ease of cultivation, many of the vegetables, with seeds available in sealed packs, is specially bred or hybridized for container gardening.
So there you have it. Follow these pointers and you can ensure success with container vegetable gardening. The more you do, the better you will get and the more you will the produce you grow.
Almost any container will work for tomatoes, but grow boxes are very nice. Grow boxes allow you to control the flow of the water to the tomato plants which improves the chances for growing healthy plants and producing wonderful ripe tomatoes. If a grow box isn’t an option, try and find a container that is at least five gallons or larger. Ensure there are holes in the bottom for drainage.
You can also try using bushel baskets lined with plastic bags with holes in the bottom of the plastic bags for drainage. Bushel baskets will hold at least three tomato plants and they look very nice sitting on a patio or deck.
Selecting the Tomato Variety
The dwarf tomatoes work the best in containers. If this is your first tomato container garden, try one of the cherry varieties for a patio like a Pixie II or a Tiny Tim. These types of small plants produce very tasty fruit but don’t need a lot of support in the container. They will also produce very early.
Planting the Tomato Plants
When selecting tomato plants for your containers, choose strong, stocky plants to transplant into the containers. Prepare the containers by filling them with a mixture of potting soil and compost, approximately 50/50, ensuring it is thoroughly mixed. Fill the container to within a few inches from the top. Place the tomato plants in the container, three or four per container with between 3 to 4 inches between plants. Water the container thoroughly, ensuring the soil is soaked all the way down to the roots and below of the tomato plant. Set the container in a location where it will get at least six hours of full sun each day.
Caring for Container Tomatoes
Water the containers more often than a traditional garden because container gardens will dry out more easily. It will be necessary to check the container garden daily to ensure it stays moist and does not dry out. During the heat of summer, it may be necessary to water the plants daily. Check the tomato leaves for brown spots or insects. Apply fertilizer every other week or so and apply it around the base of the tomato plant. If the leaves begin to turn brown, or the fruit begins to get brown spots, try placing crushed egg shells around the base of the tomato plant.
When the plant’s flower, shake the vines to release the pollen and help pollination along a bit. The tomato plants should start producing fruit within a couple of months.
When the growing season is over, bring the containers inside if you have a sunny place to place them. They will continue to produce fruit as long as they can receive six hours of direct sunlight each day. This can prolong the growing season quite a bit. Growing tomatoes in a container garden is a great way to get fresh vegetables and maximize the space you have available.