For those who are eager to enjoy the delicious benefits of vegetable gardening but don’t have much time or space to grow in the ground, container gardening provides the perfect solution. Here are a few guidelines to help you get the most reward from your small-space vegetable garden.
Think Small and Sunny
When starting a container garden, remember to think small and sunny. That is, understand the amount of space you have allotted for your new garden and where that space is in relation to the sun. Patios and balconies that receive afternoon sun are the ideal location for container gardens, as they provide the longest continuous sunlight to help plants grow and encourage fruit to ripen fast.
Contain the Excitement
Now that you’ve chosen the ideal spot, it’s time to decide on containers. The possibilities are endless! Consider using galvanized washtubs, wood crates lined with plastic, or go all out and construct a vertical pallet garden. Just make sure all your containers provide adequate drainage and be sure to fill them with nutrient-rich potting soil.
The Right Plant for the Job
Compact, yet delicious vegetable plants will give you the best results in your container garden. Be sure to look at the plant’s tag for growing requirements and to assess the amount of space needed for height and spacing. Look for collections like Burpee’s Space Savers that thrive in containers and produce superior-quality vegetables. These plants have a compact growth habit, mature quickly and continue to produce fruit, so you can harvest for longer into the season. You’ll want to avoid planting vegetables from the same plant family in one container, however, as they will compete for and use up the same nutrients in the potting soil.
Grow and Enjoy
The key to a successful container garden is to nurture your plants with water and weekly fertilizer to encourage a bountiful harvest. Remember that containers dry out faster than a garden bed and will need to be monitored daily. The easiest way to determine watering needs is to stick your index finger about 2 inches down into the soil. If it feels dry, it is time to water. As your plants mature, harvest your crop and enjoy the full flavor and health benefits from vegetables grown right on your own patio or balcony.
Burpee Space Savers
Bush Champion Cucumber*
Fresh Pickles Cucumber*
Patio Snacker Cucumber
Patio Baby Eggplant
White Star Hybrid Eggplant*
Good Grillin’, Kitchen Favorites Herb Combos
Heatwave Blend Lettuce*
Alfresco Mixture Lettuce
City Garden Mixture Lettuce
Baby Bubba Okra*
Baron Sweet Pepper
Better Belle II Sweet Pepper
Cherry Stuffer Sweet Pepper*
Lemon Dream Sweet Pepper*
Sweet Savour Sweet Pepper*
Take 2 Director’s Cut Pepper Combo*
Tangerine Dream Sweet Pepper*
Baby Boomer Small-Fruited Tomato*
BushSteak Beefsteak Tomato*
Bush Champion II Slicer Tomato
Bush Early Girl Slicer
Tomato Celebrity Slicer Tomato
Be sure to visit BurpeeHomeGardens.com for lots of growing and harvesting tips, pictures of all our vegetable and flower varieties, vegetable recipes and lots more!
All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.
By Stacey Hirvela, Proven Winners ColorChoice®
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners ColorChoice®
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