Vegetables that you can grow in Containers
Lack of Space for Gardening ?
Well, you actually don’t need space for it though! Because you can grow in Containers.
Everyone loves growing their very own vegetables which they want in their garden but often don’t have space to grow them. But there is an option to grow in containers too and installing a container garden is possible & quite easy. Container gardens can help you live your dreams. It allows you to grow delicious vegetables anywhere and most of the plant grows well in containers and the productivity is also far greater than the vegetable garden. It also looks so beautiful and attractive and is a great way to be loved by childrens as well and they start getting interested in Gardening in younger ages.
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Container gardening is just a little different from traditional growing in grounds or in raised beds and it serves you with more advantages as well. It can be placed in any location and it is very portable. It is the best way to start edible gardening with limited space. You can grow plants on patios, rooftops, balconies, window sills, or even doorsteps. It also helps you in avoiding soilborne diseases, nematodes or poor soil conditions and pests can also be managed here easily.
Here we will discuss some best vegetables that can be grown in containers and some best ways & tips for doing so.
How to start vegetable container gardening
Container gardening is very easy and portable but can be very challenging if you do not provide the right resources and management to the plants. Growing in pots requires at least six hours of sunlight, right potting soil, and adequate amount of water & drainage system.
Here we will see some important things to consider before starting it.
- Choosing the right light & temperature – A vegetable requires six hours of direct sunlight per day to thrive properly. You need a shade for your plants in warmer regions because you need to protect them from overheating. Avoid using dark colored or metal containers because they become very hot and may cock the roots of the plants. A minimum of 60°F temperature should be maintained in the soil.
- Water – Water is very essential and you need to keep your soil moist but avoid over watering. Water the plants twice during summer months.
- Use quality potting soil – Good potting soil is very important for plants as the garden soil can introduce new problems of weeds and soilborne diseases in the container.
- Feeding – Plants require nutrients to grow and their food is fertilizer. Add enough fertilizers during the growing season and mix organic fertilizer before plantation. Feed the plants with dilute liquid fish or liquid seaweed. Composting can also be done.
- Drainage system – Proper drainage system is essential so that they don’t drown. The base of the container should have many holes to drain the excess water as it could rot the roots. Avoid using a hard surface as it may clog the hole and may not drain properly.
- Container – Containers should be chosen very wisely. It should be large enough to grow, have plenty of space for roots to spread out, has a good drainage facility, and should be made of food safe material, should retain moisture. Use bigger containers for giant vegetables like potatoes or tomatoes.
- The best containers could be wooden, self- watering, ceramic, or DIY as it would be good for growing. They don’t dry out quickly and could be cheaper and inexpensive.
- Selecting Vegetables – The vegetables that grow well in containers are beans, green onions, tomatoes, peppers, parsley, squash, eggplants, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, and pole beans. The vegetables that are good in backyards are good for containers. Always look for varieties of the vegetables but remember that containers can grow certain types only.
- Selecting Seeds or Seedlings – You can grow from your seeds or you can even buy the seedlings of the vegetables. You just need to provide the required resources to them.
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Vegetables that can be Grown in Containers
Let’s see some vegetables that can be grown in containers.
- Beets – It can be grown in small spaces. They only require a deep pot with a depth of ten to twelve inches for ideal root growth. Majority of beet varieties do well in containers such as Chioggia which can thrive in full or partial shade and require 55 days for maturing. Another variety is Detroit Dark Red which is a deep red and sweet beet that can be harvested early or even later when the roots are more mature.
- Beans – The minimum pot depth required is 12 inches. Beans are of two varieties. A bushy variety like Porch Pick that is small, compact and neat and can be grown in tiny spaces. They don’t need extra support and thrive in full sun maturing in 55 days. Another variety is a climbing variety like Scarlet Runner which is a fiery colored plant producing small, red, heart shaped flowers with delicious nutty beans. They can grow in a trellis and can use the most space vertically and run them up on walls and fences. The edible pods can be picked up in 60 to 70 days when they are 4 to 6 inches long.
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- Chard – It is the best crop for container gardening and they are fast growing and productive. They don’t need much space to thrive and have shallow root systems. They don’t require much sunlight and can survive in shades. The minimum pot depth for Chards is 8 inches. Rainbow Mixture produces chard with mixed red, white, yellow and pink stalks. It is best grown in sheltered spots and harvested in 50 days. Another variety of chard, Ruby Red produces striking ruby red stalks and dark green leaves in summer as well as falls. It grows well in full or partial sun and can be harvested in 60 days.
- Chilli Peppers – These are perfect for spicing up small spaces and need a warm place to grow being productive and pretty. Their minimum required pot depth is 12 inches. Jalapeno Early and Thai Hot are two varieties of it of which jalapeno is a heirloom variety and can be harvested in about 65 to 70 days with gold yields and it blooms early in the season. Thai hot peppers grow 8 to 12 inch long with a harvest of up to 200 with half to one inch papers per plant in about 85 days. They are known to be very hot peppers.
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- Kale – Kale are full of nutrients and can be added to smoothies, salads etc. It requires a pot with 12 inches diameter and a well drained potting mix. The minimum pot depth required is 8 inches. Dwarf Blue Curled Vates are low and compact kale with beautiful and finely curled, bluish green leaves which can be harvested in 55 days. It needs to be partially protected from winds and can withstand cooler spring and winter weather. They can produce best yields in full sun. Dwarf Siberian is another variety with a high yield and sweeter than most kale varieties. It grows well in both full and partial sunlight and can be harvested in 50 to 60 days.
- Lettuce – Lettuce can be grown in small & shady places as it has a shallow root system. The minimum pot depth required is 6 inches. Burgundy Delight is one variety of lettuce which is known for its taste and is very crunchy and crisp and is perfect for small spaces. It can be harvested at a young age and also when it gets developed to full size heads. It grows best in full sun and takes 35 to 60 days to mature. Slow Bolt Arugula is another variety with the distinctive taste which has narrow and elongated leaves. It is best adapted to cooler temperatures but it will do better in the summer months than any other varieties.
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- Onions – Onions, especially Green onions grow well in containers and are added as a staple in most meals.The minimum pot depth required is 4 inches. Tokyo long white is one variety of onions which are long and thin which matures in 65 to 100 days with brightly pungent and long white shanks with blue green tops. They are resistant against pink root as well as smut, botrytis leaf blight and thrips. White Lisbon is another fast-growing mild onion which does not form a bulb and so it doesn’t take much space and can be planted more densely than other varieties. Young plants of this variety can be harvested in just 60 days and the proper matured ones take 120 days. These onions grow best in full sun.
- Radishes – Radishes grow well in even the smallest container by just scattering some seeds in the pot and giving them healthy & regular watering. The Solar Hybrid variety of radishes produces small, round, and bright red radishes round the year. They are a fast growing variety that can be harvested in just 25 days. It is recommended to grow them in full sun. Another popular variety of radishes is Cherry Belle which is a fast and easy growing plant that can grow either indoors or outdoors, in the sun or in the shade. They are mild and delicious and take only three weeks to grow to full maturity.
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- Spinach – They develop well in partial shade and can be grown in any kind of space even on your windowsill. It doesn’t require a very deep pot and the minimum pot depth is 6 inches as it has shallow roots but the pot should be quite wide so that it gets the space to spread out. Bloomsdale Long Standing variety of spinach produces deep green and delectable leaves that can be grown in sun or shade with a harvesting time of 45 to 55 days. Okinawa is another spinach variety which has perennial green leaves and is both ornamental and edible with attractive purple undersides. It requires no effort to grow. It thrives outside in the summer but it is best sheltered indoors during the winter months.
- Sweet peppers – They are incredibly versatile that are crisp, sweet and delicious with a minimum pot depth of 12 inches. Confetti Hybrid are green to red, multicolored 2 inches pepper which are ideal for growing in containers and can be harvested in 55 to 60 days. Jungle Parrot is a sweet and delicious hybrid variety with a tiny size and high yield. They produce bright, colorful peppers with 2 to 2¹/2 inch size and can be harvested in 75 to 85 days. It grows well in full sun.
- Tomatoes – Tomatoes are one of the most delicious and loved vegetables and an ideal potted plant to grow at home with a minimum pot depth required of 12 inches. They are the most productive potted crops. They require regular watering and lots of sunlight so a sunny windowsill or a roof terrace could be a perfect place for them. One hybrid variety of tomatoes is Atlas Hybrid which is a semi determinate variety that has been specifically designed for pots and is matured in 65 to 75 days. Another determinate variety is Bush Early Girl Hybrid which is a fast growing bushy variety that produces large and sweet tomatoes in 65 days. They are self supporting and require very little effort.
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Tips for Best Container Gardening
Below are some tips for container gardening.
- Always look for dwarf, bush or compact varieties for gardening.
- Always use such containers which are made of food safe materials.
- The container should have proper drainage holes
- The soil should not dry very quickly in the containers and so you need to check the soil frequently and water them regularly.
- Use mixture of moisture retentive for your soil
- Apply granular fertilizer blends for vegetables
- Use containers made of porous materials such as clay, ceramic, concrete or wood because plastic containers dry out faster.
- Don’t use dark color containers as it can cause damage to young roots and prevent them from developing.
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Growing vegetables in containers is easy but it can be challenging because all vegetables do not grow in a container, also not all of them look very appealing and aesthetic, so if you are planning to start growing your vegetables in containers, you need to select the best vegetables that can grow, produce and most importantly would look beautiful in containers. You need to make a right selection of the vegetables, do proper management and provide all the necessary resources to them for a desired result.