Just because you may live in an apartment or live in a home with little or no garden availability (or permission to dig up part of the yard), don’t let that stop you from testing your green thumb and trying your hand at growing some vegetables this summer!
There are lots of vegetable varieties that you can grow in a container or garden pots.
Set them out on your deck, porch, or anywhere there’s a sunny place where you have a bit of outdoor space.
Even if you live in the city in an apartment building, many have a deck or balcony, which could be accommodating for a few pots or containers of vegetable plants.
Container gardening enables easy and controllable gardening on a small scale.
By using nutrient-rich garden soil in your container garden pots (available at any local gardening supply store), you will virtually eliminate underground pests that may otherwise have been in your yard soil – while also maximizing the benefit of having purpose-mixed beneficial garden soil.
In a container garden pot, weeding is easy and they are easily controlled.
By having the pots on a porch or balcony will also help to deter some of the 4-legged creatures who would otherwise feast on your precious veggies.
When you purchase your container pots, be sure they have a drain hole in the bottom. If they don’t, then be sure to drill a few holes yourself – otherwise the roots will rot.
Start by placing a layer of pea-gravel, small pebbles, or small stones on the bottom of the container. This will separate the soil from the drain hole, facilitating better drainage and will prevent a clog.
Then simply add your garden soil, leaving two inches space from the top of the container.
With the root ball of the plant you purchased from your local nursery, be sure to pick the roots with your fingers and pull them apart somewhat, instead of leaving them in a tight ball from the pot they came in. It makes a big difference in how the root structure will develop in the new pot and will promote better growth.
When finished, water very deeply.
An important note regarding container gardening: The soil inside the container WILL dry out fairly quickly because the entire container (and the soil within) is exposed to the sunlight – it’s above ground. Check the soil daily.
To help maintain soil moisture, add about two inches of mulch on top of the soil.
Consider using the following soil moisture meter to check whether or not your containers need watering. It is important to check the moisture deep into the container because you might be fooled by simply using your fingers to scratch the surface where it may be dry while there may still be plenty of moisture midway into the pot.