Growing Vegetables In Pots
Growing Vegetables In PotsGrowing vegetables can bring out the farmer in anyone. You till the soil as well as tend the plants, then reap the rewards in the event the plants bear fruit. Even without much sunny ground, you can still feel the pleasure of harvesting your own vine-ripened tomatoes as well as other crops. All you need is usually a generous-size container, good potting earth, and a suitable spot a patio, deck, or corner that gets a minimum of six hours of full sun each day.
If you do have actual ground for growing, containers can still help you overcome problems like poorly drained soil, pests such as gophers, and soil-borne diseases such as fusarium wilt, nematodes, and verticillium wilt.Also, since soil in pots warms up more quickly in spring than it does in the ground, you can get a tomato or pepper off to a faster start. And tall pots make it easier for gardeners with limited mobility to tend crops without kneeling or squatting.
Vegetables in containers add visual punch to the landscape. Choose large, decorative containers and surround them with smaller pots of colorful flowers, and you'll have attractive focal points and a bounty of vegetables all summer long. Garden designer Rosalind Creasy of Los Altos, California (650/948-1588), even displays potted vegetables such as golden squash and fiery red peppers in her front yard (pictured above).
Soil preparation and plant care
- Potting medium
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Pick crops when they're ripe: beans before the seeds swell inside the pods; cucumbers and squash when fruits are fully expanded but not seedy; eggplants while skin is shiny; peppers when fully grown and showing appropriate color (green, red, or another shade); tomatoes when fully colored (red, orange, or yellow).