Vegetable Container Gardening for Beginners
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Vegetable Container Gardening for Beginners, 5 things you must Know if you are new to container gardening or want to start Gardening in Containers
Vegetable Container Gardening for Beginners 5 Things You Must Know
Here are top 5 things you must know when container planting.
Growing in container have a lot of advantages or benefits but these are things you need to consider before planting in containers.
No matter the size of you container or the plant you are going to grow in there, you need good drainage in your container in order for the excess water to drain out of the container.
If you make your own container or recycle containers then you need to ensure that they are enough drainage holes in the container.
If there are no holes, Make some holes, I usually make about 4 to 6 holes depending on the container.
The bigger the container, the more holes you want to make. ensure that the holes are at the bottom of the container.
If you are buying a new gardening container, that's fine, but if you are recycling a container that was previously used for something else, you have to ask yourself,
What is the container made of?
You want to make sure you use containers that are made with food grade materials. They usually have a 2" label that says it is food grade.
The containers might look clean but the chemicals on the container will leak out into your soil and your plant.
Avoid using containers that contain harmful chemicals that could affect you and your vegetable plants. Checkout my blog on where to get free food grade container here.
The size of the container does matter a lot. The roots of the plants need to be able to grow and expand in the soil and if the container is small, there will be less space, less soil, less water and less nutrients to feed the plant.
Some plants require a large root system to help it grab all the nutrients it needs from the soil while others don't need the same amount.
A good rule of thumb is get bigger containers for your plants so they grow to fit the size. this is good if you are not constrained by space and cost.
How do you know if the plants you have are in the right size containers?
Is the container tipping over easily? if it is then I might not be the right size.
Are the roots coming out of the drain holes, if they are then it is time to get a larger container.
Soil or potting Mix
Growing in containers is very different from growing in a garden bed or on any soil or piece of land. Container gardening soil needs to have all require nutrients and should not be easily compacted.
As a result a regular soil will not be good for container gardening. That is why you need a potting soil or potting mix (it has good nutrients, not compacted and good drainage) for the roots to grow.
You can get potting mix from your local garden center or you can make yours. Checkout my post on how to make your own potting mix for pennies.
The container restrict the roots to a small space and as a result they plant may use all available water in the soil within days in hot temperatures. Some of water will easily evaporate because of the size of the container. the bigger the container, the more soils, potting and water it can hold for the plant.
You can leave your garden for a week without watering and the plants might still be ok but container plants will easily die if the container mix is dry for a long time like a week or more.
Smaller containers need to be watered regularly. There are a few kinds of self-watering containers that might help with this issue for a short period of time.