Just because you live in an apartment building or in a place where outdoor space is limited, does not mean that you cannot have a thriving vegetable garden of your own. There are a good number of vegetables that you can grow in containers that you place in a patio, balcony or by a window inside. Start your container vegetable garden by carefully selecting the containers that you will grow your plants in. Remember that you should never plant a large plant in a small container. Next, you should invest in quality potting soil. Some potting soils are made specifically for an indoor or an outdoor plant, so pay close attention to the recommendations that you will find on the back of the packaging. The key to a good potting soil is that it promotes good root aeration and moisture retention.
Most plants love sun and water, but can also tolerate partial shade. In hot weather, it is best to water your plants in the early morning and in the afternoon. Watch tomatoes and strawberries more closely as they may require even more frequent watering if temperatures begin approaching the 100 degree mark. Plant food can help to care for your plants, especially if you are not using fresh soil or fertilizer. Most plant foods are appropriate for all plants, including vegetable plants, but you can always ask a garden center employee or read the packaging directions to be sure that the plant food you choose is appropriate for your vegetable container garden.
Some people have a hard time thinking of what types of vegetables would do well in a container garden. While tomatoes and herbs are the most popular container garden items, there are many more varieties that you may want to try your hand at. Here are some examples of fruits and vegetables that can do well in a container garden:
· Tomatoes – When growing tomatoes in a container garden it is best to begin with a “starter plant” which can be found at most nurseries starting in the early spring. You can generally fit one or two plants in a 12″ container. As the plant grows you will want to stake it with an old broom handle or paint stick for sturdier growth. A container tomato plant can produce fruit from spring to late summer.
· Green peppers – Green peppers also come in starter plants, making the container and size selection of the plant very easy. Like the tomato plant, green pepper plants can produce from spring thru summer. Peppers are generally easier to maintain than tomato plants.
· Hot red peppers – Red pepper plants can make a beautiful decorative plant, but keep in mind that they can be dangerous if children or pets are able to reach them. These plants are easy to maintain and will last season after season. It is not uncommon for a red pepper plant to last for years.
· Herbs – When planting herbs you want to make sure that each herb is in a separate container. Herbs that you can grow in your container garden include oregano, cilantro (Asian parsley), basil, sage, dill, rosemary. Mint is also a great herb to grow in your container garden but keep in mind that it will grow more quickly than other herbs.
· Strawberries – Depending on the variety a strawberry plant may need its own special type of planter. Do your homework and research what type of container is best for your type of strawberry plant.
· Dwarf fruit trees – There are some varieties of fruit trees that you can buy in dwarf sizes. Although dwarf fruit trees will require more attention when it comes to caring for them, they can be a very beautiful addition to your home as well as an excellent source of fruit for your family.