Container gardening gives vegetable gardeners more flexibility in terms of growing season and space, with the option to put veggies on a porch or patio, or even indoors. Veggies require some additional considerations if they're to thrive in pots, though, including the right soil, water, nutrition and light exposure. Although north-facing locations may offer the right lighting for vegetables, gardeners must provide the other requirements for successful growth.
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Vegetables in Pots
Vegetables can thrive in pots and containers, but need containers that offer enough room and balance. Choose heavy clay, stone or plastic pots that have drainage holes and hold at least 3 to 5 gallons of soil for vegetables. All pots should be at least 6 inches tall to give veggies enough room for root growth.
Vegetable plants require deep, rich and supportive soil in the garden, and have an even more demanding need for rich soil in pots. Use a mixture of potting soil and organic compost to plant potted veggies, to ensure not only drainage and nutrition, but also moisture retention. Include slow-release starter or 14-14-14 fertiliser at planting.
Vegetables do best with full sun all day, and may not bloom or bear as much fruit in full or partial shade. North-facing locations should get sun all day and offer good vegetable-growing conditions. Make sure that your site gets protection from drying wind during the summer and any harsh weather in fall or winter.
Vegetables in containers grow in a restricted environment in terms of space and nutrition, and cannot live on sunshine alone. Water the vegetables every day to maintain moisture and keep the vegetable roots from drying out. The Ohio State University Extension recommends feeding potted vegetables once a week starting at their first blooming, using water-soluble 20-20-20 or 15-30-15 fertiliser.
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- Ohio State University Fact Sheet; Container Vegetable Gardening; Karen Demboski, Annette Swanberg and Jane C. Martin
- North Carolina State University; Container Vegetable Gardening; Larry Bass; March, 1999
- Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet; Growing Cucumbers, Peppers, Squash and Tomatoes in Containers; Pamela J. Bennett