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When someone realizes that I am a horticulturist, they often say they want to garden, but don’t have the time or the physical capabilities anymore to “work” in the garden.
I can understand this as we are all busy and I am certainly not able to do the amount of physical work that I once could.
However, there is a way to keep gardening simple and easy without strenuous work.
Container Gardening for Healthy, Fresh Food
Vegetable container gardening is a great way to have the health benefits of growing fresh food without the back-breaking labor often associated with a productive garden.
We all know we should eat healthier, but quite frankly, often the vegetables from the grocery store don’t have a lot of flavor.
Most vegetables have been bred to have thick skins so they can travel thousands of miles on a truck without getting a blemish.
Therefore, the flavor isn’t the primary concern.
So people think they don’t like a certain vegetable, when in fact they have never had a fresh version.
Therefore, I highly encourage you to try to grow a few vegetables in a container to taste home-grown veggies.
It is a great way to add some fresh, organic food into your family’s diet.
Container gardening can also be a great summer project for kids to learn how plants grow and produce food.
There are even tomato varieties that are labeled “patio.”
They are smaller in stature and are great for container gardening.
Tips for Successful Vegetable Container Gardening:
- Use a container that is at least 16” wide. The bigger, the better. Use a container that has drainage holes in the bottom so the plants don’t get waterlogged.
- Place the container in an area that gets at least six hours of sun and is easy for you to water regularly.
- Use soil that states it is for outdoor containers. I don’t recommend using soil from your yard as it will become compacted in the container and hinder root growth.
- Use an organic vegetable fertilizer as instructed on the package.
- Most importantly, water most days! Containers dry out more quickly than soil in the ground, so check each day to make sure the soil isn’t dry. Water liberally and generously as it is hard to overwater in the heat of summer. Note that containers can still be dry after a rain. They don’t get the run-off like plants in the ground. So they still may need to be watered even after a rain shower.
- I recommend using a watering wand on the end of a hose to apply the water. This directs the water to the soil and keeps the foliage dry which lowers the risk of foliar diseases.
- Add your favorite herbs and flowers to the container to make it more productive and beautiful!
- Click here to go to our Complete Container Gardening Guide!
Watch this video to see a vegetable container garden that you can do at home too!