Anyone who dreams of harvesting veggies should try vegetable container gardening. It's an easy way to grow what you like when you have suboptimal soil in your yard or live in an apartment.
You'll get the most enjoyment from your gardening efforts by starting with something simple. Check out this guide to vegetable container gardening for beginners to learn how to grow whatever plants you'd like.
Learn More About Your Plants
Choosing a vegetable for your container garden requires more than scanning seed packets at your local garden center. You should always learn more about your plants so you know what they need and whether they're right for your skill level.
Consider the tomato. They thrive in different climates but grow quickly during nights that plummet to 55°F and afternoons that climb to 95°F in the summer.
If you didn't read about it, you might struggle to grow tomatoes in vegetable containers while outdoor temperatures are too hot or too cold.
Check out your plant's Latin name and where it comes from. A vegetable's history will tell you everything you need to know about what it needs to thrive.
How to Grow Container Vegetables
Starting a vegetable container gardening only requires a few simple steps. After learning how much sunlight your plants need and how deep their roots grow, plant them in nutrient-rich soil and begin their watering schedule.
As you figure out how much water your plants need, be careful of how much you use. Water scarcity affects over 700 million people each year.
Recycle boiled pasta water and collect rain during thunderstorms to minimize how much of the natural resource your garden takes from local waterways.
How to Plant Seedlings
There are two ways to plant vegetables, which could require multiple garden containers. The first is to plant the seeds in small cups or pots.
After they grow their second set of leaves, transport the seedlings carefully to deeper soil to form robust root systems.
You can also buy transplants from a nearby nursery to cut the growing time in half. In that case, you'd only need the large containers for however many vegetables you wanted to grow.
Most plants benefit from a layer of mulch in their containers, too. After watering them, mulch retains water in the soil by blocking direct sunlight. The leaves still soak up the sunshine, but the roots can take their time absorbing all the water they need.
How to Care for Garden Containers
After you begin your vegetable container gardening journey, you should care for your veggies with a few easy steps. Water them regularly, according to what their specific variety needs.
Add fertilizer once the fruit forms and prune the yellowing bottom leaves off to prevent the spread of fungal diseases.
You should also check the soil density frequently. Packed soil traps water and may kill your plants. Aerate them after they form extensive root systems by poking the soil gently with a chopstick or toothpick. Loosening the soil sends oxygen to the roots and improves the flow of water.
When Should You Harvest Vegetables?
As you watch the days and weeks fly by, you might become anxious to harvest your prized vegetables. Research whatever you grow so you don't accidentally pick them too early.
Analyze each vegetable's color, size and density. Consider how long it's been since you planted them.
Beginner gardens can keep track of these things in a gardening notebook so you can reflect on your garden's progress and estimate when you'll harvest your veggies.
What Diseases Do Container Vegetables Get?
Vegetables can suffer from a variety of diseases. Most come from overwatering and lapses in pest control. Make sure to use the right watering can for the job. Plants could become ill due to:
After getting into your new vegetable container gardening routine, learn how to identify diseases to bring your garden back to full health again quickly.
Which Pests Attack Vegetables?
With some quick research, you'll learn which pests attack vegetables and figure out how to prevent them in your container garden. Check under leaves and around the growing veggies to check for bugs at least once every day.
Container gardening offers a unique benefit — you won't have to worry about underground pests. The containers block creatures like moles and gophers. You'll only have to think about preventing smaller pests with sprays or other solutions.
Whether you prefer eco-friendly pesticides or whatever's on sale at your local garden store, spraying plants protects them from common bugs like fruitworms and potato bugs.
Here is more on How to Identify, Prevent & Control Potato Bugs.
Best Container Gardening Tips
Use some of the best container gardening tips to keep your plants alive and healthy. Follow advice such as:
- Give your plants plenty of sunlight each day.
- Never overwater your plants.
- Add nutrients to the soil after vegetables begin to form.
Fertilizers, sunshine and a little attention are the best ways to ensure you have a thriving garden.
Helpful FAQs and Answers
Here are a few helpful answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding container vegetable garden.
Should I Start With Seeds?
Starting with seeds or seedlings is up to you. Seedlings are easier to grow because you don't have to transport them, but starting with seeds is something many people do out of curiosity.
What Vegetable Should I Plant?
You can always check out popular beginner veggies to make your decision, but it also depends on where you live. Think about your climate and how much sunshine your plants will get to decide what will thrive in your garden.
How Many Plants Should I Grow?
Leaving a few inches between seedlings is essential so they never overcrowd each other. As long as they have space for roots to form, you can grow as many plants as you like.
Your limit will likely be your gardening budget and your patio or yard space.
Gardening is a journey and as such, the possibilities are endless. If you want more gardening options, look into eco-friendly gardening, organic gardening, and allotment gardening to see which type of gardener you want to be.
Wrapping Up Vegetable Container Gardening for Beginners
Vegetables are easy to grow and fun to learn about. Consider which you prefer in your salads and other meals to begin your research.
As you dream about vegetable container gardening, you'll quickly learn how to harvest delicious homegrown veggies.
Emily has been working on gradually going off the grid through making her own cleaning supplies, developing her garden, and decreasing her energy usage.
You can read more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folks.