You don’t need a plot of land to grow fresh vegetables. Many vegetables lend themselves well to container gardening. With some thought to selecting the right plants, almost any vegetable can be adapted to growing in a pot.
Container gardening with vegetables is a way to bring useful gardening onto a patio or deck. Container choices should match the size of the plant and give plenty of growth room. Vegetables for containers can even be easier than normal in ground vegetable gardens due to the ease of weeding and checking for disease or pests.What you can grow in a container vegetable garden is limited only by the size of the container and your imagination.
Lycopersicon lycopersicum, the tomato or love apple, is from the nightshade family. There are over 100 varieties of tomatoes. They will get widely varied in size, shape, and color. The variety will also vary in the acidity of the tomato. Plant a tomato plant in full sun in soil above 6.0 pH. Regular watering will keep the tomatoes from cracking or splitting. They may need caging or staking to stay upright. Good container choices are pixie, toy boy, spring giant, and small fry varieties. Container tomatoes take 7 to 10 days for germination and need a large planter. It will be ready for harvest in 90 to 130 days.
Capsicum spp., the pepper, is from the nightshade family. There are about 23 different species of chile peppers. They will get 2 to 4 feet tall, on average, with small flowers. Peppers are produced depending on variety in differing levels of hotness. Popular peppers are bell, jalapeno, habanero, and cayenne. Plant a pepper plant in full sun with regular watering. They may need staking or caging. Good container choices are jalapeno, canapé, yolo wonder, and keystone resistant giant. Container peppers take 10 to 14 days for germination and need a large planter. It will be ready for harvest in 90 to 120 days.
Lactuca sativa, the lettuce or romaine, is from the aster/daisy family. There are five types of lettuce and over 100 cultivars. This annual has hairless leaves with a stem to suppose flowers. Flowers are like dandelions and less than half an inch. The leaves are what are used as the food source. Plant a lettuce plant in full sun to partial shade with regular watering. Good container choices are the buttercrunch, romaine, ruby, and bibb varieties. Container lettuce takes 6 to 8 days for germination and need a medium planter. It will be ready for harvest in 45 to 60 days.
Cucumis sativus, the cucumber or gherkin, is from the pumpkin family. There are dozens of cultivars of cucumbers. These vines with hairy leaves and yellow flowers have fruits that are firm and crisp. Sizes of the fruits will vary depending on the variety. These should be trellised or caged. Plant a cucumber plant in full sun with regular watering. Good container choices are the burpless, crispy and liberty varieties. Container cucumbers take 5 to 8 days for germination and need a large planter. It will be ready for harvest in 50 to 70 days.
Like many other vegetables, eggplants thrive in both garden beds or in large containers. Planting in containers frees up garden space for other plants and also allows you to have a garden in an area you otherwise could not. Grow dwarf or small-fruited varieties of eggplant in planters, as these are more suitable to pot culture. Varieties such as Dusky produce smaller fruit on a compact plant, but have all the flavor of larger, garden grown eggplants. Eggplants will be ready to harvest in 60 to 90 days.
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