Our First Vegetable Container Garden
We first started using containers for vegetable gardening before we had space for a vegetable garden. However, even when we did finally have space we continued vegetable gardening in containers for some veggies like tomatoes and peppers.
I started my first container garden while living in an apartment. Made great use of the balcony. Later, once I was married we rented homes but were never allowed to dig up a garden so containers were used instead.
We still do container gardening today even though we have a vegetable garden. They opportunity to use other areas of our yard that we don’t want to dig up was just too much so now we have container with veggies growing in those places.
Things You Should Know About Container Gardening
Through the years we had container gardens we learned a few things that will benefit those just starting out. No need for that trial and error, as we have already done that for you.
Use Containers That Will Be Large Enough
It’s easy to buy containers or pots for your vegetables that seem like they will be big enough. We found that we made the wrong choices a number of times. Since then we have learned to always buy the next size larger as that always seems to be the case.
We used regular starter pots to start our vegetables from seed but I am not talking about that I am referring to the finally transplanting size pots.
Drainage Is A Big Problem With Container Gardening
I have drowned more than one innocent vegetable plants because the containers I used didn’t drain well enough.
I will admit that most of the time it was me causing the drainage problems due to not putting enough stones in the bottom and eventually the holes in the bottom plugged.
Add Perlite To Your Potting Soil
Perlite, a siliceous rock is a special volcanic mineral which swells to a dozen times it’s original volume when it is heated to a temperature of approximately 871C, about 1600 F. During the heating process, the mineral particles pop like popcorn and form a granular, white snow-like material that is so light in weight it weighs only about 80-128 kg/cubic meter or 5 to 8 pounds per cubic foot.
This allows the material to have a great surface area and to hold moisture which slowly releases back into the soil keeping your plants watered much longer.
Your Vegetables Will Need Water
An in-ground vegetable garden can be protected from the heat of the sun and even from evaporation caused by the wind blowing over the ground. One can use different mulches to help moisture from evaporating from teh ground which will save water.
Containers don’t work the same way as they have all their soil above ground in full contact with the wind and sun. Because the soil is actually above ground it tends to heat up much quicker which either cooks your roots or bakes them.
This is where perlite will come in very handy in keeping your containers watered. You can also use a drip irrigation system. They seem to work well and give the gardener control over how much water is used.
Keeping your containers on the lawn will keep them cooler than leaving them in the driveway or on dirt. It’s a fact that the temperature at lawn level is several degrees cooler than the breeze moving across dirt or pavement.
Vegetable Container Gardens Can Be Relocated
This wasn’t the case with my balcony vegetable garden but for our veggie container garden in the places we rented we moved our containers around to take full advantage of the sun.
We have had a lot of fun with our container gardens and really they were pretty easy to maintain, although we had to learn a couple of things. Any mistakes we made were mostly fixable.