You want to grow some veggies, container vegetable gardening is your answer. If you don't have the space or inclination for a large garden just choose containers.
You can grow vegetables in containers on your balcony, up the side of the steps, in hanging pots, on your patio, your deck or anywhere you can fit a container.
If you live in a city apartment or condo you may do your container vegetable gardening on the rooftop, a balcony, in the alleyway, on the sidewalk or where ever they look good.
Some people do container gardening out of necessity. If your property has poor drainage, container vegetable gardening will solve that problem. Or if you have poor soil, plant your vegetables in good soil in a container.
Originally I planted some fruit and vegetables in tubs in the backyard to keep the dog from running over the vegetables. Then I realized how much easier it is for a senior to take care of plants that are high up, instead of at ground level.
You can grow vegetables in just about anything that will hold soil; pots, pans, buckets, tubs, whiskey barrels, livestock water tanks, an old sink or bath tub, a wheel barrel or build your own containers.
If the container is used, fine out how it was used previously. We don't want to plant our vegetables in a container that contained toxic things like paint, pesticides or other chemicals.
Five gallon buckets are great for container vegetable gardening. They are readily available and they are easy to move around with their handy handles.
Smaller container will be easier to move around. If you have large containers you may want move, consider putting them on wheels or casters.
Use a 1/2" or 3/4" auger bit and drill several holes in the bottom of a bucket. A larger tub should have at least a 1" hole every six inches. Some people like to drill the holes on the sides, just above the floor of the container.
Some of the clay or ceramic pots for sale don't have any drainage holes in the bottom. Use a masonry bit to make their drain holes. Drilling into a ceramic pot with a regular drill bit may cause it to crack, so use a masonry bit.
Apart from sun, the soil for your container vegetable gardening is the most important aspect of your gardening.
The container's soil must both drain well and be able to retain moisture. It should not compact and become soggy causing the roots to rot.
Bagged topsoil does not work well in containers. The natural soil from your yard will not work well in containers, unless you mix it with plenty of organic matter; compost, peat moss or vermiculite.
The commercial soil mixes have also been sterilized to kill any pests, diseases and weed seeds.
Fill your containers with the potting soil. Small pots can be filled to about 1" below the rim. Larger pots should be filled to 2" or 3" below the rim. Then when you water, the soil won't wash out of the pot.
Container vegetable gardening is very rewarding.
Today the plant breeders are coming up with more compact sized vegetable plants. Any of the leafy vegetable such as lettuce, spinach and kale, etc. are naturals for a container.
The larger vegetables like tomatoes and squash now have compact, bush or dwarf varieties that fit very well into a container.
The sprawling vegetables like cucumbers, winter squash and even the melons have bush varieties suitable for container vegetable gardening.
The vine-like plants like cucumbers or beans may be planted next to a trellis, a fence or grown on tomato cages.
As a general rule container plants require daily watering, with some variations.
Large containers are watered less often. Small containers don't have as much soil, so they dry out faster.
During hot or windy days, the soil can dry out very quickly. So they will probably require extra watering.
During cool or cloudy weather you won't have to water so often.
How does a plant get its nutrients out of the soil?
A plant picks up the nutrients that are in solution. Dry nutrients have no way to get into the plant.
When we water our containers, we are washing the nutrients out of the container. More about fertilizer
Originally when we planted our container vegetable garden there may have been time-released fertilizer in the mix. Maybe we added compost or rotted manure. These nutrients last from 3 to 4 months.
So after 3 or 4 months we need to give the plant more nutrients - fertilizer.
Since the plant can only pick up nutrients that are in solution. We should fertilize with a soluble fertilizer.
The vegetables can take the liquid fertilizer into the plant for immediate use.