Sunday, April 17, 2011

Edible Container Gardening

Container gardening is fun and challenging.  Many considerations have to be made, from the choice of container, soil used, and plant selected, all will play a role on how successful your gardening adventure turns out to be.  I have successfully grown and harvested from my container garden for the past three years now and have found that certain varieties of plants do better in containers than others.  Not all tomatoes are equal and not all vegetables can be grown in containers. 

First choose your container carefully, size matters here. Bigger is not always better and overcrowding can also be detriment. Do not use garden soil, always use a potting mix for your containers or you can get creative and learn about soiless potting mixes.  Here is a list of varieties that I have successfully grown in containers with source and size of container recommended.  When selecting seeds look for varities that say "determinate", "bush", "compact" and "container culture" on the labels.  You can find seeds suitable for container culture at Burpees, Gurney, Territorial Seed Company, Pinetree Nursery, Totally Tomatoes, and Park Seed.

For window boxes, shallow containers:
Lettuce - All leaf varieties are suitable for container culture, try Little Gem for head lettuce
Spinach - Baby Spinach
Carrots - Short & Sweet, Scarlet Nantes, Thumbelina

Most herbs can be grown in 6 to 8 inch pots or window boxes, just trim and use in your cooking to maintain size of plant throughout the growing season.  Try Flat leaf or Curly Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Mints, Sage, Basil, Marjoram, Chives, and Cilantro.  Herbs are also great for the square foot garden, but be careful of spreading herbs like Oregano and Mints that can become invasive and better suited for containers.

Large Containers 12-14 inches in diameter, half barrels and 3 to 5 gallon containers
Winter Squash - Bush Delicata
Eggplant - Fairytale, Twinkle, Black Beauty
Tomato - Patio Princess, Totem, Tumbling Tom, Bush Boy, Better Bush
Cucumber - Salad Bush, SpaceMaster, Bush Pickle
Okra - Baby Bubba

For additional resources on container gardening, please visit these links:
Container Vegetable Gardening
Suggested Vegetable Varieties for Container Gardening
Vegetable Container Garden

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Container Cucumbers

I have been busy doing many things and my garden has been busy growing. Here is a picture of one month's growth on my container bush variety of cucumbers started from seed in late February.  When I checked this morning there were two baby cucumbers forming.   Now I have never been successful at getting cucumbers to this stage of growth or actually getting frui.t and that is due to me mainly planting at the wrong time and planting the wrong variety.  Cucumbers are naturally vining plants and most varieties will benefit from trellising, but being that I do not have the room so I searched out bush varieties suited for container culture.  If I get two or three fruits from this pair of plants I will be very happy.

Pictures Taken March 2nd and April 4th