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

1 comment:

  1. Great info Gleeza! My fingers are crossed that my container and in ground veggies are in the right places!