Container Vegetable Gardening
The Practical Answer to
Limited Growing Space
Container Vegetable Gardening is a fabulous solution for those of us who do not own large gardens or have access to an allotment.
Many people living in the heart of towns and cities enjoy urban gardening.
If the only growing area you have access to is small, or like mine, is cemented over, then it may seem that the prospect of growing your own food is out of reach or unfeesable.
However this is not the case. Even the smallest of balconies, patio gardens or even window boxes can provide an abundance of foods for you to enjoy through container vegetable gardening methods. If done right, these methods can save you a LOT of money and provide you with a good healthy living experience, but that is the key; 'doing it right'.
Anyone can dabble with the Urban Homesteading experience by throwing a few seeds into a pot of mud, stick it in the sunshine and get a plant, but the real challenge is to get that plant to produce a sufficient yield to warrant the effort.
I know of several people who like to grow tomatoes each year in pots on their patios, however they seldom get more than a few measily fruits throughout the entire growing season, yet with just a couple of changes in their approach, they could have more tomatoes than they know what to do with.
I have since directed them to my short article on this subject 'How to Grow Tomatoes in Abundance', and my more comprehensive article simply called 'Growing Tomatoes'. A few minutes spent reading these articles is all it will take to make a world of difference to their crop, and this is ultimately what this website is all about; I'm trying to help people get the very most out of the growing space they have available to them.
Container Vegetable Gardening is also a very fun, versatile, and rewarding hobby, highly addictive! It enables us to make use of those otherwse redundant and awkward areas of our homes.
See my article on getting started.
Combining Different Methods
Using containers makes it possible to grow food in areas where it would otherwise be impossible, and by employing some simple and innovative methods covered in more detail on this website, such as vertical gardening, raised bed gardening, and square foot gardening, you can extract some excellent, and money-saving crop yields from just a tiny amount of space.
Something else worth considering is growing your food organically. An organic vegetable garden can be easy to grow and the rewards for not using chemicals, pesticides and herbicides on your food are obvious.
Another thing worth looking into is the possibility of hydroponic growing. I have a small system in place that utilises a tiny growing area, but produces a lot of food. Click here to have a look at it.
Growing vegetables in containers also gives you much more control over your plants. You can usually move them indoors if you are faced with an unexpected frost, or move them to another position if they do not appear happy where they are, perhaps getting too much sunlight? You can even grow some vegetables indoors if you have a suitible sunny or bright area where you can sit some pots.
Low Cost Containers
The great thing about Container Vegetable Gardening is that, apart from buying a few essentials, like good quality compost, it can be done on a low budget and is extremely versaitle.
You don't need to go out and but expensive or flashy container pots. You can use almost anything. If it can hold some soil, is large enough, and can have a few drainage holes put in the bottom, then you can probably use it for Container Vegetable Gardening. Old wheelbarrows, buckets, plastic soda bottles cut in half, old tin cans, I even saw an old TV set housing used once! The list is endless and only limited by your imagination.
Do it right, and
will be an enjoyable hobby for life, and will enable you to enjoy good yields of crops from even the smallest, least garden-like areas of the home or office.
There are just a few basic rules to Container Vegetable Gardening:
1. Whatever pots or containers you use, they must have holes in the bottom for drainage to prevent plants from drowning.
2. Your plants will need to be tended once they begin to grow. watering is a regular requirement of container vegetable gardening unless you are able to rig up some kind of automatic watering system or porus hose.
3. make sure the size of your pot is appropriate for the size of your plant. It's easy to get carried away when potting young plants and overcrowd them. Remember - they grow up! 4. Be sure to remove any old root's and plant matter, and dig. mix and aerate the soil well at each new planting cycle. This is essential in avoiding the compacting of the soil. Good airated roots will help to bring you a fine crop and a high yield.
UV light and containers
A final note: If possible, try to go for containers that will be able to stand up to prolonged exposure to the sun's UV rays. Glazed ceramic and terracotta pots are ideal, but are expensive. Galvanised buckets make good reliable planters. Some plastics tend to go brittle after a while and you may find yourself having to replace pots as they start to break up. builders rubble sacks and heavy duty polythene bags will also do an adequate job but remember to make drainage holes. I've heard that some people have attempted to use reusable grocery bags as planters, but discovered that some types quickly started to disintegrate and fall apart in the sunshine.
Personally I have found that the cheap general purpose builders buckets that you get in DIY and builders stores do a good job as containers pots.
I think this is because they have a slightly higher rubber content which makes them less susceptible to being dried out and made brittle by the sun.
In the UK, Wickes stock the 5 gallon buckets for just 99pence each, which I think is pretty good value for money. I've purchased several in the past and I think I've still got all of them - they last for years.
Frugality & saving money
Talking of watching the pennies, In today's economy it can become a struggle to keep food on the table and to provide for your young family's needs.
Container Vegetable Gardening is just one of the many ways you can reduce your spending and cut costs. Ray-Anne from
Frugality-for-today.com can show you how to do this through careful budgeting and planning, Click here to visit her informative and useful website.
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