Growing vegetables in containers to save space in a small garden

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Growing vegetables in containers to save space in a small garden.

If your garden is limited by space or poor soil, try growing homegrown vegetables in containers on window sills, patios, your balcony or even your doorstep.

When selecting seeds and plants for containers choice need not be restricted, almost any garden vegetable will grow in a container. These include tomatoes, peppers, spring onions, beans, lettuce, squash, radishes, parsley, runner beans and cucumbers. So choose your favourites.

The benefits off container gardening.

Advantages and benefits off container gardening.
 
Plant selection isn't a problem,
 
Most plants that grow in a garden will do well in containers. The type and depth of soil are important factors, as are Sun and Shade,  I have covered these in this article.
 
Growing in containers can offer advantages over growing vegetables in the garden. 
Saving space is the obvious benefit of container gardening, but the ability to move plants if frost is forecast by bringing pots inside or to a more sheltered spot near the house, and If plants are getting too little sun or too much, lighter or wheeled containers can be moved to a better spot, also make gardening easier and more productive.
 
And a few more good reasons to grow in pots and containers.
  • Easier and less weeding,
  • Less chance of soil-borne and other plant diseases, 
  • Slugs, snails and other garden pests are much easier to control,
  • Feeding and watering your plants is also easier,    
  • The growing season can be extended, its nearly always warmer near the walls of your house.  Insulating pots and containers with old blankets, carpet and other insulating materials  to keep the soil warmer is easier.
  • Choosing plants that are not compatible with your type of soil is possible.
  • And probably the biggest benefit is, growing in containers makes gardening accessible to the young the old and people who find it difficult bending and getting around the garden .

 

Soil for containers and pots. 
If you can, use soil from your garden or buy it loose from a local topsoil supplier, its a lot cheaper than buying it in small bags from garden centers, ishould be free of disease and weed seeds. If you have a compost heap mix in some homemade compost.
 
Feeding your container grown vegetables. 
Whilst on the subject of compost, it is a good idea, even in a small garden, to set aside an area for composting kitchen waste. My article linked here explains how easy it is to produce compost and organic liquid fertiliser. It is better and a lot cheaper than buying feed for your plants 
 
Choosing Pots and Containers. 
Any container can be used for growing vegetable plants. Tupperware, cans, tubs or wooden trays. As long as it's easy to handle and has enough depth and space for root growth. Purpose made containers are fairly cheap to purchase and even cheaper to make yourself from timber, breeze blocks even old tyres. 
You might want to try growing in or making containers from hay or straw bales.

Good drainage is important. Drill or cut drain holes about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch from the bottom and add an inch of coarse gravel in the bottom. 

Seeding and Transplanting. If you have saved seeds from last season's harvest you will know how to sow them.  If not read the packet. It's really that easy.  Always buy plants or seeds that suit your garden soil and shade or full sun. Choose disease-resistant varieties whenever you can.

Chemical free container gardening 
Chemicals, even those labeled "organically acceptable" can cause more damage than good.  Contact killers sprays often hit and kill other plants, chemicals to treat fungal problems can be washed into the soil killing the gardeners best friend, the garden worm.

By carefully checking plants for problems like fungi before introducing them into your garden and generally looking after your plants with correct feeding and watering, you need not become dependent on the use of chemicals
 
Try to avoid the use of chemicals, such as pesticides and fertilisers. 
Almost all chemicals kill plants and animals beyond those targeted. Work with nature rather than against it.  Organic gardeners want their plants to grow well, but not at any cost instead accepting a certain level of imperfection.

Light, sunshine and shade.Nearly all vegetable plants grow better in full sunlight than in shade. Lettuce, cabbage, greens, spinach and parsley will tolerate more shade than radishes, beets, turnips and onions.  Fruit bearing plants like cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes will need a lot more light, so position them in areas where they can receive the best possible growing conditions.

Harvesting is the best bit.
Eat
 the vegetables at their peak when full off flavour.