Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What's in Your Container?

I can't help myself, really.  I don't have a large back yard for gardening, but I am determined to have my fresh crops no matter what the season.  So, I keep plenty of containers around.  I pick them up anywhere I can.  Some are just standard flower pots, like the one pictured below that hold my Garlic. Some are over sized  wash tubs like the one holding my tomatoes.  They come from dollar stores, from thrift stores and some from the side of the road.
Brussel Sprouts

When utilizing any container for crops it is important to know what you want to sprout.  For example, although spinach and green onion will work well I certainly wouldn't want to try a potato.  Root vegetables (ie potato, carrot etc) need more depth for growth than most containers will allow.  Yes, onion can be considered a root vegetable.  Stick with the simple to grown green onion for success.  Pick something that has a hardy root system but doesn't require a lot of room to grown.  This will make plants such as okra, brussel sprouts and spinach flourish in containers.  They have strong sturdy roots and they grow completely above the soil.

Although not impossible I do try to stray from cultivating any vining vegetable in a container.  It can be done successfully, but can also tend to hamper the bounty of any harvest.  Cucumbers, peas, squash and green beans need plenty of room to spread and thrive.  Most containers won't allow for that.  However it is very possible to take advantage of a large container and allow most vining crops to flourish. Tomatoes can be perfect in a container as long as you choose the right strain.  Beef Steak tomatoes may not work as well as say grape, or cherry tomatoes.

Possibly the most popular and advantageous crop for any container is the herb.  Herbs of all kind love to show off their advantages in a container.  I don't suggest making one hugh container herb garden.  They will tend to cross pollinate.  When I grow cilantro I want cilantro.  Not a cilantro/basil mixture.  Although that can be quite useful in some dishes.   In addition garlic is quite prominate in a container.  Just be sure to make the pot deep enough ad leave pleanty of room for grown.

Green Onion
My favorite part of any container garden is the option to move it inside when the fall gardening season has subcomed for anoher year.  For example the Brussell Sprouts pictured above were planted last fall.  I brought the container inside any day the temperature was too cold.  Brussell Sprouts will withstand tempatures up to 40 degrees.  When the days were sunny and pleasent the container was set back outdoors.  Now they are back outdoors and doing nicely.  I will probably set them back indoors when the temperatures become too warm for the sprouts to handle.

Containers are a very benefical way to keep crops gowing no matter the season.  It is important to be familar with the crops you want to grow, the amount of space they require to flourish and the enviorment that best suits the need.  With a little research, and perhaps a small amount of trial and error you can put delicious fresh food on the table any time of year.

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