9/6/2007 1 Container Vegetable Gardening Steve Sagaser NDSU Extension Agent / Horticulture Grand Forks County Container Vegetable Gardening: What you 9ll learn today& "Advantages and disadvantagesofcontainer disadvantages of container gardening "Cultural requirements "Issues when container gardening "What to plant in containers Container gardening Whatiscontainergardening? What is container gardening? Container gardening is growing vegetables In containers above ground Has been practiced for 1000 9s of years Hanging Gardens of Babylon Differences from growing vegetables in ground Container gardening is less forgiving of mistakes 3WHY?
Environmentharsherforplantsincontainers Environment harsher for plants in containers 3WHY? Plants have limited root volume Easier to control environment in containers Fewer problems with weeds Container Vegetable Gardening Growing Vegetables provides food and esthetics Popularinapartmentscondoshomes Popular in apartments , condos , homes with small lots. Some have only balcony or patio Containers are their only choice Advantages of Container Gardening Grow food without garden plot Notillingdiggingor No tilling , digging , or hoeing Extend the growing season Protect plants from animals 9/6/2007 2 Advantages of Container Gardening Container gardens can be a way for elderly or disabled to garden Ltlt L oca t e c l ose t o your kitchen Place containers at comfortable height Vegetables are ornamental ... more. less.
and delicious The Big Thing to Remember with Container Gardening& YOU are providing everything that the Environment usually p rovides to an in- g round p g garden T here 9s Containers Clay and plastic pots Pails, tubs, wood baskets, laundry baskets, hanging baskets Fruitcratesbricksconcreteplanters Fruit crates , bricks , concrete planters , metal and plastic buckets Whiskey barrels, old kettles, wood boxes Plastic bags, bags of potting soil Old tires stacked up Rooftop wading pool gardens Feed sack gardens 9/6/2007 3 Containers Dark colors dry fast = overheating Metal absorbs heat = can overheat lt p l an t s Plastic retains the most moisture Wood retains less moisture than plastic Containers Clay loses moisture through the sides Container should hold water for one day Fitcontainertoplant 9 ssize Fit container to plants size Wood Planters 3line with plastic Concrete planters 3paint the inside Container Drainage All containers need drainage Three or four ¼ d holes will suffice suffice Make sure holes are not blocked Poor drainage can cause root rot Elevate containers slightly = better draina g e Toilet Tank Containers Container Sizes Varies with size of plants 6-10 inch size adequate for green onion, parsley, herbs Shlltib Sh a ll ow con t a i ners = b eans Carrots need 12 inch deep containers 5 gallon size good for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant Use tall enough and wide enough containers to allow good root growth 9/6/2007 4 Air Exchange & Root Growth Plants need ample air exchange Don 9t allow salts and other toxicsubstancestobuildup toxic substances to build up Root area Critical factor in container gardening Large containers = greater root volume -large as possible Plants easily become root bound Soil for Containers Don 9t use garden soil Purchased mixes are best Light, well drained, aerated and retain moisture Soil should be: Weed free, disease free, insect free Mixing Your Own 1 part sand, 1 part organic matter, 1 part soil.<br><br> Sterilize at 180 degrees for 30 minutes Pre-moisten soil before filling containers Soil shouldn 9t be dripping wet. What to Plant Beans, beets, carrots, cucumbers, egg plants, Green onions, herbs, lettuce, peas Peppers, radishes, squash, tomatoes Standard sizes usually work well Dwarf / midget / compact forms are available. Suggestions for Herbs & Cultivars Kitchen herbs Basil Rosemary Chives Sage Thyme Pots or baskets of tomato plants Use cultivars bred for containers or use standards More Vegetable Suggestions Pots of hot peppers Small colorful fruit Window boxes Leaf lettuces or Different types of radishes Cucumbers on trestles 9/6/2007 5 Planting Methods Same as planting in the ground Followpackage Follow package directions Use rows or groups 3 depends on container shape Keep seeds moist 3not soggy Planting Methods Thin seedlings to recommended spacing when an inch high Slit peat pots when planting seedlings seedlings Tops of peat pots go below the soil line If seedlings in cell packs, pull roots slightly apart 9/6/2007 6 What 9s needed to grow healthy vegetables in containers?<br><br> Nutrients Water Light Fertilizer for Containers In containers roots can 9t grow deep or spread out Nutrients are washed out byfrequentwatering by frequent watering Begin fertilizing a 7 310 days after planting Use water soluble or granular fertilizers Use a complete fertilizer = NPK Fertilizer for Containers Use ½ strength every 10 314 days Or use 1/5 strength every other watering Fertilizer can also be sprayed on foliage Ratio should be 1 : 2 : 1 Example 5 310 35 or 15 330 315 Fish Emulsion is another good choice Scorched or brown leaves may be too much fertilizer Watering Container Gardens Check soil daily Water when top two inches feel dry Water with sprinkler can if possible Waterslowlytillwatercomesout Water slowly till water comes out bottom Use luke warm water Takes 4 36 hours to regain heat lost from watering with cold water Water early in the day 3plants take up most of their water in the daytime. Watering Container Gardens Watering late in the day creates environment for diseases Don 9t let container sit in water Gh G roup pots toget h er to cut water loss Raise pots off floor to prevent: Absorbing heat from concrete floors Molding or rotting wood decks Watering Containers Consider water storing polymer granules in soil Consider drip irrigation for multiple containers Plants in smaller containers need to be watered more often It takes 400 lbs of water to produce one pound of green leafy vegetables. 9/6/2007 7 400 lbs of Water Water Trellises and Supports Allows more sunlight to reach the leaves and fruits Tomatoes, cucumbers, squash benefitfromsomekindoftrellis benefit from some kind of trellis Place trellises before you plant Containers with trellises should be protected from strong wind Prevent Diseases and Insects Inspect often for insects & diseases Avoid soil borne diseases 3use soil-less mix Start with disease free plant material Maintain good air circulation 3prevents fungus problems Water soil 3not the leaves Remove: dead, damaged, leaves, flowers and overripe fruits Prevent Diseases and Insects Don 9t let dead plant material collect on soil surface Use only clean pots Sterilize pots with 5 to 1 water and bleach solution Prevent Diseases and Insects Small pest populations can be handpicked Be able to recognize beneficial insects Slight cosmetic injury may not cause harm to the plant or fruit Soapy water may be all that is needed to kill some insects If using insecticides 3Be sure they are labeled for the plants 9/6/2007 8 Temperatures, Light, & Photoperiod Air and soil temperature Container air temperatures can be muchhigherthanover much higher than over bare ground Soils in containers can become quite hot or cold Select vegetables according to the environment Location Sufficient light Order of amount of light needed 1.<br><br> Fruiting 2. Root vegetables 3. Leaf vegetables Artificial lights can extend the photoperiod Location Acclimate seedlings for 5 37 days before moving outside Use wood or plastic containers where exposed to wind = slower moisture loss 6 8hourssunlightneeded 6 3 8 hours sunlight needed for most edibles Root crops / leafy vegetables get by on 6 hrs.<br><br> Usually -more light equals better plants Good air circulation helps prevent diseases 9/6/2007 9 Growing Vegetables & Herbs: Continuous yield Easy to grow plants Do not have a lot of insect or disease problems Choose p lants y ou 9ll like py eating Compact, low growing, or standard varieties Colorful foliage or fruits: ornamental Combine vegetables and flowers for attractive displays. Container Vegetable Gardening Steve Sagaser NDSU Extension Agent / Horticulture Grand Forks County