Many vegetables are suitable for container vegetable gardening. There's a wide selection of container vegetables.
The plant breeders are on the side of home gardeners. They keep producing new varieties bred for small spaces and especially for growing in containers.
Many of our old-time vegetable varieties do well in containers. We can continue to grow many of our grandparent favorite vegetables and heirloom varieties. But the modern gardener has more choices for growing vegetables in containers.
Leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula and Swiss chard are excellent container vegetables.
Broccoli and all the cruciferous vegetables in the cabbage family are happy in containers.
Tomatoes are a favorite vegetable for growing in containers.
Peppers are a popular summer vegetable grown as an annual. Peppers actually are perennials, so they will overwinter in warm areas of the country.
Peppers produce in 60-90 days from the time the seeds are planted.
They like a rich, well-draining soil. Mix aged manure
or compost into the soil before planting.
Sweet and hot peppers are both easy container vegetables. They both are grown much the same way.
Most peppers make a fairly small plant from 18"-24". They are ideal for container vegetable gardening.
Peppers normally should be planted in a container at least 12" in diameter. But the hot pepper below is doing well in a smaller container.
Make sure all your containers have drainage holes.
Planting - Start your seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before planting time. Or wait and purchase young pepper plants ready for the garden.
Peppers are sensitive to cold weather and cold soil.
The soil needs to be a minimum of 60 degrees before you plant. In cold areas, help the soil warm faster by covering it with black plastic.
When the soil is warm, plant the peppers 18"-24" apart in rows 2'-3' apart.
Growing - Keep the peppers watered, but not soggy.
Fertilize once or twice with a soluble fertilizer or side-dress with a commercial fertilizer once or twice before the fruit sets.
Keep the pepper plants weeded.
They appreciate having some mulch.
Harvest - Sweet peppers may be harvested at any size, starting at 3"-4". If you leave the peppers on the plant, they will ripen and turn red or yellow. Their taste will get sweeter.
Hot peppers are left on the plant until they are fully ripe. The flesh will be firm. Jalapeno peppers will turn dark green, but most hot peppers turn red when they are ripe.
Growers Tip - Cut the peppers from the plant with pruning or kitchen shears.
Another container vegetable is carrots. No garden should be without carrots.
They grow best in the sun.
Remove any sticks or stones from the container soil. They could
cause the carrots to grow crooked.
Planting - Carrots will grow in cool weather, so plant the seeds 2-4 weeks before the last spring frost. Do successive plantings every 2-3 weeks to prolong your harvest. Plant again in the fall 70 days before the first killing frost.
The carrots seeds take about 14-21 days to sprout. So many gardeners mix their carrot seed with radish seeds. Radishes are very quick to germinate. They will mark where the carrots are until they sprout.
Care - Keep the seeds moist until they germinate. Dry soil may form a crust that the tiny little sprouts won't be able to push through.
After the carrots sprout thin them to 3" apart and later to 6". The thinnings make good buttered carrots.
Harvest the radishes when they are ready to make more space for the carrots.
Keep the soil moist. Alternating dry, then wet soil will cause the carrots to split.
Harvesting - Harvest the carrots when they are 1/2" to 1 1/2" in diameter.
The best tasting carrots are those that have grown quickly.
Growers Tip - If you leave the carrots in the ground too long, they get tough.
Carrots are good either raw or cooked.
Don't let your container garden be without this easy vegetable. More about nutritious carrots
Cucumbers like sun and plenty of organic matter. They need warm weather and a warm, well-drained soil.
They produce an abundance of fruit within 50 to 75 days, depending on the variety.
Originally cucumbers were a vining plant. Now-a-days there are numerous bush cucumbers that make great container vegetables.
Planting - Plant the seeds or seedling after the day temperatures reach 70 degrees.
Replant each warm month, for an extended summer harvest.
Plant the seeds 1" deep. After the seeds sprout thin them to the strongest plants.
Growing - Water the plants deeply and regularly. If the cucumbers go too dry, they will develop a bitter taste.
Harvest will begin in 50-70 days. Pick the fruit while they are young and tender.
If the fruit is allowed to mature, the plant will stop producing.
Check them regularly because this easy vegetable grows amazingly fast!
Growers Tip - When you are container vegetable gardening, grow the vining cucumbers on a trellis for cleaner, straighter fruit.
Okra is a perennial summer vegetable in the Malvacae family. It is related to hibiscus, hollyhocks and the rose of Sharon.
Originally from Africa, okra it is now grown as an annual in
our summer vegetable gardens.
Okra is a tropical looking plant with large hibiscus type flowers. It may be used as an ornamental plant.
It is so productive that growing just one plant is worthwhile. You can see all the little seed pods in the photo.
Ornamental Okra: Red River and Burgundy with their red leaves make a nice accent in the landscape.
Okra for containers: Okra can grow quite tall.
Last summer I grew okra in a tub in the backyard. It was very happy. It grew and grew - up to the eaves of the house. It
almost took a step ladder for harvesting.
This year I'm growing Burpee Baby Bubba Okra. It only grows to about 3 feet tall.
It will grow thru-out the nation and yields 3" pods in about 53 days.
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Baby Bubba Okra
is perfect for containers.
Planting - Okra needs warm weather. The warmer it is, the better your okra will grow.
It likes fertile, well-drained soil. So, mix organic matter into the soil before planting.
Plant the seeds 1" deep and keep them moist for germination.
Eggplant is a beautiful tasty keto friendly vegetable. The plants are so attractive, they could be grown in your flower garden. This handsome plant is originally from the Middle East.
They have large dusty green leaves and pretty
violet flowers that produce the eggplants.
Varieties - Check the seed packets or plant tags and select your preference.
Choose either the large hefty ones we see the grocery stores and the slender Japanese eggplants like in the photo.
There are also white and other colored eggplants.
Start eggplant seeds 8 to 10 weeks ahead of the last frost. Or wait and purchase young plants at the garden store.
Planting - After the weather is warm, plant the young eggplants. The plants will eventually grow to 2 to 3 feet tall.
Care - Give the eggplants a good deep watering when the soil is dry. Fertilize them every six weeks.
Pull the weeds that are close to the plant, so you don’t damage the roots of the eggplant. Actually, a better solution is to apply mulch to keep the weeds down and maintain even moisture.
The eggplants will produce beautiful violet flowers and then the shiny purple fruits. If you want very large fruit, pinch off the terminal growths and possibly even some of the flowers.
If you want smaller eggplants, let them all grow. Then harvest them while the fruit is still small.
Harvest while they are still shiny. If they turn brown or lose their shine, they are overripe.
Cut the eggplants off the plant with shears.
The eggplants will keep producing all summer, when it gets close to the end of the season, cut off the small fruit. Pinch off all the flowers and the terminal growth on the plants.
This will encourage the plant to put all of its energy into growing the remaining fruit to harvest size.
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