Container Gardening – Daily Ardmoreite

Linda Workman Smith The Shawnee News-Star

Have you ever heard the saying “the faster I go the behinder I get?” That is me to a T here at my Two Acre Paradise/Three Dog Circus.

The Multi-County Master Gardener Association annual plant/ rummage sale takes a huge bite out of my time all year, but especially in March, April and first week of May; this just happens to be the time that I should be concentrating on my OWN gardening. The sale has come and gone for another year and was a tremendous success.

My onions and garlic are growing well—a couple of months away from harvest.

My tomatoes and pepper plants are past ready to go into the ground—maybe Saturday.

But of course, there are the weeds to deal with before that happens. The older I get, the harder it is to keep them under control. I mulch using a variety of materials: straw, leaves, grass clippings, wood chips, pine needles or a mixture of some or all of them. This helps control weeds as well as conserve moisture in soil.

Lately I have been considering container gardening. I have a good friend, Ms. Jacklyn, (also “of a certain age”) who is having tremendous success growing in containers. She grows tomatoes, peppers, okra, pole beans, bush beans, squash, corn, cucumbers as well as flowers.

Almost any vegetable that will grow in a typical backyard garden will also do well as a container-grown plant. Vegetables that are ideally suited for growing in containers include tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, green onions, beans, lettuce, squash, radishes and parsley. Pole beans and cucumbers also do well in this type of garden, but they do require considerably more space because of their vining growth habit. Variety selection is extremely important. Most varieties that will do well when planted in a yard garden will also do well in containers

Any growing media must provide water, nutrients, and a physical support in order to grow healthy plants and must also drain well. Filling containers with soil from your garden is not recommended. Soilless mixes are well suited for vegetable container gardening. These are free of disease and weed seeds, hold moisture and nutrients but drain well and are lightweight.

Almost any type of container can be used for growing vegetable plants. The size of the container will vary according to the crop selection and space available. Container materials are either porous or nonporous. Glazed, plastic, metal, and glass containers are nonporous. Whatever type or size of container used it must drain well. The drain holes work best when they are located along the side of the container, about ½ to 1 inch from the bottom.

So, if you are like Miss Jacklyn and I and looking for a way to reduce some of the work associated with typical gardening, I hope this gives you something to consider before next spring.

And as always happy gardening.

pevita pearce

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