As more and more people are eschewing eating out on a regular basis in favor of dining at home, the idea of growing your own potted vegetables might seem increasingly appealing. If you’ve never tried your hand at growing vegetables in containers in the past, however, you might not know how to even begin this project. That’s okay! That’s why this guide is here to help.
As you read on, you’ll discover some helpful tips that will ensure that your new vegetable growing project goes as smoothly as possible. If you follow this advice, you should be well on your way to having fresh vegetables for your family’s table every day! If you have questions about what sorts of vegetables are most likely to thrive in your region of North Carolina or South Carolina, consult with a local greenhouse before you start planting.
Watering correctly is key
Most experts will tell you that proper watering is essential to successfully growing container vegetable plants. Since soil in pots dries out much more quickly than soil in your yard, it’s important to check your plants at least once per day, if not more frequently.
Manual watering with a watering can is certainly an option, but if your vegetable plants are outdoors, an automatic drip line is a great option. There are many online tutorials for how to set-up one of these systems. For best results, you should also use compost in all of your plant pots.
Use the right soil
While you might be tempted to go the inexpensive route and use soil from your lawn, this isn’t the best plan. Often, Carolina soil has clay and silt in it, which isn’t good for potted vegetable plants. It can lead to drainage problems that ultimately cause the produce to fail. The best option is to visit a local nursery or greenhouse where you can purchase organic potting soil that has been specially formulated for your region of North Carolina or South Carolina.
Go big or go home
Even if you are purchasing relatively small vegetable plants, remember that the goal is for them to thrive for years to come. If the pots you choose for your new vegetables are too small, they won’t have room to expand like they need to. The minimum size you should use for planting vegetables is a five-gallon pot. You also need to make sure you don’t overcrowd your pots; this can lead plants to stop growing outwardly, ultimately producing smaller yields of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and other vegetables.
Start with simple things
If you’ve never spent much time doing gardening in the past, it is wise to begin with simple kitchen plants that don’t need a lot of care. Herbs, such as parsley, thyme, mint, and basil, are all great options. Herbs tend to be low-maintenance, can be easily grown in pots, and can be used in a wide variety of recipes.
Once you’ve mastered growing herbs in containers, consider moving on to cherry tomatoes. Less likely to succumb to blossom-end rot than standard-sized tomatoes, cherry tomato plants should be grown in buckets or pots no smaller than 7 gallons.
Hopefully, these tips will help you begin your potted vegetable garden this year! The sooner you begin planting, the sooner you and your family can enjoy fresh, crisp, homegrown vegetables with every meal.