Now is the perfect time to get that vegetable garden started. What a great way to introduce fresh food to your kiddos. When they play a part in the process there is more of a chance they might eat their vegetables. With little space and effort it is possible to start a small vegetable garden in containers.
Look for containers that are at least 20″ in diameter, the bigger the better. Shy away from decorative pots without drainage holes. Terracotta or BPA free plastic work best. Line the bottom of the container with landscape fabric, it will hold in moisture. Then fill up 10 percent of it with gravel or rocks. Continue to fill container with a soilless mix or a potting mix that is designated for containers. As for the plants, your garden center should have plants that are already growing strong to transplant. Try vegetable varieties that are a determined height, or confined habit of growth, so they won’t grow too large and be unruly.
These varieties are usually called ‘bush’, some varieties to consider are: Tomatoes: ‘Patio Princess’ ‘Tiny Tim’ ‘Yellow pear’ ‘Container choice’ Lima beans: ‘Fordhock Bush’ Snap peas: ‘Bush blue lake’ Beets: ‘Spinel little ball’ Swiss chard: any variety Eggplant: ‘bambino’ or Japanese variety Lettuce: ‘red sails’ ‘tom thumb’ Peppers: any variety Herbs: any variety Another tip is to add a basil plant to the container, the basil enhances the flavor of tomatoes and peppers. Also keep the number of plants to under four, giving them enough air circulation and room to grow. The key to success is to keep your vegetable garden watered well. This means in the heat of the summer watering it every day.
Another great way to do a vegetable garden on a larger scale is called square foot gardening.
Building raised garden beds that are 4’ by 4’ , pre fab versions can be bought at Lowe’s. They are cedar wood which holds up well. The raised beds are superior than just gardening in the ground for many reasons. The soil can be amended each year and doesn’t need to be tilled. Access to the bed is easier and less straining. The raised beds hold higher yields, less weeding involved, and pests.
When picking plants for your raised vegetable garden, choose varieties that will show results sooner, varieties that yield smaller size fruit like cherry or grape tomatoes, Japanese or ghost eggplant, mini bell peppers; so your children are not waiting all summer to eat the produce.
Good luck and happy gardening—-Marsha
Currently Marsha is available for a consultation on establishing your own raised vegetable garden. She has designed and built such gardens for homeowners and schools. Contact Marsha today. email : firstname.lastname@example.org