Posts Tagged ‘container gardening’

PostHeaderIcon Growing Peas and Beans with Container Gardening

Is growing peas and beans in containers challenging for you? Have you always wanted to grow peas and beans but have no idea where to start? Peas and beans have always been rather popular among container vegetable gardening enthusiasts. In this article, we will show you how you can have your own home-grown peas and beans right in the comfort of your home.

Peas and beans are usually planted from seed; in most cases, they are usually grown in large quantity and close to each other. It is recommended to plant peas and beans in a window box with a minimum width of 30cm and depth of 20cm. You may plant a few rows of the plant; keeping each plant apart by about 10cm. Different species of peas or beans may have different growth habits. At maturity, the height of your vegetable plant can be quite different. Knowing which species of peas or beans you are planting will help you to decide the type of support you should use for your plant.

Growing Peas

Start growing peas with container gardening today

Image: posterize / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There are two varieties of peas – shelling and mangetout (snap peas and snow peas). Shelling peas mature at different times; it may take 12 to 14 weeks. Shelling peas come in round and wrinkle-seeded varieties. Round seeds are for hardiness and early sowings; wrinkled seeds for sweetness and summer sowings.

Growing peas require plenty of sunlight and a nutrient-rich, moisture-retentive environment. It is recommended to add plenty of compost or well-rotted manure to the soil used for growing peas. This helps to improve the soil’s ability to retain moisture, especially in hot and dry summers.

The planting mixture used for growing peas should be rich in minerals and have the ability to retain moisture for long periods of time. You may use the same fertilizers as those meant for growing tomatoes. Adding calcium is essential to aid the flowering process, which in turn gives you a good harvest.

Growing Beans

Start growing beans in containers today

Image: SOMMAI / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For most of the bush beans and most peas, they will grow to a height of approximately 90cm. An appropriate support for such height is essential so that the plant can rest upon the support to reach its maximum growth height. You may fabricate a simple supporting structure for your bean plant by using strings between bamboo or posts. Alternatively, you may also use shrubs or branches to construct the support.

If you are planting pole beans, take note that this plant can reach a height of 2m or higher. Ensure that you have a robust support, preferably in the form of a wooden frame, to provide good support for your bean plant. An alternative solution is to use sturdy poles with strong strings to attach and support each plant.

Planting Mixture for Peas and Beans

Good quality planting mixture provides the nutrients needed for growing healthy pea and bean plants. You may refer to the planting mixture recommendation below for your gardening efforts.

  • Compost: 2 Parts
  • Potting Soil: 4 Parts
  • Coir/ Peat: 1 Part
  • Perlite: 2 Parts
  • Vermiculite: 2 Parts
  • Flowering fertilizer:  One handful per plant

How to Sow Seeds

Peas are best planted in warm soil instead of wet and cold soil. In early spring, cover the soil with polythene before sowing and then protect seedlings with a fleece. Sow shorter varieties in a flat trench, 5cm (2in) deep and 25cm (10in) wide or a window box.

Water the soil first, then sow the seeds 5-7cm (2in) apart in three rows along the bottom of the trench or container (if you are using one). Cover up the seeds with soil and firm it gently. For a succession of peas, sow at two-week intervals.

Peas are an early crop, traditionally planted in the early spring when it’s still quite cool outside. They are usually harvested by the early summer, but there are some longer season varieties available nowadays.

Beans are traditionally planted in late spring or early summer, once the soil has warmed up, but in containers this is not a problem. They are harvested from mid to late summer, with pole bean crops lasting much longer.
When crops of peas or beans have been harvested, you can remove them and use the same container to plant another crop of beans.

Harvesting

Here are some tips on harvesting your peas and beans. For a harvest of truly fresh peas, regular picking is an essential activity. Harvesting should be done from the bottom of the plant working upwards.

Upon harvest, refrain from pulling the plant as the roots are full of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Instead, cut off the stems at ground level, allowing the roots to rot down and release nitrogen back into the soil for the next crop to use.

Like other vegetable plants, growing peas and beans is not that difficult if only you know how to do it. We hope the vegetable gardening tips in this article will give you some confidence to get started in growing peas and beans. Feel free to check out other gardening tips on our site. We have gardening guides and tips on growing tomatoes, onions and other vegetables too.

PostHeaderIcon 5 Tips on Growing Vegetables in Containers

Growing vegetables as a gardening hobby is fast gaining popularity around the world. People are more educated on the harmful effects of pesticides and are opting for organic vegetables instead. However, organic produce do not come cheap. Fortunately, there are other options such as growing your own vegetables.

It is a common misconception that you need to have a garden to enjoy vegetable gardening. This is not true as you can always do vertical gardening or container gardening if you are faced with space constraints. In this article, we will discuss about container gardening and how you can grow vegetables in containers, even if you only have a small balcony.

Container Vegetable Gardening Tips

1. Selecting a container

One of the main considerations in container vegetable gardening is to ask yourself – what type of vegetables do I want to plant? The type of containers or pots that you use for vegetable gardening is dependent on the type of vegetables that you intend to grow. Bigger plants require bigger, deeper pots to develop a strong and good root system.

Generally, larger containers are recommended for growing vegetables. It is not just the diameter of the container but the depth should be considered too. For vegetable plants to be robust and healthy, deep containers are needed as it provides the space for strong, good root system to develop. It doesn’t matter if the pots and containers are made of terra cotta or plastic. You can even use timber planters for growing vegetables. Just remember that size and depth are more important.

As a general guideline, a 3-5 gallon container will do well for growing vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, zucchini, beans and lettuce. For the bigger plants, you will need to get 15 gallons containers.

2. Positioning your container

Growing vegetables indoors requires good amount of sunlight

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Growing vegetables indoors is unlike vegetable gardening in an outdoor area. While the plants may enjoy sunlight anywhere in an open space, container vegetable plants’ intake of sunlight is dependent on where you place the containers. Most vegetable plants require 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily, especially tomato, beans and peppers.

The location of your containers is crucial to the survival of your vegetable plants. Besides sunlight, you also have to consider if the location is windy. Whenever possible, you should avoid windy areas as strong winds tend to dry up the plants fast. If you cannot avoid the strong winds, you can construct some form of windbreaker around your vegetable plants to shield them.

When positioning your container vegetable plants, ensure that you allocate sufficient room between the containers. This is to facilitate air circulation, which has a direct effect on the health of your plants. In addition, position your containers such that the taller plants do not shade out the shorter ones. This ensures all plants are exposed to a good amount of sunlight.

3. Selecting soil
Garden soil or heavy potting soil is not suitable for growing vegetables in containers. It is advisable to use container mix that can retain moisture better and resist compaction. You may consider making your own compost with manure added. This is probably a better option than buying readily available garden soil from the nursery.

Other pointers to note concerning soil for container vegetable gardening are the vegetable types. For instance, potatoes prefer rich, loamy soil while carrots prefer more free-draining compost that is sandier.

4. Watering

Water your plants frequently to ensure they don't dry up

Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Container plants tend to drink up quite a fair bit of water. Therefore, it is vital that you water your container vegetable plants often to ensure they don’t dry up. Positioning your containers near to water points will make it easier for you to access water for frequent watering.

How do you know if your plant has sufficient water? First, you have to determine if the soil is moist or soaking wet. It should not be soaking wet as that can cause the roots to rot. The finger test is often used to test the moisture level of the soil. Insert your index finger into the soil. If it feels hard and dry, it’s time to water your plants. If the surface, or just below the surface of the soil feels moist, you can hold back watering till the next day.

An alternative test of soil moisture is to use the Soil Moisture Meter. This is a more accurate way to measure moisture level than the finger test.

5. Fertilizers
Container plants – vegetables and non-vegetables alike, require watering more often as they absorb quite a bit of water. Frequent watering tends to dilute the fertilizer faster; hence it is important that you feed your container vegetable plants fertilizers twice as often to ensure sufficient nutrients for your plants.

Growing vegetables in containers is easy with the availability of self watering planters. You need not worry about over or under watering your plants. With containers, you can easily move your plants around to get maximum sunlight. Container vegetable gardening can be such a joy when you are equipped with the right tools and gardening tips.

PostHeaderIcon Is Gardening For You?

Gardening is perhaps one of the best hobbies that a more laborious nature lover can take up. The reason why I choose to call this hobby laborious is because it surely does involve a good deal of physical activity. This hobby is not meant for those nature lovers who simply want to bask in the natural beauty that already exists. Rather it is an ideal pass time for those who want to make their own contribution to the nature.

In order to be successful in gardening one must have the following qualities: –

  • Besides having a love for gardening you should also have the will and determination to pursue your hobby.
  • You must be physically fit and agile. Laziness and gardening are anonymous to each other.
  • Learn to exchange your ideas and information with like-minded people who can show an equal passion for gardening.
  • Try laying your hands on almost any books, magazines or articles that can enhance your knowledge on gardening.
  • Be prepared to invest a small amount of your earnings in purchasing the “Can’t do without”, gardening tools.

The world of gardening is wide and it has immense possibilities for those who want to explore it with the right zeal and enthusiasm. You can choose from indoor gardening, outdoor gardening, landscaping, cultivating exotic herbs, growing bonsais and thus the list is endless. However it is important to do a fair amount of research work before delving into any of the above fields. You should master up the art of choosing the right plants and also learn the techniques favorable for their productivity and growth.

Growing plants is not enough. Deciding where the plants should grow is also an important aspect of gardening. Nothing can be more distasteful than a garden which has color clashing flowers growing all around in a haphazardly manner. So be careful about allocating the plants their respective locations. Arrange the assortments of flowers in accordance with their heights, textures and colors so that they complement each other without diminishing the beauty of your garden.

Keep aside one day from the entire week to be your gardening day. Generally weekends would be a good choice. On this day, equip your self with all the essential gardening tools and accessories and get down to your work. If you have children or friends who are equally interested in gardening call for their assistance. The more the merrier!

Once you are done for the day clean your tools well and store them in their right place. Be sure to maintain your gardening tools because well maintained tools can give you years of good performance. After all tools aren’t something that you can afford to buy every week.

Whether you are an efficient gardener or not can be best proved by your garden itself. So stop twiddling your thumbs and put your green fingers to use. As far as gardening is concerned, if you have really put in hard work your efforts will never go futile.

PostHeaderIcon Grow Bags – What’s so good about them?

Container gardening appeals to gardening enthusiasts, whom stay in apartments or small spaces. Besides the usual containers that we commonly see at the nursery, grow bags is another good alternative to grow your favorite vegetable or flower plants.

Aesthetically, grow bags or growing bags may not be as pleasing to the eye, however, they are more versatile and economical than most containers. Due to its light weight, grow bags are highly suitable for use on patios, balconies and terraces. Perhaps, you will change your perception about grow bags when you see its other advantages below:

Advantages of Grow Bags

  • With grow bags, there is no need for soil digging or preparation. Using grow bags is certainly a time-saver for people who loves gardening but have limited time.
  • Compost is generally clean, disease-free and pest-free. This is truly good news for you if you are like me and don’t enjoy handling compost.
  • It is possible to have a good yield if the plants are well irrigated and fed.
  • Grow bags are portable; hence they are easily transported home and stored for future use.
  • Recyclable grow bags allow you to be eco-friendly while saving money.

How to Prepare a Grow Bag for Use

  • Always clean the exterior of the bag, and then loosen the compost by shaking the bag before placing it on a flat surface.
  • Follow the instructions and cut out the holes according to the pre-marked indicators on the bag.
  • Pierce some drainage holes on the bags.
  • Water the compost and allow excessive water to be drained before putting your plants into the grow bag.
  • Place the bag on a board or pallet base and have it elevated from the ground to prevent garden pests like slugs and snails.

What Should You Plant in a Grow Bag

  • Grow bags are perfect for plants that don’t have deep roots. Examples include tomatoes, lettuces, chilli peppers and cucumbers.
  • If you are using a standard grow bag, you can plant eight lettuces in a bag. For tomatoes, go for three to four young plants within a bag.
  • Garden herbs also grow well in grow bags and you can conveniently place them near the kitchen door or windowsill.
  • Grow bags are good for planting flowers too. Besides, you have the flexibility to re-position them easily within your home as your mood changes.

 

PostHeaderIcon Container Gardening – Choosing the Best Containers for Successful Growing

Selecting the most appropriate container for a particular kind of plant is crucial to its success. If you end up picking the incorrect size pot, it could significantly stunt the growth of the plant. You have to pick the right size of pot, but it is just as essential to select a container that is made with the proper material. Different materials are more effective in different situations.

Continue reading here:

Container Gardening – Choosing the Best Containers for Successful Growing