Growing Fall Vegetables in Containers
Now that it’s time to begin preparing for my fall vegetables, I’m getting everything ready for container gardening this season. I planted peppers during the spring and since they are still producing beautifully (so exciting!) I don’t have as much space in my garden for all the things I want to grow. Pretty much anything you want to grow can be grown in containers. So as I embark on this new venture I thought I’d pass along a few important tips I’ve gained about this type of gardening. First (and most importantly) is choosing the right type of container. Keep in mind that it’s easier to grow plants in large containers than small ones. That’s because large containers hold more soil, which stays moist longer and is less subject to rapid temperature fluctuations. But smaller ones can work, it’s just a matter of keeping a closer eye on them.
Another thing to consider is dark containers retain more heat in the soil than light-colored ones. Whatever container you choose, drainage holes are essential. Without drainage, soil will become waterlogged and plants may die. The holes need not be large, but there must be enough so that excess water can drain out. Next, the fun part, choosing the plants. If you’re using smaller containers arugula, beets, swiss chard, lettuce and onions will be best. Collards, broccoli, kale, beans and peas will do better in bigger containers. Finally, healthy soil is a must. I’ve found an organic type like Organic Happy Frog soil 12 qts mixed with Healthy Grow Worm Castings 4# and a low count fertilizer like Dr Earth Tomato Veg & Herb works really well for containers.
One nice thing about this type of gardening is that if you find your plants are getting too much sun (or not enough) just pick them up and move them, it’s as simple as that. And if your weather decides to give you so much rain you feel like building an ark, just move them under cover for a while and problem solved! I’m looking forward to the cooler weather and a beautiful bountiful fall garden this season.