If you don't have a big back yard, you don't have to give up on gardening. Some of the best gardens are small in size and do not require a land investment. Just ask anyone who has taken to the idea of container gardening. Container gardening, the concept that involves growing fruits and vegetables in stand-alone pots, allows you to grow your own organic food on a balcony, patio or along the side of your house.
While the concept seems simple, container gardening is a bit different than regular gardening where you plant fruits and vegetables directly in the ground in a landscaped portion of your lawn. If you're new to container gardening, the following are some tips for getting the most out of your garden.
Use a Soil Mix
Soil that you dig up from the ground is often too hard and compact to allow for successful growth in potted plants. For pots, you need to choose a porous potting soil mix that contains a mixture of soil, peat moss, vermiculite and perlite. Not only is a mix lighter, it has better water and nutrient retention, which your plants will need since they can't pull from bountiful nutrients from the ground.
Choose Petite Plants
As you can imagine, space is limited with container gardening. While you won't be able to plant a field of sweet corn, you can plant most fruits and vegetables in pots if you select the right variety of plants. For example, some tomato plants, such as beefsteak plants, can grow 10 feet tall. However, determinate types of tomato plants, which include cherry tomato plants, are much smaller and perfect for container gardening. When selecting plants for your containers, look for petite, dwarf or cute varieties. These are much smaller in size but often produce full-size produce.
Feed Plants Regularly
Potted plants require water and fertilization much more often than plants that are planted directly in the ground. Not only does the soil dry out quickly, the plants deplete fertilizer at a much faster rate than they would if they could also feed from the ground. To grow a successful garden, it's important to water your plants daily. Avoid time-released fertilizers and opt for fully soluble fertilizer options that you can add directly to your water.
Growing a container garden is much different than growing a traditional garden, but it is just as fulfilling. If you don't have the space or permission to landscape for a regular country garden, think about growing your very own vegetables on your patio. To get started with the materials you need, contact a fertilizer company such as T And N Inc.