Saturday, June 30, 2012
Container gardening: Peas in a pot (or bag)
I've been having a lot of fun, and some unexpected success, at growing vegetables in containers. Yes, I have to water the container vegetables constantly. But I also can move them around the garden if I want to change the look, make room for something else or give the vegetables more sun or shade.
This winter, I ordered a pack of Peas-in-a-Pot seeds from Burpee. I've never had much luck growing spring peas, for some reason. But I did have some success last year at growing lettuce in a grocery bag, after seeing it at a Discover Garden in southern Iowa. So I decided to plant peas in a bag!
Guess what? It worked! I got about a handful of peas from the seeds I planted in the reuseable grocery bag. Next year, if I do this again, I'm going to grow two bags so I can get a few more peas.
I've also been enjoying a crop of early tomatoes, which I planted in buckets way back in April. I tried a new yellow pear tomato variety this year, and I've been amazed how many little tomatoes are coming off the plant. And the little yellow tomatoes look so colorful in salads.
If you're interested in container gardening, in a 5 gallon bucket or bag, I have just a few suggestions. Make sure you poke (or drill) holes in the bottom of the container for drainage. Use potting soil (not "garden soil"). Fertilize every two weeks with Miracle Grow or an equivalent. Don't let the containers dry out. I water the pots once a day when the weather gets hot, and about every other day when the temps are closer to 70 degrees. If we get a rain, I'll also wait a day or two to water. Finally, I recommend using some type of fungicide to prevent tomato wilt and stem rot. I found an organic fungicide/insecticide/miticide at our local Earl May Garden Center that works great. One of the main ingredients is Neem Oil, a natural fungicide.
Have you tried container vegetable gardening in your own backyard? Do you have any advice for those of us who are still learning how to make it work?