Vegetable Containers Yield
Tasty Balcony Tomatoes

Fire up the tractor. It’s time to cultivate the vegetable garden! Oops! The tractor won’t fit on my deck or on my balcony.

Does that mean that I can’t grow any vegetables. Absolutely not! I can grow an amazing array of vegetables in containers right in the corner of the balcony.

eggplants, containers

Corn On The Cob?
Well we are somewhat limited by size and maybe we should go for a nice autumn drive in the country to a farmer’s market for such things. If you have a fair amount of sun on your deck or balcony then there is a wide range of smaller vegetable containers that you can grow. Eggplant, (Aubergine) is a quite decorative plant with nice purple flowers and the new smaller varieties such as Fairy, will produce a significant number of fruit in a 10"/25 cm pot. Just plant a couple of small plants in the pot. Provide plenty of sun and water and in August, fire up the barbecue for grilled eggplant.

tomatoes container There are many smaller varieties of Tomato that are ideal for growing as vegetable containers and they like the hot sunny conditions. Use small fruited varieties such as Tomatoberry; just stick a tomato cage in the pot when you plant it. Tumbler, a variety that is meant to be used in a hanging basket is another choice. There are several types and the garden centres often have them already growing in large fibre pots. Takes away the fun of "Dallying In The Dirt" but it is a bit cleaner and quicker. There are also some bush type Cucumbers that will produce nice fruit in a sunny pot.

Peppers, container

Sweet or Heat, Your Choice.
Peppers are probably one of the best things to grow in containers. Choose the variety that gives you the sweetness or the heat that you like and watch them thrive.

I Don’t Get Much Sun!
That’s alright you can still grow a few things to eat. Choose vegetable containers that produce edible leaves rather then fruit. Lettuce and Swiss Chard do very nicely in pots even in a bit of shade. The package of lettuce seed will feed you all summer, particularly the fancy Mesclun mixes. Just keep starting some in a small pot and after you have eaten the large lettuce from the main pot, move the new little plants into their spot and you will have another salad ready in a few weeks. Swiss Chard will continue to grow and produce new leaves all season. Just pick the outside leaves and the new inner ones will continue to develop.

How Do I Do It?
Use a soilless mix in your vegetable pots. It’s easier to carry home and up the elevator and it holds more water. Watering your vegetable containers is a delightful chore but we don’t need to be delighted several times a day. They could also use a little fertilizer. Use something without to much Nitrogen such as 15 30 15 so that you encourage flowers and fruits and not a mass of rich green leaves. This will work just fine on the leafy vegetables as well. No need to keep separate fertilizers for each of your crops. Buy a soluble type that you can mix into the watering can as needed.

Water Water Everywhere!
Adequate moisture is a real key though. As soon as the tops of the containers start to feel a little bit dry, then soak them until water runs out the drainage holes in the bottom. Yes they must have drainage so that the air spaces in the soil remain filed with air and not with water. The plants roots need to breathe as well as to drink. Soil science can be a very complicated topic that we are not going to dwell on here. More vegetables fail in pots for lack of water then from any other problem.

There are some excellent sub irrigation containers available such as the Earth Box or if you are handy and like to save a little money here's how i make my own. These containers will make watering and fertilizing your vegetables almost fool proof.

Don’t let the your lack of garden space deprive you of that wonderful taste of a home grown, red, ripe Tomato. It’s easy to have without leaving the comfort of your deck.

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