Top Crops for Pots
Thomas J. Story

Patio Garden

Growing vegetables can bring out the farmer in you. You till the soil and tend the plants, and then reap the rewards when the plants bear fruit.

Even if you don't have much gardening space or sunny ground, you can still experience the pleasure of harvesting your own vine-ripened tomatoes and other crops. All you need is a generous-size container, good potting soil, and a patio, deck, or corner that gets at least six hours of full sun a day.

Here are the top crops for pots, and how to grow them.


Top Crops for Pots
Norman A. Plate

Beans

Pot depth: 14 to 16 inches

Soil temperature (at planting time): At least 60ºF

Spacing: Direct-sow seeds 2–3 inches apart.

Pole beans are more productive over the long run than bush beans (which produce their crop all at once). Train the 6- to 8-foot-tall vines on a trellis or tepee made from bamboo poles. Try 'Blue Lake Pole', 'Helda' romano, or heirloom 'Kentucky Wonder'.


Top Crops for Pots
Thomas J. Story

Carrots

Pot depth: 9–14 inches

Soil temperature: At least 55ºF.

Spacing: Direct-sow seeds 1/2 to 1 inch apart; thin seedlings 1 to 2 inches apart.

Choose a deep pot for carrots with long roots, such as 'Nantes' half-long type (7 inches long). Shallower pots are adequate for shorter carrots such as 'Short 'n Sweet' or round ones like 'Thumbelina.' Don't let the soil dry out.


Top Crops for Pots
Thomas J. Story

Cucumbers

Pot depth: 18 inches

Soil temperature: At least 70ºF.

Spacing: One plant per pot.

Bush types like 'Bush Champion' and disease-resistant 'Salad Bush' take up half the space of trailing types. 'Lemon' cuke also bears well on a trellis.


Top Crops for Pots
Thomas J. Story

Eggplants

Pot depth: 14–16 inches

Soil temperature: At least 70ºF.

Spacing: One or two plants per pot.

With their colorful fruits and attractive foliage, eggplants have outstanding ornamental value. Try 'Black Beauty', an American heirloom with bulbous, purple-black fruits, or 'Little Fingers,' an Asian type with slim fruits.


Top Crops for Pots
Thomas J. Story

Peppers

Pot depth: 14 to 16 inches

Soil temperature: At least 60ºF.

Spacing: One or two plants per pot.

Choose from an amazing array of colors, shapes, and heat levels, from mildly spicy 'Anaheim' to searing hot 'Thai Dragon'. Among sweet peppers, try 'Ariane' an orange bell, or 'Giant Marconi', a long, red one that's great for grilling.


Top Crops for Pots
Norman A. Plate

Potatoes

Pot depth: 18 inches

Soil temperature: At least 45ºF.

Spacing: Plant tubers 6 inches apart.

Potatoes are productive if there's ample room for tubers to develop. Bury seed potatoes in an 8-inch layer of soil at the bottom of the pot. As plants grow, pile more soil up to the top set of leaves. Try small- to medium-size 'All Blue', 'Red Pontiac', or 'Yukon Gold'.


Top Crops for Pots
Thomas J. Story

Squash

Pot depth: 18 inches

Soil temperature: At least 60ºF.

Spacing: One plant per pot.

Summer squash is more productive than winter squash. Grow compact varieties like 'Gold Rush' yellow zucchini, 'Spacemiser' green zucchini, or 'Sunburst' scallopini.


Top Crops for Pots
Thomas J. Story

Tomatoes

Pot depth: 18 inches

Soil temperature: At least 60ºF.

Spacing: One plant per pot.

Use small wire cages or stakes to support determinate types (2- to 3-foot-tall varieties that produce their crop all at once); try 'Bush Celebrity'. Use sturdy 5-foot.-tall cages for indeterminate types (tall kinds that produce fruits all season) such as 'Early Girl'.


Top Crops for Pots
Thomas J. Story

Container Choosing

Vegetables will grow in any container that provides drainage, but choosing the right size is critical. The larger the plant's root system, the deeper and wider the container should be. Pots made of thick plastic or glazed terra-cotta retain moisture well, as do wooden tubs.

In hot climates, choose light-colored pots. Avoid small, unglazed terra-cotta pots; they dry out too quickly.


Printed From:
http://www.myhomeideas.com/outdoor-living/gardening/summer-vegetable-gardens