Tips for gardeners

Growing veggies in containers for several years has taught me a few things about gardening. The plants that have done well for me have been tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. Although they are best planted in the ground these edible plants do produce small crops but there are certain factors that will need attention.

Bubblers – Daily High Club

One of those factors is how much or little to water. Watering veggie plants properly is essential in containers. Container grown plants are easily over and under watered. There is a delicate balance to maintain with bongs for sale this style of gardening. Check soil conditions before rehydrating. Dig down into the side of the container and see if the soil had dried out. If it is moist, hold off watering. Flooding the top portions of the pot when necessary provides adequate moisture. Checking your container garden daily prevents failure. For easy watering tasks a drip irrigation system is a great way to keep water flowing to the roots where the plants need it most.

Setting up a drip irrigation system is simple if you have the right instructions and supplies. Irrigating plants through bubblers and drips allows the roots to absorb the needed moisture directly from the source and prevents over watering plants. The system delivers water in adequate amounts for the plant to draw out of the soil and sustain its healthy condition. The container will still need an occasional flooding for moistening the soil.

In spring plants produce well when the temperatures are cooler. Summer time will steal your tomatoes and cause them to shrink back and stop producing or die all together. They do not do well in warmer weather. About mid summer, plant a new tomato for fall gardening if you are in an area that will stay moderate until winter.

Cucumbers produce towards fall. They seem to like the cooler temperatures. Their containers need fertilizer once a week because they are heavy feeding plants. The drip irrigation system is ideal for their watering needs. Allow them to climb and stretch their vines. Provide a cage or a trellis to help support their growth. Flowers produced will not necessarily mean cucumbers. From my gardening expert friend, Gary Pilarchik, I leaned that cucumber flowers are male or female. The female blooms can be identified by the tiny cucumber underneath the petals. The males will have simply a flower. Pollination is necessary for the cucumbers to grow into full, edible vegetables.

Peppers in green or banana varieties are hardy enough to survive winter and live on several years if tended regularly. They will produce smaller vegetables in later years and become somewhat tree or bush like. They can be trimmed back for wintering and come back in spring when the last frost is finished. When temperatures start heading for 70 to 80 degrees (F) look for new growth and blossoms.

Containers produce smaller vegetables and these need to be harvested as soon as they appear ripe. Tomatoes will be a full, deep red when they are ready. When any of the green coloring is gone they are ready to pick. Leaving them on the vines will enable you to collect seeds if desired. Let this set on the plant until it withers slightly to encourage an heirloom seed bearing package. Green peppers will be a darker green and will start a red blush on the tops when they are ready to be picked. Cucumbers can be harvested when they reach a serving size you would find at the market. Many gardeners leave them to grow to very large sizes but this is not necessary.

Layering soils in a pot centralizes the growing medium and separates the water supply from the roots supporting a healthy system. Start your container with a layer of gravel on the bottom level. Sand in a light layer will help filter the soil erosion and prevent the water from carrying it out the bottom of the container. Over the sand pour 1″ to 2″ of Vermiculite. This substance is a material that absorbs water for the roots to access and helps keep them fed in between watering. Adding a layer of peat moss will supply nutrients. Fill the pot to 3″ from the top around the root ball of the plant you are securing in the container. Pack the soil lightly and water well.

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