Growing organic vegetables is rewarding. It’s always worth doing even if you only have a small space for containers outside or you can even build a simple one by using a single fish tank making the process easier than ever. You may only have a small roof garden or a small patch of concrete to call your own. That’s fine. You don’t need a big garden with beds to benefit from the pleasure of being able to cook, serve, and eat your own delicious homegrown vegetables.
The good news is that almost any type of vegetable can be grown in containers. Of course, what you plan to grow needs to be adapted to how many containers you have and how big they are. But many vegetables now come in dwarf plant sizes.
If you want to be sure of growing organic vegetables, of course, you need to check that your chosen varieties are available as organic seeds. Then set up your containers with organic compost.
In most cases, you will start by planting in seed boxes indoors. Then when seedlings have formed, choose the strongest and healthiest to plant out in your containers.
Your plants will benefit from being well nourished. For some plants, like tomatoes, you can buy organic fertilizer or food that you can add to the soil in the containers from time to time. For others, it is enough to add more compost at the end of the season.
Even if you want to keep growing the same plants over and over, it is best to rotate them around your different containers each year. That way, you will benefit from improved soil fertility without having to change the compost every time. You can also rotate plants by growing one crop for half the year and a different crop for the other half year. This also has the benefit that you can be growing organic vegetables all the year and make the most of your containers.
You do not have to limit yourself to growing one type of plant per container. You can also gain space by mixing herbs or other small plants around your larger vegetables. Just be sure that they will not be shaded when the larger plants grow.
Upward growing plants like tomatoes or green beans are ideal for this purpose. For example, you can grow tomatoes at the back of a container and have cucumber, radishes, or even small lettuces at the front for a self-contained salad garden.
Other plants that grow well in containers include eggplant (aubergine), especially small varieties like Bambino or Slim Jim; bell peppers, small squashes, and green onions (spring onions).
You can use many types of containers for growing organic vegetables. You do not have to go buy expensive pots. You probably want to avoid plastic containers if you are growing organic vegetables, to avoid chemicals leaking into the soil, but there are many other options. Wooden containers are perfect and give a great organic look to your garden space. Wire tubs or baskets have the advantage of allowing drainage without you having to drill holes.
Dark colors absorb heat, so if you live in a hot, sunny climate you might want to paint the outside of your containers white. Plants expect to grow in a situation where the roots below ground are cooler than the stalks and leaves, and they may simply die if the soil in your containers becomes too hot.
Plants in containers need more frequent watering than plants growing in the ground. In summer, you may need to arrange for somebody to come water your plants any time you are away, even if it is only for a few days.