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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Gardening in Containers
Many vegetables can be grown in containers. Containers are handy if you have limited space, or if you need to make a space where the sun shines. Since most vegetables need 6 hours or more of sunlight, some yards may be too shady to garden in without the use of a movable container. Almost anything can be used as a container, and almost anything can be grown in a container, as long as there are plenty of drainage holes. The vegetables in the following pictures are growing in old ceramic pots, or a "potato planter", which was for sale at many gardening centers this spring and is also available on the Internet. It is made of a fabric and folds up for storage at the end of the season.
Make sure to use "seed potatoes", available at garden centers. Seed potatoes are not seeds like we think of them, but potatoes that will sprout and grow. Potatoes from the grocery store have been chemically treated to slow down the sprouting process. Once you grow your own from seed potatoes, you can use the ones you've grown for planting more.

Cut your seed potato into several pieces, making sure each piece has several sprouted "eyes". Let the cut pieces sit for a few days to harden them off. This will keep them from rotting in the ground.

Place a few inches of soil in your container and place 3-5 cut potato pieces on soil. Cover with soil.

Potatoes grow quickly. When 3 or 4 inches of the potato plant shows above the soil, cover completely with new soil. Be sure to water well.

Plant a new container every 2-4 weeks for a continuous crop. The container in back is about 5 weeks along, and now filled to the top with soil, and the front one is 3 weeks along. When the leaves die and turn yellow, the potatoes are ready. I expect that first bag to be ready in a couple of weeks.

Here are onions planted in a ceramic pot. Plant an inch and 1/2 deep

Cover with soil.

Onions an be used as young, green onions, or allowed to reach full size. Make sure to use some of them young so that the others have space to reach full size.

These are my mixed salad greens growing in a ceramic pot. They don't like hot weather, but you can plant them again in the fall. You can plant potatoes all summer long! Potatoes do best when daytime temperatures are between 50-80. There are over 1000 varieties of potatoes--most grocery stores offer 3 or 4 varieties .

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