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Tropical Vegetable Gardening Article

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If you do not live in a home that has a plot of ground outside that can be used for gardening, you can still grow your own vegetables. You can try your hand at vegetable gardening in containers. Many vegetable plants are suitable for this type of gardening: herbs, small carrots, bush tomatoes, peppers, bush beans, salad greens, and bush tomatoes. You can do vegetable gardening in containers on a deck, patio or porch, on an apartment balcony, or even indoors.

When you do vegetable gardening in containers, be sure to choose containers with a lot of room, because they will retain more moisture than smaller pots. A good sized pot should be able to support three pepper plants or one tomato plant, with some basil planted around it. Containers that hold five to fifteen gallons are best for larger plants. Some excellent containers are large buckets, tubs and halves of distillery barrels. Remember to line them to prevent leakage, rusting and leaching. Pots that are less than ten inches in diameter are good for planting herbs, spring onions and other small vegetable plants. All containers should have holes in the bottoms for drainage. Before putting in the potting soil, put some broken crockery or several layers of newspaper in the bottom of the container. This will prevent fine soil from seeping out through the drainage holes.

Another tip for vegetable gardening in containers is to place your container on a tray of clean gravel. The gravel tray will catch water that drains out of the pot, without actually having the pot sitting in water. This is especially important in indoor gardening, where you do not want floors or carpeting damaged by water. Also, the evaporation of the water in the gravel tray has a humidifying effect that is beneficial to the plant.

For the best results in vegetable gardening in containers, use a high quality potting soil specially made for food crops. Mix in some well rotted compost. When you put your new plants into the container, position their root balls on the potting soil so that the crowns are slightly lower than the rim of the container. Add more potting mix around the plants to a level about an inch below the rim. Then water the plants thoroughly.

Soil in containers dries out more quickly than the soil in your outdoor garden, so water your plants frequently and well. Remember that the nutrient content in a container is limited, and some of it will be washed out by watering. It is a good idea to apply plant food in half quantities, but twice as often as you would with regular garden plants.

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