Our last post outlined steps to prepare a garden for fall vegetable crops. If your home doesn’t have a spot suitable for a garden bed, containers could be the perfect way to grow your own vegetables. Fall crops, such as lettuce, are easily grown in containers and can look very pretty.
To begin, you will need a container with drainage holes, some planting medium, and enough sunlight and water to grow the plants of your choice. Beets, carrots, radishes, lettuce, collards, spinach, and other greens are all suitable for container gardening, as are many herbs. A number of these can be started from seed sown directly in your containers. Transplants of some vegetable plants can also be found in stores.
The following Extension publication provides details on choosing containers, medium, and plants: http://cals.ncsu.edu/hort_sci/extension/documents/ag-753.pdf. Additionally, this publication contains a planting calendar for growing edibles in containers: http://cals.ncsu.edu/hort_sci/extension/documents/ag-748.pdf.
A list of some plant varieties that are particularly suitable to containers was compiled by Larry Bass, Extension Horticultural Specialist, NC Cooperative Extension (from the article Container Vegetable Gardening, http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/hil-8105.html)
|Vegetable||Type of Container||Recommended Varieties|
|Beans, Snap||5 gal window box||Bush Romano, Bush Blue Lake, Tender Crop|
|Beans, Lima||5 gal window box||Henderson Bush, Jackson, Wonder Bush|
|Beets||5 gal window box||Little Egypt, Early Red Ball|
|Broccoli||1 plant/5 gal pot; 3 plants/15 gal tub||Green Comet, DeCicco|
|Brussels Sprouts||1 plant/5 gal pot; 2 plants/15 gal tub||Jade Cross|
|Cabbage||1 plant/5 gal pot; 3 plants/15 gal tub||Dwarf Morden, Red Ace, Early Jersey Wakefield|
|Chinese Cabbage||1 plant/5 gal pot; 3 plants/15 gal tub||Michihili, Burpee Hybrid|
|Carrot||5 gal window box at least 12 inches deep||Short & Sweet, Danvers Half Long, Tiny Sweet|
|Cucumber||1 plant/gal pot||Patio Pik, Spacemaster, Pot Luck|
|Eggplant||5 gal pot||Slim Jim, Ichiban, Black Beauty|
|Lettuce||5 gal window box||Salad Bowl, Ruby|
|Onion||5 gal window box||White Sweet Spanish, Yellow Sweet Spanish|
|Pepper||1 plant/2 gal pot; 5 plants/15 gal tub||Sweet Banana, Yolo Wonder, Long Red Cayenne|
|Radish||5 gal window box||Cherry Belle, Icicle|
|Spinach||5 gal window box||Dark Green Bloomsdale|
|Squash||2 gal pot||Scallopini|
|Tomatoes||Bushel baskets; 5 gal pots||Tiny Tim, Small Fry, Sweet 100 Patio, Burpee’s Pixie, Toy Boy, Early Girl, Better Boy VFN|