Gardening in Containers
Many people who live in apartment buildings or houses with little or no yard space may think they cannot plant a garden. But you can grow quite a bit of food in pots and hanging planters inside your home or on a balcony. Even if your family has plenty of outdoor garden space, you might want to try growing some of your vegetables indoors.
You can plant in almost any kind of container. Try using plastic jugs, garbage cans, milk cartons, cans, plastic bags, baskets, a wagon bed, kitchen canisters, or clay pots. The bottom of the container should have several small drain holes and be lined with 2 to 3 inches of small gravel before you put in the topsoil. Hang containers from windows, put them on windowsills or in window wells; line your sidewalk or driveway with them, or hang them from your ceiling.
The following chart shows you how much dirt you will need in a container to grow some common vegetables. This will give you an idea of what size container you need to use. It also tells you when to plant and harvest the vegetables and how big they will get. These are not the only vegetables that grow well in containers. You can try almost any kind that is common to your area.
|COMMON GARDEN CROPS|
|Crop||Container Needs||Growing Season||Planting Time||Harvest Days||Mature Size of Plant|
|Beets||1012 inches (2530 centimeters) of soil||Early spring, fall||24 weeks before last frost||5060||1012 inches (2530 centimeters)|
|Bush Beans||810 inches (2025 centimeters) of soil||Warm weather||Early spring||Snap 5055 Lima 65||1214 inches (3060 centimeters)|
|Carrots||1012 inches (2530 centimeters)||Early spring, fall||24 weeks before last frost||6075||1012 inches (2530 centimeters)|
|Cucumbers||1 gallon (4 liters) per plant||Warm weather||34 weeks before last frost||5575||Shape vines by cutting back|
|Eggplant||3 gallons (11 liters) 1214 inches (3035 centimeters) diameter of soil||Warm weather||Plant indoors, transplant after 8 weeks||120140||23 feet (.51 meter)|
|Green pepper||1 gallon (3.8 liters) per plant||Warm weather||Plant indoors, transplant after 78 weeks||110120||23 feet (.51 meter)|
|Lettuce||1 gallon (3.8 liters) per plant||Cool weather, can stand slight frost||46 weeks before last frost||4050||610 inches (1525 centimeters)|
|Green onions||810 inches (2025 centimeters) of soil||Cool weather, can stand slight frost||46 weeks before last frost||3545||1012 inches (2530 centimeters)|
|Radishes||6 inches (15 centimeters) of soil||Cool weather, can stand slight frost||24 weeks before last frost||2040||68 inches (1520 centimeters)|
|Spinach||810 inches (2025 centimeters) per plant||Cool weather, spring, fall||24 weeks before last frost||5070||Plants spread out, do not grow tall|
|Squash||5 gallons (19 liters) for a 34 plant hill||Warm weather, will produce through fall||34 weeks before last frost||Summer 5060 Winter 85110||Bush 23 feet (.5m1 meter) Vine-pinch off to control runners|
|Tomatoes||Dwarf: 1 gallon (3.8 liters) Standard: 23 gallons (7.511 liters) Mini: 810 inches (2025 centimeters)||Warm weather||Plant indoors, transplant after 34 weeks. Easily harmed by frost.||5090||Dwarf: 23 feet (.51 meter) Standard: 35 feet (11.5 meters) Standard vines|