The Q&A Archives: Container Gardening

Question: What size containers do you need for vegetables, and what type of soil mix would you use?

Answer: It is important to select containers of adequate size for the plants you wish to grow. Small, shallow rooted veggies like lettuce, raddish and spinach will do fine in a container as small as 2 gallons. Larger plants such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant need a minimum size of 5 gallons to perform. Larger is even better, and will allow grouping of plants. Half whiskey barrels and large terra cotta planters are great for this purpose.

Garden soil is generally not the best choice for container growing. A media (artificial "soil" mix) of ingredients such as compost, peat, sand, vermiculite, and perlite are usually used for best results. These give the characteristics needed in a growing mix: good aeration and drainage, as well as good water and nutrient holding capacity.

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