The Q&A Archives: Container Gardening

Question: Can I grow good veggies in 5 gallon buckets? Tomatoes, Peppers, Cucumbers?

Answer: Vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers will readily adapt to growing in containers. Use a good commercial potting soil rather than garden soil, and place the plants in full sunshine. Five gallon buckets should have several drainage holes cut into the bottoms or at the lowest points of the sides to make sure water doesn't collect and cause root rot. Since the roots of the plants will be confined, be sure to water the plants as often as necessary to keep the soil from drying out. Pepper plants are well behaved and should grow without staking or support, but tomato plants and cucumbers will need to be supported. Choose determinate type tomato plants rather than indeterminate. Determinate tomatoes will reach 3-5 feet high, where indeterminates will continue putting on new growth all summer. You can use a tomato cage to support both tomatoes and cucumbers that are growing in containers. Place the wire cage over the plant as soon as you transplant it into your container and then train the stems to stay inside the support. With the proper care your containerized veggies should be just as productive as those grown directly in the ground.

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