Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Upper South

February, 2011
Regional Report

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Container Vegetable Gardening
Adding pots of flowers to the terrace, deck, or patio has long been a favored part of gardening, but as more people become interested in growing their own food, pots of vegetables are now joining them. There are several excellent books on the subject, but if you'd like a brief but solid introduction to the subject, visit at The Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet on Container Vegetable Gardening . It covers basic information on types and sizes of containers, potting mixes, planting, feeding, and watering. Plus, there's a chart with suggested vegetable varieties for container growing, including recommendations on container size.

Tool or Gardening Product

Soil Thermometer
With experience, gardeners learn to instinctively judge when seeds can be sown outdoors in early spring, but with a soil thermometer, the process becomes much more precise. These range in price from about $6 to $12, and they are available at garden centers. The goal is to check the soil temperature about 3 inches below the surface. For an early planting of peas, radishes, and cabbage-family members, a minimum soil temperature of 41 degrees F is recommended. Just remember that even if the soil is warm enough, it must also be dry enough to work without damaging it.

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