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Container Vegetable Gardening For Kids Healthy Harvests from Small Spaces Kent Phillips

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Presentation on theme: "Container Vegetable Gardening For Kids Healthy Harvests from Small Spaces Kent Phillips"— Presentation transcript:

1 Container Vegetable Gardening For Kids Healthy Harvests from Small Spaces Kent Phillips

2 2

3 Container Vegetable Gardening

4 Let’s Start Growing Vegetables in Containers is Easy Fun Can be done anywhere Great way to start growing vegetables Vegetables taste great and are good for you

5 Why Containers? No digging Weed free Cheap to start up Grow vegetables from April until December

6 Getting Started What Do You Need? Sunlight Container(s) Growing medium Water Nutrients Tender loving care

7 Container Location At least 8 hrs. sun for fruiting season crops (tomatoes, peppers, etc.) 4-5 hrs. sun for leafy crops (lettuce, kale, etc.) Level space

8 Container Types Plastic Wood Clay Free Recycled Paint them

9 Bag Container

10 Swimming Pool Container

11 Self-Watering Containers Self-watering containers conserve water and nutrients You can make your own from a 5 gallon bucket. See HGIC publication HG600 Or you can buy a commercial self-watering container but they can be expensive

12 Self Watering 5 Gallon Bucket

13 Homemade Salad Table™ The Salad Table™ HGIC pub 601 Great for growing shallow rooted plants Build it deeper for plants like beans, beets, kale

14 What’s the “Dirt” on Growing Media? Supports plant’s root system Holds water and nutrients Permits drainage Need to be light and fluffy

15 Growing Media Commercial Soil-Less Mix Excellent Lightweight Drain well Holds water and nutrients Proper pH ProMix™, ReddiEarth™, Jiffy Mix™, and Sunshine Mix™

16 Stay Away From Garden Soil Heavy Brings in weed seeds and soil diseases Doesn’t drain well in containers Don’t use bags of Top soil Planting soil Planting mix Potting soil

17 Adding Compost to Media Highly recommended Adds additional slow release nutrients Increases water and nutrient holding capacity of media May have to add perlite to lighten mix If you don’t have compost, LeafGro™ is the next best commercially available product.

18 Media Mixtures Some good media mixtures for container vegetables are: 100% soil-less mix 75% compost or LeafGro + 25% perlite 50% soil-less mix + 50% compost

19 Happy Roots Watering needs vary depending on container size ambient temperature wind sunlight humidity type of plant and its size Media in container should be kept moist at all times but not soggy Test growing media using your finger Most containers will need to be watered daily in the summer Use a water breaker or watering can for soft flow

20 Fertilizers Containers require regular fertilization Water soluble fertilizers Every two weeks Immediately available to plants Organic varieties are ready available Always follow label instructions

21 What Can I Grow Just about any vegetable or herb! Lettuce Peppers Eggplant Tomatoes Beans Cucumbers Broccoli Potatoes Sweet potatoes. Look for “bush” or “dwarf” varieties, esp. tomatoes, cucumbers, squash. Have fun

22 Size Matters Match container depth to plant size 4-6 inches: greens, small herbs 8-12 inches: beans, beets, large herbs 1-3 gallons: green onions, chard 4-5 gallons: cucumber, eggplant, beans, broccoli, patio tomato, pepper 15 gallon full size tomato

23 Planting Time No pebbles, gravel, or rocks unless you need the weight to prevent tipping. Cover drainage holes with fiberglass screen or other material Thoroughly work water into the growing medium Fill container to inch or so of top of container. Don’t compact media Follow seed packet directions for planting, spacing, and care. Plant seedlings (except tomatoes) at same level as they were growing in pot or six-pack. Tomatoes can be planted deeper, for stronger root growth.

24 Make Attractive Containers Paint them Mix herbs and annual flowers in with the vegetable plants. Keep containers together to increase humidity and water retention

25 Keep those plants growing! Succession plant Spring - lettuce or spinach Summer - pepper, beans or cucumbers, tomato Fall - kale, lettuce or broccoli Don’t forget to continue to fertilize each crop! Trellis tall or climbing plants indeterminate tomatoes pole beans cucumbers

26 Plant Care BUGS Wilted leaves – not enough or too much water - How do you tell? Yellow leaves/no growth – fertilize? Inspect your plants daily Go to for additional help in diagnosing vegetable Diagnosing Plant Problems

27 Season’s End Discard the plant and soil from the pot. Do not reuse the same soil for a second season – Infected soil or mix will spread disease into the second season unless it is properly composted – Properly composted planting media can be reused. Store pots to prevent freeze damage

28 This program was developed Maryland Master Gardener Program University of Maryland Extension Baltimore County and modified for this presentation by Kent Phillips


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