Creating Your Own Container Garden

Helpful tips from Keith Kissack, Manager at Hickory Hollow Nursery & Garden Center, Tuxedo.


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What type of container should you use?

You don’t want anything smaller than a 2-gallon container, but I’ve seen 10- to 15-gallon containers where people put something tall in the center like a tomato and something to the side with vines that would spill down, like cucumbers.

 

What vegetable plants work best in containers?

Peppers and tomatoes do well in containers; they don’t need a lot of space. You could put them in a 2-gallon container with a stake to hold them up and that would work well. Lettuce and leafy spinach also work well in a container. I wouldn’t recommend anything that’s underground, like beets or carrots.

 

How should you protect your plants once they’re in the dirt?

There are sprays, but the most sensible way is a fence of sorts. That way you’re not adding any chemicals to the plant. You can install deer fencing around your garden; also, bird netting is a very lightweight material that you can drape over the plant, but you have to be careful when you’re pulling it off because it can attach to the plant.

 

How should you care for your container garden?

Follow the instructions for each plant as you would for any garden. You don’t want to add too much nitrogen. It promotes upward growth. I’ve seen people who have a tall, healthy-looking plant that doesn’t produce anything.

For fertilizer, organic feeds are nice, but the worst thing to do is over-water your plant. Treat it like a houseplant and let it show you it needs water. Put your finger in the dirt — you don’t want it dry, but you don’t want it sopping wet.

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