Varieties for Container Vegetable Gardening

Grow Tomatoes, Melons and More in Small Spaces

Mar 5, 2009 Jeanne Grunert

Container vegetable gardening provides delicious, organic, fresh fruits and vegetables in a small space and is perfect for any size garden.

If you've ever wanted to grow mouth-watering vegetables, container gardening may be the answer. Even if you live in a city apartment, if you have a balcony or access to a patio, you can grow some varieties of melons, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs in container gardens.

Vegetable Gardening in Small Spaces

Vegetable gardening allows homeowners with modest space to grow organic vegetables. You can grow vegetables from seeds or purchase plants at garden centers. Some seeds, such as melons, cucumbers and zucchinis, grow best when started directly from seed, while others, such as tomatoes and peppers, are easiest to grow as started plants.

When choosing fruits and vegetables to grow in small spaces such as container gardens, look for varieties marked bush, midget, miniature or tiny. "Bush" refers to growing habit. Many vining crops, like melons, cucumbers and beans, need a trellis or support or spread out for many feet on the ground through long vines. Botanists and researchers have hybridized these wonderful vegetables, crossing shorter and shorter plants until they've created bush varieties. As the name implies, bush varieties grow like a small bush and do not need supports. They take up less room, but provide the same delicious taste as their big counterparts.

Try some of the following bush or shorter varieties for container vegetable gardening:

  • Burpee Bush "Burpless" Cucumber: Seeds are easily purchased at any garden center and start with little care. The plants grow to be about one to two feet tall. They may need support, such as a stake, but they do not grow as big as their cousins.
  • Minnesota Midget Melons: Minnesota Midgets are melons that look and taste like cantaloupes. Like the bush cucumber, they've take up less space. Grow only one or two plants in a big container. Each plant will produce several melons.
  • Sweet 100 or Sweet 1000 Tomatoes: If you love little cherry tomatoes in your salad, you'll love the Sweet 100 or Sweet 1000 varieties. You can grow them in containers on decks, patios, or balconies. Just give them plenty of water and fertilize regularly. Tie them to stakes if they flop over, and be sure to keep picking those tomatoes once they start coming in - picking them encourages more to come!
  • California Wonder Peppers: These peppers are the typical green bell peppers you find in supermarkets, only sweeter when grown in the home garden. Plants grow to be only about one to two feet tall and produce several pounds of peppers.
  • Carnival Peppers: You can find these seeds from Parks or other seed catalogs. Carnival Peppers come in many colors, including green, red, yellow, purple and orange. It's like growing a riot of colors in one pot. Plants are green, with fruits varying in color.
  • Herbs: Container herb gardening is easy. Grow basil, rosemary, chives, oregano, mint, catnip and other herbs in containers on the deck or balcony. Repot rosemary at the end of the growing season and continue it inside on a sunny windowsill and enjoy fresh herbs year round.

Sunlight and Water For Successful Vegetable Container Gardening

Choosing the right seeds or plants is only part of the recipe for successful vegetable container gardening. Be sure that the area where you wish to grow your vegetables receives at least six hours of full sun per day. Vegetables need full sun, and won't thrive with less than six hours a day of sun. Water vegetable plants frequently, and never let them get droopy. Fertilize with an organic fertilizer according to package directions, and be sure to pick vegetables frequently to encourage more to form.

Even if you live in a city apartment, if you have sunlight and a bit of space, you can be successful with vegetable container gardening. Explore your choices of plants and seeds, and have fun gardening.

The copyright of the article Varieties for Container Vegetable Gardening in Vegetable Gardens is owned by Jeanne Grunert. Permission to republish Varieties for Container Vegetable Gardening in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.
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