How to grow vegetables at home in pots
Growing vegetables can bring out the farmer in you. You till the soil and sow the plants, then reap the rewards when the plants bear fruit.
Even if you don’t have much sunny ground, you can still experience the pleasure of harvesting your own vine-ripened tomatoes and other crops. All you need is a generous-size container, good potting soil, and a suitable spotÂ â€•Â corner that gets at least six hours of full sun a day.
If you do have actual ground for growing, containers can still help you overcome problems like poorly drained soil, soil- borne pests and soil-borne diseases such as wilts (fusariumt and verticillium) and nematodes. Also, since soil in pots warms up more quickly in winter sun and in early spring than it does in the ground, you can get a tomato or chiliÂ off to a faster start. And tall pots make it easier for gardeners with limited mobility to grow crops without kneeling or squatting.
Vegetables in containers add visual punch to the landscape. Choose large, decorative containers and surround them with smaller pots of colorful flowers, and you’ll have attractive focal pointsÂ â€•Â and a bounty of vegetablesÂ â€•Â all summer long.
Soil preparation and plant care
Potting medium:Â Use a high-quality mix containing peat moss and vermi-compost. Add in a NPK fertilizer or an organic manureâ€•Â such as bonemealÂ or other natural nutrientsÂ â€•Â or a controlled-release type that supplies nutrients over a three- to six-month period.
As the soil dries out, these small crystals, which absorb a hundred or more times their weight in water, supply moisture to the roots.
Nutrition:Â If you use an organic fertilizer at planting time, supplement it with weekly applications dry organic fertilizer according to package directions. If you use controlled-release fertilizer, give vegetables a boost by applying NPK fertilaization every two to three weeks.
Watering:Â The best way to water vegetables in containers is with hand held sprinklers. Water often enough to keep the soil moist (in hot climates, that might be daily or every other day). If you hand-water, never allow the soil to dry out completely.
Pests:Â If aphids, mites, or whiteflies attack, spray them with insecticidal solutions or horticultural oil like Neem oil. Handpick and destroy tomato or other crop worms.
Harvest:Â Pick crops when they’re ripe:Â beansÂ before the seeds swell inside the pods;Â cucumbers and squash when fruits are fully expanded but not seedy;Â eggplants while skin is shiny;Â chili or capsicums Â when fully grown and showing appropriate color (green, red, or another shade);Â tomatoesÂ when fully colored (red, orange, or yellow).
Sources:Â Most nurseries and garden centers sell seeds and seedlings of common summer vegetables. For exotic varieties try these specialists like Biocarve Seeds Ph +91 75087-10786.