Living organic is a healthy lifestyle but it can quickly become an expensive choice. One way to reduce the cost of eating organic produce is to grow your own. But you don’t have a garden; don’t let it stop you and go for pots on your balcony, porch or patio. Container vegetable gardens are a good alternative when you don’t have access to a garden. It needs a little bit of work but the rewards are priceless.
Plants need a sunny place with at least 6 hours of sun a day. The advantage of a container garden is that you can place your pots on plant dollies and wheel them away to follow the sun according to the season or their inclinations. Choose large containers as your vegetables need space to establish their roots. Vertical wall garden beds can also be handy for herbs and small plants.
Use an organic high-quality mix containing peat moss, perlite or vermiculite, and compost. Don’t worry, Perlite and vermiculite, though technically inorganic in that they did not come from living things, are natural materials; Perlite is heated volcanic rock while vermiculite is a mineral; They increase air space in soil and holds moisture. Blend in a complete organic fertilizer, such as one containing bone-meal, kelp meal, or other natural nutrients.
When it’s time to plant, most nurseries in your area will sell organic seeds and seedlings of common summer vegetables. For more choices, you can find specialized websites with only organic, non-GMO seeds or seedlings.
Feed your soil weekly with the same organic fertilizer you used at planting time. You can boost your vegetable every three weeks by applying fish emulsion.
The best way for watering vegetables in containers is with drip irrigation but if you water your pots by hand, never allow the soil to dry out completely.
If twisted little bugs attack, you can spray with horticultural oil or insecticidal soaps. For aphids, ladybugs are also a great alternative. You can buy these lady beetles in most nurseries or garden centers.