Container vegetable gardening is a pleasant experience, when your plants survive. It’s disappointing when your plants don’t flourish the way they should, especially when you could have taken steps to avoid mistakes. Five common container vegetable gardening mistakes are:
1 – Unhealthy Plants
Don’t start container vegetable gardening with unhealthy plants. When you order plants online and they’re shipped to you, examine them carefully to make sure they weren’t damaged in transit. It’s better to review the return policies of Internet garden stores up front, to avoid purchasing from an online store that makes returning plants a hassle. You’ll have time to examine plants in local nurseries and garden stores, and you should do so with a keen eye. Look for any indication of disease, and stay away from any plant that looks sick.
2 – Putting Tomato Plants Outdoors Too Early
You may get overly excited about growing tomatoes and put your tomato plants outdoors too early. Hold on tight, and wait for warmer overnight temperatures before you do it. Although it’s tiring to take your tomato plants outdoors during the daytime and back indoors at night, it will only last a little while. If you have enough sunlight coming through a window, you ought to just leave it indoors. Look into grow lights if you don’t have access to an outdoor garden, or if you don’t have enough sunlight in your apartment.
3 – Not Fencing in Your Container Vegetable Gardening
Cats, rabbits, chickens and all sorts of animals can eat your plants. You’ll have to put up a temporary fence around your outdoor container garden, especially when renting in more rural areas. Even urban dwellers face this problem with neighborhood cats and birds. Chicken wire is cheap and easy to put up. Ask someone at the hardware store where you buy chicken wire for tips on how to build a temporary fence.
4 – Growing Non-Organic Vegetables
Organic garden vegetables are the healthiest and best quality food to buy. Don’t make the mistake of growing chemical foods in your container garden. It costs more to keep up with pesticides and chemical fertilizers. It destroys your indoor air quality, and your health suffers as a result. Grow organic vegetables by buying plants and seeds from garden supply stores and farmers that grow everything organic. The vegetables you grow will cost you less than organic produce at the grocery store and farmer’s market.
5 – No Drainage for Plants
There are some great pictures on the Internet of homemade containers. Everything from a shoe to an empty milk carton are featured as ideal for container vegetable gardening. Making your own containers is economical in some cases, and it gives you the opportunity to express your creativity. It may also appeal to your frugal side to waste nothing and recycle everything. Don’t forget to make drainage holes when you build or reuse containers, though. It leads to overwatering of plants, which can drown them.
There’s no guarantee for success, but avoiding these five common mistakes should help you with container vegetable gardening.