When I think Daffodils, I think Spring. There is nothing like seeing a field of yellow blooms. They are deer resistant, unlike many other bulbs. There are advantages and disadvantages to having these beautiful flowers, You have to let the leaves die down, and may take up until June to do so. In a field, it doesn’t matter. But in the garden, It can take up the space you need to plant your Summer bed. They can also be unsightly. To remedy that, just plant short ones. You still have the color without a mass of dying leaves. There are early, mid, and late blooming verities. If they are mixed in a bed, you will have blooms form Valentine until Easter. How could you complain with that?
You know that it is fall bulb planting time when it starts getting cold, especially after a frost. I get excited at this time because I know that what I do now will determine how beautiful my Spring will be. The bulbs need the cold to develop roots to grow their bounty . Tulips, Daffodils Hyacinths ,and Crocus are among the favorite. However there are many more. As a general rule, they should be planted where they will get 6 hours of sun in a well drained soil. Bulbs like crocuses and scillas can be planted beneath deciduous trees. These bulbs can satisfy most of their light needs before the tree leafs out. You plant the bulbs 3to 4 times the depth of the size of the bulb. It is not that important if you plant them upside or not. They will adopt to that.
It’s Tulip time. I mean planting Tulip time. I personal visualize the bed in full bloom as I plant. The Spring almost always surpass what I visualize. Have you ever wondered where they came from, or just thought they came from Holland? Some species are indigenous to Turkey, where they have been cultivated for many years. But, the majority come from the mountainous regions of Central Asia.They can be found growing there today. They are much smaller bulbs than the ones we are use to today because of hybridization. I ordered some wild Tulips that comes from the island of Crete,Tien-Shan Mountains China,even Afghanistan and Tibet. I can’t wait to see how they do. I will let you know this Spring
It is going to be beautiful here very soon. The mountains of North Carolina is in there peak right now. The foothills will be next, then us here in the Piedmont of North Carolina. There are reasons the leaves are turning. I always just enjoy the season, But I have found out why they turn. We all know that the green in leaves is Chlorophyll. That is what photosynthesizes into food for the plant to grow. There is also Carthaginians that is not visible until the weather changes to short days and cooler temperatures. That causes the photosynthesis stops and the sugars in the leaves turn color and is reviled.
It seems most flowers that bloom in Autumn are yellow, especially the Native ones. There is one blooming now ( yellow) that is the greatest. It is Swamp Sunflowers. They can get 8 feet tall. They spread underground. That is why many people do not want them. If you start early, you can pull all the unwanted ones. Most do not know that you can trim them up till July. That can make you have an enormous showing in the fall. I like to start low and do it in layers to get the most results.
I started my spinach this week. I planted seeds. It is a little late for seeds, but they are in a micro climate area. By that I mean that there is a wall beside them and shrubs near them, so it is protected from wind and cold. It is warmer than most of my yard. It is a good time to sow some lettuces also. If you are a new gardener and have not prepared a bed, I have an idea for you. Take a hoe and clear a spot and buy a bag of really good potting mix. Make sure that the soil is at least 2 inches high. Sow your seeds and fertilize them with organic after they come up. It may now be the best thing, but it is so much better than store bought. Most seasoned farmers pluck individual leaves and keep the plant going. I had rather plant thick and pull up what I want. It is easier to prepare them over a sink than bent over picking them.
Autumn is her upon us and it is a GREAT time to collect seeds. Most perennials are better divided, but annuals are good for seeds. I ordered some new seeds this spring and I have collected enough seeds for a community.Wait until the bloom has died and turned brown before you pick them. I have a friend that started collecting this year and would pick the flower before the seed could get ripe. In fact one such occasion, there were still blooms on the stem. Do not store them in plastic. they will sweat and mold. Paper is much better.
I love flowers. I think that a spot of lovely flowers are a piece of heaven on earth. I started gardening at a very young age. My first adventure was in a burned out metal drum with minimum success, but that was all I needed to get started. When I was about 12, I had a small garden that didn’t do well until I went to camp for 2 weeks. I could not believe how much it had grown in my abstinence. I was trying to love on it too much. I needed a larger garden to pour my love on. I tried several jobs trying to find my nitich. It was not until I got a job at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, that I really found it.They were putting in new gardens for an expansion.I worked with some of the best, and I learned a lot.. I have been in business for a while now and my love for a beautiful garden is sweet as ever. Now I am not one to travel,so my expertise in in the mid south US.I am sure that I could garden anywhere because of what I have learned. My concept to a garden is ” A living flower arrangement. Their is no rule set in stone with gardening. what makes you happy is a success.
A lot of people, myself included, are growing our own vegetables to beat the credit crunch. And why not? Planting a few seeds in containers, in your backyard or in your garden will yield delicious, organic vegetables – and can save money, too! Growing organic vegetables is easier than you think. Here are the 12 vegetables you will have no problem planting, tending for and harvesting in your own garden, even if you are a first-time gardener!
These are particularly easy to grow and can be intercropped with rows of lettuce to take up a minimum amount of space! Great thing about radishes is that very few pests bother them. Choose a sunny, sheltered position in soil, well fed with organic matter. Sow the seed thinly, evenly at ½ inch below the soil’s surface with one inch of space between each. Water the soil thoroughly before sowing and after the seeds emerge water them lightly every couple days. Radishes are a great source of potassium, folic acid, magnesium and calcium, and are perfect in salad dressings or as a garnish for salads. Radishes are fast growers and should be ready to pull in several weeks.
#2. Zucchini/ Squash
Zucchini and squash do well in most climates and they need very little special attention. If you plant zucchini you’ll could end up with way more than they can even eat!
Zucchini and squash are very low in calories but full of potassium, manganese and folate. Sow several zucchini seeds in a heap pile of composted soil a foot high and a couple feet wide. Space each heap pile approximately 3 feet apart, water them heavily every other day and wait for them to sprout in a couple weeks. They should be ready to harvest about a month later. For any early start sow the seeds singly about 1/2 in (1.25cm) deep, in small pots and place in a temperature of 65-70F (18-21C). After germination of seeds, grow on in a well lit spot, harden off and plant out after the last spring frost when the weather is warm.
Carrots tend to be pest free and need little attention. Carrots are rich in vitamin A, antioxidants, carotene and dietary. Dig a hole less than an inch deep and plant a couple of seeds in each, and leave several inches in between holes. Thin out in stages to 4-6in (10-15cm) apart. Keep the soil moist but remember to water the carrots less as they begin to reach maturity.
A highly nutritious and easily grown crop, high in both calcium and iron. Spinach can be eaten plain, cooked, and made into a chip dip. Turn over the soil with compost and plant seeds less than an inch deep, placing them at least 4 inches apart to give room for growth. Pick young leaves regularly. Sow the soil a couple more times in the first month and keep this area well-watered.
Peas are another high-yield crop, both sweet peas and sugar peas. Other than fruit flies, these guys attract very few pests. A good source of vitamins A, B and C. Cultivate the soil just prior to sowing top dress with a balanced fertilizer. Keep in mind that your soil must drain well in order for peas for flourish. Space each seed several inches apart and sow them one inch deep. Freshly planted seeds require 1/2 inch of water every week, while more mature plants need a full inch. Any surplus peas can be frozen very successfully.
Peppers contain nutrients like thiamin and manganese. Peppers can be stuffed with meat and rice or used in salsa and pasta, and raw in salads. Till the soil with compost and Epsom salts, this will make it rich in magnesium to help the peppers develop healthily. Peppers can be produced outside in growing bags, large pots etc. Since they grow best in warm soil, sow the seeds a foot or more apart in raised beds or containers. Water them frequently, keeping the soil moist, or they may taste bitter once harvested.
#7. Lettuce/ Baby Greens
Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow; you just have to plant the seeds, water and watch how fast it grows. Lettuce is a good source of folic acid and vitamin A, used as the main ingredient mostly in salads, but also can be stuffed with various ingredients to make a lettuce wrap or top sandwiches, hamburgers and tacos. When cultivating the soil with nutrient-rich compost, break up any chunks and remove debris. Make sure that seeds are planted between 8 and 16 inches apart and water them every morning. Avoid doing so at night because this could cause disease. Loose-leaf varieties are ready to start cutting about seven weeks after sowing.
Baby greens are simply greens that are harvested while they are still young and tender. They are true instant gratification vegetables – you’ll be harvesting your first salad in under a month! Sprinkle the seeds as thinly as possible across the soil in a 2- to 3-inch wide band. Space rows of baby greens 6 to 8 inches apart. Or plant baby greens in a pot, and cut your salad fresh every night!
Rich in dietary fiber, folate and vitamin C, onion need little care – just give them plenty of water. Plow the soil a foot deep and get rid of debris. The easiest way to grow onions is from sets which are small onions. Plant sets so that the tip is showing about 5in (13cm) apart in rows 12in (30cm) apart. Or, plant the seeds a couple centimeters deep and several inches apart. Weed this area frequently but gently and provide them with about an inch of water every week.
Beets (beetroots) can be peeled, steamed, and then eaten warm with butter; cooked, pickled, and then eaten cold as a condiment; or peeled, shredded raw, and then eaten as a salad.. Betanin, one of the primary nutrients in this deep red or purple vegetable, can help lower blood pressure. Clean and strengthen the seeds by soaking them in water at room temperature for a day. Plow the soil and remove any stones from the top 3 feet. Plant each seed 2in (5cm) apart, thin out to 4in (10cm) apart and water them at least once every day.
For the most part doesn’t need a lot of special care, broccoli is easily grown vegetable that gives the best return for the space it occupies and is cropped when other green vegetables are in short supply. One row of 15ft (4.5m) will accommodate six plants to give self-sufficiency for a family of four. Sow broccoli seed in spring in a seed bed ½in (1.25cm) deep and transplant when the seedlings are about 4in (10cm) tall 2ft (60cm) apart each way.
There are many benefits to growing tomatoes – they’re tasty, they9re good for you, and the dollar value of the yield can be very significant. Tomatoes are rich in nutrients like niacin, potassium and phosphorous, antioxidants like lycopene, anthocyanin and carotene, and vitamins A, C and E.
Sow the seed just below the surface in a tray of peat-based compost. When the seedlings have made two pairs of true leaves prick them out into 3in (7.5cm) pots and place them in a light, warm place indoors (like windowsill). After the last danger of frost has passed, pick a spot in your garden that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight and test the soil’s pH level – it needs to be between 6 and 7. (To decrease pH level add sulfur, to increase it add lime). Spread compost over this area and mix it with the soil. After hardening off, set tomato plants 2ft (60cm) apart in rows 3ft (90cm) apart, bush plants 3ft (90cm) apart. Water them a couple times per week.
Tomatoes do need a little more attention then the other vegetables on the list. However, for the little bit attention that tomatoes do need, you get an incredible reward in the large amount of fruit that they produce. To help you get started, here is a complete guide to growing tomatoes
There are many herbs including thyme, rosemary, basil, mint, sage, chives, parsley and oregano that need very little attention and can be grown successfully in containers on a patio, balcony or terrace. Purchase some of your favorite small herb plants from your local nursery and get a container that is at least 6-12 inches deep. You can plant multiple herbs in a wide or long container or use at least a 6″ pot for individual plants and you will enjoy not only their fragrance and beauty but also their culinary benefits. Water sparingly because herbs don’t like to sit in wet soil.
If you are a first time gardener, start slow with any of the vegetables I’ve mentioned. Soon, you will gain confidence and have a beautiful organic vegetable garden!
How to Establish Your Container Gardening
Vegetable production is not only applicable in the countryside or in the gardens but can be grown now within the heart of the city or just in your home even with only a limited space.
If your home has an area with ample sunlight – a requirement for growing vegetables, you can grow them successfully. What are the locations that can be used for container gardening? You can use your patio, balcony, terrace, rooftop, deck, window sill, pathways, etc.
Be aware of the sunlight requirement for each kind of crop. For leafy vegetables, the required sunlight should be about four hours the whole day, for fruit vegetables, at least 7-8 hours sunlight is needed daily, and root vegetables requires around 6 hours of sunlight a day.
And besides of producing your own vegetables in a safer way, the attack of common pests and diseases can be greatly minimized. You can also improve the soil conditions by adding some soil amendments; like manure, compost, and other essential food nutrients needed by the plants.
Everything in your home that are considered as garbage can be utilized to the maximum by making them into compost. Even your household waste water can be used to irrigate your plants.
In other words, container gardening is considered to be the practice that makes use of useless things.
What Containers Are Ideal For Container Gardening?
Growing vegetables can be executed in any type of containers such as; cans, plastics, pails, split vehicle tires, cement bags, feed bags, bottle water plastics, gallon cans, cylinder blocks, milk container, bamboo cuts or any containers that have been thrown away. Even coco shells, banana bracts, leaves of coconut is ideal as potting materials especially for short season vegetables, like, pechay, lettuce, mustard, etc.
Good growing containers should possess the three important characteristics as suggested by Relf (1996);
1. They must be large enough to support fully grown plants.
2. They must have adequate drainage.
3. They must not have held products that are toxic to plants and persons.
Containers that drain poorly can affect the success of a container garden. It is therefore vital to have your containers above ground or any support that would raise the containers such as; slats, hollow blocks or anything to provide space below them to allow excess water to drain freely.
For bigger plants, you should use big containers and for small containers use small plants.
Small containers (1-2 gallons) are suited for lettuce, spinach, mustard, pepper, radish, green onions, carrots, beans, and dwarf tomatoes. Medium size containers (3-10 gallons) are best for eggplants while for larger ones (bigger than 10 gallons) are good for cabbage, cucumbers and tomatoes.
For most plants, containers should be at least 15 cm deep minimum especially for shot season vegetables.
Recommended Container Size and Type/Crop
5 gal. window box – Bush beans, Lima beans
1 plant/5gal.pot, 3plants/15 gal. pot -Cabbage, Chinese cabbage
5 gal. window box at least 30 cm deep – carrot
1 plant/gal. pot – cucumber
5 gal. pot – Eggplant, tomato, okra
5 gal. window pot – Lettuce
1 plant/2gal. pot; 5 plants/15 gal. pot – Onion
5 gal. window box – Pepper, spinach
Soil Media Composition – Container Gardening
Plants grown in containers will depend on the kind of soil mixture to provide a maximum growth development. It is a must that you should provide the best soil media composition to give the possible return of your toil. Failure to give the plants with the necessary food nutrients in their growing period would results to poor growth, lanky, and stunted plants that will results to your failure.
The ideal soil mixture for container-grown vegetables crops are as follows:
1. It should be light in weight and porous.
2. It should easily drain excess water.
3. It should have high water holding capacity.
4. It should be free from soil borne disease, nematodes and insect pests.
5. It should supply the right and balance amount of nutrients for the plants.
The best mixture of soil media should compose the following; synthetic mix of horticultural-grade vermiculite, peat moss, limestone, superphosphate and complete fertilizer.
Compost can also serve as an excellent growing medium.
In your country where the above media are not available, you can make your own potting media by mixing 1 part loam soil or compost manure, 1 part fine river sand, and coconut coir dust.
If your country is producing rice you can replace coconut coir dust with the rice hull charcoal (carbonized). But this should be thoroughly sterilized to kill some deadly microbes that are detrimental to the plants.
Sawdust is another medium that could be used in preparing your growing medium in the absence of coco coir dust and should also be sterilized.
In other words, container gardening is considered to be the practice that makes use of useless things.
Sowing Seed and Transplanting
Before going into the sowing procedure, give your utmost attention to the selection of seed you’ll use as planting materials. Good quality seeds should be your first concern.
Good quality seeds possesses the following characteristics:
1. damage free
2. free from other mixture with other varieties
3. free from seed borne diseases
4. and with good vigor and germinating capacity.
To get a quality and reliable seeds, you should buy from certified seed producers or seed suppliers.
All vegetables that undergoes transplanting are excellent for container gardening. Transplants can be purchased from local nurseries or other successful gardeners in your locality.
Before transplanting, fill plastic or germinating tray with the growing media preparation using the following ratio: 60% rice hull charcoal(carbonized), 30 % coconut coir dust, 10% chicken manure (60-30-10 ratio).
In the absence of the above materials in your country, you can use the old soil media preparation – 1 part sand, 1 part compost, and 1 part garden soil (1-1-1 ratio). Make sure to sterilize them before the seed are sown. This is to kill some microorganisms that may cause damage to the seedlings.
You can also purchase a prepared growell medium sold in local agriculture stores in your respective country. Inquire from your agriculture experts available in your area.
Once the growing media is ready, fill the holes of the germinating or potting containers. Press the soil medium lightly with your fingers in every hole filled with the medium. Then follows the sowing of seeds.
In sowing seeds some techniques should be followed to insure germination:
Watermelon (Seeded) (Citrulis lunatus). Soak seed 30 min.- 1hour in top water. Incubate by using moist cotton cloth. Spread the seeds and cover. Place in an improvised cartoon for 24-36 hours. After this period, sow the seeds at I seed per hill. Seed must be level in the soil guided by a finger or stick at 1 cm deep. For the seedless type the procedure is the same as the seeded but the tip near the embryo should be cut with the use of a nail cutter before inserting to the soil. Cutting the end portion of the seed hastens germination.
Bitter Gourd/Ampalaya (Momordica charantia). Soak seeds for 30 min.-1 hour. Cut the tip near the embryo and sow with the seed deep of ¾ of the soil at 1 seed per hole.
Upo ( Lagenaria siceraria ) and Patola ( Luffa cylindrica ). Cut the tip covering only near the embryo and sow seed at 1 seed per hole.
Squash (Cucurbita spp). Soak seeds 30 min.-1 hour. Then pinch the tip near the embryo and sow seed at 1 seed per hole.
Pepper (Capsicum annum L.), Eggplant (Solanum melongena), and Tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum). Sow the seed directly to the germinating tray at 1-2 seeds per hole.
Pechai /Pechay (Brassica pechai), Lettuce (Lactuca sativa), Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea var. botrytis ), and Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. Italica ). Sow seed directly to the germinating at 1-2 seeds per hole.
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus), Honey Dew / Muskmelon (Cucumis melo). Sow the seed directly to the germinating tray at 1 seed per hole.
Carrot (Daucus carota) and Raddish (Rafanus sativus). Directly sow the seed to the field at 2-3 seeds per hill.
Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis ) and Beans (Phaseolus limensis ). Sow the seed directly to the field at 1 seed per hill.
Corn (zea mays). Sow the seed directly to the field at 1 seed per hill.
Papaya (Carica papaya). Soak the seeds for 30 min.-1 hour then sow to the germinating tray at 1 seed per hole.
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus ). Directly sow the seed in the field at 1-2 seeds per hill.
Container size for specific crops.
o Medium – Beans, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, broccoli
o Large – Cuccumber, eggplant, tomato, pepper, okra, squash, papaya
o Small – Onions, parsley, radish
o Sun – Beans, cucumber, eggplant, tomato, pepper, carrots, okra, squash, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, broccoli papaya
o Partial shade – Lettuce, onions, parsley, radish
To get the right amount of fertilizer for your vegetables, you should analyze your soil media mixture. And if you can do it, organic or inorganic fertilizer should be used.
Fertilizer combination of organic and inorganic would be much better with the correct proportion depending on the plant requirement.
When using inorganic fertilizer you should prepare a base nutrient solution by dissolving 2 cups of complete fertilizer in 1 gallon of warm water.
A growing solution is prepared by diluting 2 tablespoons of the base solution in 1 gallon of water.
Application starts by pouring 2-3 tablespoons of the growing solution on the soil media around the plants at the time of transplanting.
The frequency of application may vary from one crop to another, but one application per day is adequate. It is advisable to leach all unused fertilizer out of the soil mix once a week by watering tap water to cause free drainage through the holes in the bottom of the container.
This practice will prevent buildup of injurious materials in the soil media. If you want to use organic fertilizer, you should use pure or 2/3 compost in the growing media.
If both the organic and inorganic fertilizer will be used, at least one part of the growing media should be compost and one tablespoon of the growing solution applied at least once a day.
If you’ll use synthetic mix growing medium, which is already enriched with superphosphate and complete fertilizer subsequent fertilization may not be necessary for early maturing crops.
For late maturing crops, daily application of the growing solution is necessary until maturity or shortly before harvesting.
Water is the life for container garden plant. It’s important that you should not neglect this requirement. Proper water management is vital for a successful container gardening.
Basically, one watering a day is enough for container-grown crops. But for vegetables grown in small containers may require 2 times of watering a day.
Plants grown in clay pots needs more frequent watering since pots are more porous and extra water is allowed to drain out from their sides.
If the growing medium appears to be excessively dry and as the plant shows signs of wilting, the containers should be grouped together so that the foliage creates a canopy to help shade the soil and keep it cool.
Poor drainage of the growing media or container can lead to water-logged condition that may results to plant death due to lack of oxygen.
To make sure you have a vigorous plants, always check the containers at least once a day and twice on hot, dry, or windy days and to feel the soil to determine whether it is dump.
To reduce water evaporation for container plants, you should apply mulching materials such as plastic mulch or putting windbreaks.
You can also install trickle or drip irrigation system to the plants base if you think you can’s attend to your plants daily.
Pests and Diseases Control
Control of pests and diseases in containers needs your careful assessment because wrong use of pesticides may cause damage to the environment, especially children who may often come closer to your container plants.
To be safe, you should implement the Integrated Pest Management (IPM). This approach is focused on the so called systematic pest management which means to prevent problems before the pests and diseases appears.
How you can do this?
It is done by monitoring pest population, identifying pests, and choosing a combination of control methods to keep pests population at a minimal level. These methods includes cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical methods.
Recommended Practices…Container Gardening
o Select insect and disease-resistant varieties of vegetables. Avoid insect attracting plants in the garden or those that are susceptible to pests. Beans, peas, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce and squash are more resistant to insect pests.
o Water the plants adequately to keep them healthy. Fertilize and thin plants to reduce competition for moisture and nutrients.
o Remove weeds to conserve soil moisture and eliminate hiding places of pests.
o Encourage natural enemies of insect pests, such as predators and parasites. Attract beneficial insects like; Western Damsel Bug, Lady Beetle, Green Lace Wing, and Minute Pirate Bug into your garden by planting small flowered plants such as; daisies, cosmos, marigold, and clover. Be sure they are in flower bloom throughout the growing season.
o Avoid growing the same types of vegetables in the same spot year after year. A 4-year rotation cycle is recommended.
o Exclude pests from plants by using fiber materials, row cover, and other barriers such as plastic bottles and plant collars.
o Remove infested part of the plant right away. Remove all plant residues from the containers after harvesting all the crops.
o Use traps to disrupt mating cycles of insects. Yellow sticky boards catch winged aphids, whiteflies, and leafhoppers.
o Handpick pests or knock them off plants with a stream of water from a garden hose. Kill the insects by putting them a soapy water.
o If all other control methods fails, the least toxic insecticides includes botanical control such as neem and pyrethrin. Insecticidal soap, horticultural oil may also be used for insect control. Always identify the pests before choosing a pesticide and use according to label directions.
Harvesting varies with vegetables. Leafy vegetables may be harvested when the desired leaf size is required for every use they are intended. Others harvest leafy vegetables after the required age is meet. For fruit vegetables such as, Luffa, Cucumber, Eggplant, beans, Okra, and Upo they are harvested when their size are big but tender. For squash varieties, they are harvested either matured or big but tender depending on the preference of users.
Cabbage, cauliflowers, and broccoli should be harvested when their heads are already compact. Peppers and tomatoes may be harvested when their fruits have started to ripen.
If you’re growing container-grown vegetables just for home consumption, you can harvest only some part of the plant and retain the rest for future use. But if you think you have more than enough for family use, you can harvest them all and sell or give them to your neighbors.
Never allow your vegetables to bear flower before harvesting them except when your purpose is to collect the seeds for future planting.
Maturity Indices of some Vegetables
o White potato, onion, garlic – Tops begins to dry and topple down
o Cowpea, sitao, snap beans, batao, sweet pea, winged bean – Well-filled pods that really snap
o Okra – Full-sized fruits with the tips that can be snapped readily
o Lima beans, pigeon pea – Well-filled pods that are starting to lose their greenness
o Upo, luffa – Immature (if thumb nail can penetrate easily)
o Tomato – Seeds slip when fruit is cut, or green color turning pink
o Sweet pepper – Deep green color turning dull
o Musk melon – Color of lower part turns creamy yellow, produces dull hallow sound when thumped
o Cauliflower – Curd compact (over mature if flower clusters elongates and begin to loosen)
o Broccoli – Bud cluster compact (over mature if loose)
o Cabbage – Heads compact s (over mature if heads cracks)
o Sweet corn – Exudes milk sap when thumbnail penetrates kernel
o Eggplant, ampalaya – Desirable size is reached out but still tender
o Honey dew – White color cream with aroma
o Squash – Big enough with dried leaves
o Watermelon – Dull hollow sound when thumped and lower color part turns yellow
o Water spinach – Leaves at their broadest and longest
Problems Encountered in Container Gardening
In container gardening you’ll meet some problems that may hinder your daily operations. This is sometimes discernible when you’ll not attend the plants due to negligence.
However, you can prevent these problems if you’ll religiously observe your plants closely. Small pests and diseases can’t be seen visibly if you’ll not see the plant appearance closely. You’ll only see the affected plants once you come closer and actually touch them.
Some symptoms, causes, and corrective measures you should observe in Container Gardening
o Tall, spindly and not productive. The plants receives insufficient sunlight and excessive supply of Nitrogen. To correct them, you should transfer the containers to a place where there is sufficient sunlight.
o Yellowing from bottom, poor color, and lack vigor. The plants receives too much water and low fertility. To correct this, you have to reduce watering intervals and check the pots for good drainage.
o Plants wilt even with sufficient water. The plants has poor drainage and aeration. To correct, you should use a potting mix with high percentage of organic matter. Increase the number of holes of the container for good drainage.
o Burning or firing of the leaves. The soil medium is high in salt. To correct this problem, you have to leach the container with tap water at regular intervals.
o Stunted growth, sickly, and purplish color of leaves. The temperature is low and low phosphate. To correct, you should relocate the containers to a warmer area. Increase phosphate level in base solution.
o Holes in leaves and distorted in shape. The plants are pests infested. To correct, you should use non-chemical insecticides or other biological control for insects.
o Spots on the leaves, dead dried areas or powdery or rust occurrence. The plants are affected with a disease. To correct them, you should remove the disease affected parts or the whole plant in serious condition. You can use non-chemical pesticides if the disease is in the early stage of infestation in Container Gardening.
How to Establish Your Container Gardening