Marisa Y. Thompson
The only difference between a gardener and a new gardener is the number of plants they kill. This column is for beginners who want to grow something in a backyard or doorway but do not know exactly where to start. Or maybe you tried half-hearted a while, and it didn’t end well.
Container Vegetable 101 Includes container type and size, drainage, soil selection, recommended plants, additional drainage, placement and irrigation.
What kind of container is better? Generally, use large pots for large plants or small plant compounds, and use small pots for individual plants. If the pot is small, you can expect it to dry quickly. And avoid using a large container with a large and small plant because that extra soil can cause problems – it can drain moisture, dry the plant quickly, or retain moisture too long and cause root rot.
When buying pots, the first thing to look for is a good drain in the bottom or several small drains. It is very difficult to say that the water is flowing well, so I would not recommend it to beginners. Sometimes pots are sold without holes. If so, you will need to dig your own way. Five or six holes each 1/4 inch is a good start. For larger pots, more holes may be needed.
Terracotta (unsealed clay) pots usually come with a hole in the bottom, and that’s good because they are hard to drill. Suppose you choose a 16-inch wide terracotta pot – the size of a large pizza. Have you checked the drain? good. Now let’s fill it with soil.
The most important thing about container soil – you guessed it! – Good drainage. As a beginner, resist the urge to choose a “moist” soil type. The basic clay soil mixture works well. Unfortunately, digging in your own yard (or someone else’s) is not a good idea to use in containers. If he does well, please believe that I will be the first to encourage him. A.D. Since moving to New Mexico in 2004, I have tried many different zip codes and for many reasons (I was trying to save money, I was in a hurry), but it never worked. I convinced myself at least once that the sandy soil in my yard would be well drained.
“When choosing what to fill containers, never use backyard soil, no matter how good it looks or how things grow in the garden,” said the University of Illinois Extension Resources in a container garden. When you enter a container, both the drainage and the airways are severely disrupted, and as a result the plants grow or do not grow at all.
We have come to the point of choosing plants for this 16-inch container. I like to put a lot of small plants in one container, as one or two die very rarely. For me, plants are the easiest plants to grow, so let’s choose three or four in 4-inch pots or less, or in four-size containers. Basil, mint, cooking sage, oregano, rosemary, cheese and parsley are all great bets.
Although August is now a good time to start a small garden. Many plants are surprisingly cold-hardy, which means they will continue to grow in the winter or return to the soil in the spring.
Using gravel from the bottom of a container to help drain is a myth. For more information, visit my blog at https://nmsudesertblooms.blogspot.com and ask “spill or keep?” Find the 2018 column. Fungal mosquitoes and other poor sewage products. “If your container is too large, it can be expensive to fill it with compacted soil. We have already learned that yard soil is not the answer, but you can use other materials to take up space to use soil purchased in stores. Peanut butter works well. So make compressed empty milk jars. And I used another small pot from top to bottom in the big pot to take up more space.
Let’s get back to our plants. Moisten the soil in your pot before adding herbs, and pack it down a bit. Do not fill the pot to the brim, as you need at least 2 inches of lipstick to water the surface without spraying and mixing. In addition, they dig small holes for plants. Place each grain deep in the container so that the roots do not get stuck in the mud.
Well, we’re done. But do not forget to set it up. Choose an outdoor area with a few hours of direct sunlight (morning or evening exposure) or several hours of dim light (like a tree). Water it well and check it every day for the first week or so. “The best soil moisture meter is at your fingertips,” said John Garlish, a Bernalilo County extension agent and county program director. Inspect the soil at least a few inches below and apply water when dry. If it dries too quickly between irrigations, try a cool place without too much sun. During the hottest months, the containers in my backyard are soaked every three days or so, and they are systematically placed to get shade in the afternoon. During the winter, I water them once every four to six weeks. Visit the blog at the URL above for photos of my garden plants and container gardens throughout Albuquerque.
And for more tips and ideas (and confessions), get ready, prepare, grow! Webinar at “Container Garden” at https://desertblooms.nmsu.edu/ready-set-grow.html. Get ready, prepare, grow! Hosted by NMSU Cooperative Expansion Service, it is an ongoing garden webinar series. Upcoming topics cover harvesting gardening, home gardeners’ crops and fruits, healthy soil and fertilizer.
For more gardening information, visit the NMSU Extension City Garden at http://desertblooms.nmsu.edu/ and the NMSU Horticultural Publications page http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_h/. Contact your local Cooperative Promotion Office at https://aces.nmsu.edu/county/.
Marisa E. Thompson, PhD, is an Extraordinary Urban Gardener in the Department of Extra Plant Science, based at the Center for Agricultural Sciences at the University of New Mexico State at Los Lunas.
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