Containers are an ideal vehicle for fall container gardening.
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Getting started with containers. Containers allow you to move plants to follow seasonal changes in sun, to warmer areas during winter, and to protected areas when necessary in response to winds or other environmental factors. GardenZeus recommends 6-inch or 1-gallon nursery pots as a minimum size, with at least a 6-inch depth, for most varieties, with deeper pots preferred. GardenZeus recommends a soil mix of at least 50% sand for growing radishes and carrots, with some organic matter or compost but not too much. Potting soils with high proportions of organic matter tend to shrink and collapse over the course of a growing season as soil microbes and macro organisms like insects digest or decompose the organic matter, which results in falling soil levels and possibly insufficient soil depth. Self-watering containers or trays that hold a half-inch of standing water below pots may help provide consistent soil moisture.
GardenZeus recommends planting looseleaf lettuce with root vegetables such as radishes and carrots. All three of theses cool season vegetables want full sun and moist but not wet soil. Do not overwater or allow the soil to become soggy. All are best grown from seed, not transplants.
Looseleaf lettuce. Looseleaf lettuce is an ideal plant for container gardening, and can be planted in spot areas in containers with other plants, such as among root crops as they are harvested. Lettuce is sensitive to drying soil, especially in warm weather, and will wilt easily, which can lead to bolting; monitoring and regular watering of lettuce in containers is important. Try Black Seeded Simpson lettuce for crisp lettuce flavor.
Radish. Standard globe-type radishes are well-suited to growing in containers of 12 inches or more in depth. GardenZeus expert Darren Butler recommends young and non-prickly radish leaves for salads. Excellent globe-type radishes include Cherry Belle and Easter Egg. Or try French Breakfast radish, a beautiful bicolor radish with a mild flavor.
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