By ANGIE CARNATHAN
For those who donât have the time, tools or space for a full summer garden, patio gardens are a great alternative. Patio gardens offer a way to grow some herbs and vegetables in 5-7 gallon pots.
Russell Hamilton, nursery supervisor at the Oktibbeha County Co-Op, said lots of varieties can be grown in smaller spaces such as patios and decks.
âYou want to pick things that are going to grow lower, things that donât necessarily need to be staked,â Hamilton said. âSo when youâre picking a tomato bush, you want to pick varieties such as Bush Goliath or Amelia. Cherry tomatoes do great in a small pot, too.â
Hamilton said, depending on the weather and how much rain has fallen, most vegetable varieties need to be watered two times a day.
âJust about all the peppers can be planted in small pots,â Hamilton said. âEggplants are good, too.â
Two plants Hamilton discouraged from planting outside of the ground was cucumbers and squash.
âThey have too many vines to be grown in a pot,â Hamilton said. âI know people who have done it, but I wouldnât necessarily recommend it.â
Hamilton said to stay clear of watermelons and cantaloupes, too.
As for bulb varieties, such as onions and garlic, Hamilton said one could certainly grow those in a small pot.
âYou could even do potatoes and sweet potatoes,â Hamilton said.
One well-loved patio gardening project is the herb garden. Hamilton said herbs are grown easily in a pot ââ sometimes several in one pot. He also recommended a creative way of separating the varieties, a trend he said is popular this year.
âIâve known people who plant them in combinations of what theyâre going to use together when cooking,â Hamilton said. âAs in, they might do a âpizza herbsâ pot or a âsalad herbsâ pot. Iâve even heard of a âsalsa pot.ââ
Hamilton said, in the case of no rain, typically herbs should be watered once a day.
He offered a good rule of thumb for knowing whether or not to water.
âStick your fingers about two inches down into the soil,â Hamilton said. âIf itâs dry, you need to water. If itâs still wet, leave them alone.â
Hamilton said the first sign that a plant is being under or over watered is a change in color. Hamilton also said to make sure the plants get plenty of sunlight.
âThe great thing about planting in small pots is that you can move your plants into the best sunlight,â Hamilton said. âTheyâll need as much direct sunlight as they can get.â
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