If you're not up for devoting a space in your backyard for a full vegetable garden bed, this simple container garden is perfect for you (and your porch!). Grumpy Gardener Steve Bender shares how to grow fresh vegetables year-round with an easy vegetable container.
I bet you you think in order to have a vegetable garden, you gotta have about a half an acre to an acre out back. This is not true. We're gonna grow vegetables in a container. We've picked out a really attractive stoneware container. We're gonna fill it with soil, and then we're going to start planting. Now again as I have mentioned so many times when I talk to you about soil in containers, do not use soil that comes from your garden. It's too heavy. It's got clay in it and it may have diseases and insects. You wanna use name brand, bagged potting soil because it's sterile. It's not gonna have diseases or insects. And it also drains very well. It's also lighter in weight which means that if you ever wanted to pick up this container and move it around, you actually could without a forklift. One of my favorite vegetables to grow in containers is lettuce. Because it's just so easy You can buy the transplants at the garden center. Just pop them out of the flat and you put them in. They grow fast. A lot of people think there's only one kind of lettuce and that's kind of green. But there's lots of different kinds of leaf lettuces and we've chosen for this one a beautiful red leaf lettuce called Real low. And it keeps that color all the time it's a beautiful thing to add to a salad. For each front corner of the planter we put in a little thyme plant which I just think is so neat because it will grow over the edge of the container. And it smells so good when you rub against it. And then we filled in around the lettuce. With both pansies and violas. Now, pansies and violas work very well with lettuce because they both enjoy cool weather. And believe it or not, pansy's flowers are edible. So if you want to pick those off when you're picking a few leaves of lettuce to put in your salad, you can put them in your salad. It'll taste great. And the good thing about leafy vegetables is Unlike other vegetables like tomatoes, and eggplants, and peppers, and squash you can put this planter in light shade and it will grow just fine. Because this planter is gonna last for several months it's gonna need feeding from time to time. YOu can use any kind of powdered, organic Slow release fertilizer and just sprinkle that along the top or if you want, you can use the water soluble fertilizer. You know the blue stuff. And about, every week or so just give it a little bit of that around each plant just to keep that plant actively growing and producing. Now when you harvest lettuce, what you want to do is pick the outer leaves first, and then after you've done that, the inner leaves will then grow out and replace the ones that you've picked. Now one thing I gotta warn you about, if you're growing a lettuce container, some critters like lettuce just as much as you do. And if you've got a rabbit You've got a problem. But just keep this thought in mind. Lettuce is tasty, but so are rabbits. [MUSIC]