Growing Your Own Fresh And Nutritious Vegetables

By Jessica Pittman, Clemson Extension
Raising your own fresh and nutritious vegetables this season does not always require a large plot of land in the back yard; vegetable gardening in containers is becoming a more common occurrence in our society.  Container gardening serves as an excellent method for growing that is simple and effective.  
When selecting a container for your vegetables, make sure it is clean and has never held products that would be toxic to plants or people.  
Clay, wood, plastic and metal are common materials used for container gardening.  
Most plants require a container that has a depth of at least six to eight inches to root properly.  Your container also needs to have holes in the bottom for drainage.  Packaged potting soil bought from your local garden store is suitable for filling containers.  Container crops may be planted at the same time of the year as a regular garden.  Containers may dry out quickly, so it is important to check their soil frequently; the soil should never be soggy or have water standing on top of it.  
Mulching is a common gardening technique that can be used with container gardening.  Keep your soil fertile and plants healthy by adding an occasional dose of compost or fish emulsion.  Inspect your container garden often; plants in containers are still susceptible to insects and diseases.  Container gardening is a flexible idea that provides an outlet for creativity and a healthy lifestyle.  
Enjoy the numerous benefits that can come from container gardening, and don’t let the idea of an over-sized garden hinder you from planting. More information is available at your local extension office.  
Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.

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