I’ve never had much luck with container gardening. This year has been more successful. I’ve got a cherry tomato and some sort of larger, determinate tomato. The cherry tomato is producing a handful of tomatoes every few days and the other tomato has produced only a few ripe tomatoes so far, but there are more on the vines.
When I visited Oregon a few weeks ago, I had to hang the tomato plants in the basement. It wasn’t ideal, but they would have dried out and died in the Utah heat. The basement has natural light, but of course it is nowhere near what the tomatoes were used to. In the week or two since I’ve returned to Utah and returned the tomatoes to their south-facing roost, I’ve noticed that there are no new blooms on the tomato plants and the leaves look a little drab. I hope that four+ days in a basement didn’t end their season!
I also planted a zucchini in a container this year. I had the brilliant idea because I love zucchini and I know they’re prolific. Why not try them in a container? Above is a picture of the first zucchini of the summer. The plant is producing one good-sized zucchini every few weeks. This plant’s foliage is not impressive, but it is putting some energy into growing zucchinis too, so I’m happy about that. I fertilize the container (though I could probably do more), and the sprinkler system actually hits this planter, so it is one of the only plants that I don’t have to water by hand.
Some people my be frustrated by the low output of these plants, but honestly, they are all doing way better than most container vegetables I’ve tried in the past. I’m thrilled with the outcome. Pro-tips for next year include adding more fertilizer earlier and continuing with fertilizer throughout the growing season. In the Utah heat, the containers need lots of water and as a result lose a lot of nutrients.
When it comes to gardening, I’m a big fan of growing the kinds of veggies I’ll actually eat and enjoy. Next year I’m going to try to grow kale in a container. I buy and eat a lot of kale, and I frequently see it’s lovely purple foliage in containers. So, that’s my plan for next year–that is unless I happen to live somewhere where I can have the kind of garden that grows in the ground. A girl can dream.
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