Incredible Vegetables from Self-Watering Containers: Using Ed's Amazing POTS System

Incredible Vegetables from Self-Watering Containers: Using Ed's Amazing POTS System

Edward C. Smith

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 1580175562

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Shiny green cucumbers; firm, juicy tomatoes; baby lettuces handpicked one salad at a time—these are the tasty benefits of the backyard vegetable garden. But earth gardens are a lot of work. They require a plot of plantable land and a significant time commitment to sowing, watering, weeding, and tending each plant.

Is there a solution? Self-watering containers allow vegetable gardeners—from the casual weekender interested in a tomato plant or two to the very dedicated gardener with limited space—to grow richly producing plants in a controlled, low-maintenance environment.

Lifelong gardener Ed Smith became fascinated with the possibilities of self-watering containers and began testing dozens of vegetables in various containers, experimenting with nutrients, soil mixtures, plant varieties, and container positioning. Now Smith is here to tell gardeners that anyone can grow and enjoy wonderful organic vegetables, using pots with continuous- flow watering systems.

Smith shares advice on choosing appropriate containers, how to provide balanced nutrition using his secret soil formula, and what additional tools benefit the container gardener. The reader will also find advice on starting from seed versus buying plants, which vegetables thrive in containers and which might be a bit more challenging, along with space-saving tips on pairing plants in single containers. After the last green tomato has been picked and is ripening on the windowsill, Smith wraps everything up with a chapter on fall clean-up and preparing for next spring. Now there’s really no excuse for store-bought tomatoes!

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tomato, pepper, or eggplant, for example, blossoms is less likely to have suffered from drought stress. are a sign not of health and vigor but of stress. It is way too early for a little plant with a tiny root system to be getting on with the job of setting and maturing fruit. Without the roots to supply water and food, the poor plant will produce few fruits, and only small ones. (If, by the time they are ready for transplanting to containers, any of your plants have blossoms, pluck them off.

once a day. Peat pots and soil blocks will dry out sooner than plastic pots and cells. FOOD Seedlings will need more or less fertilizer more or less frequently depending on the potting soil they live in. I have found that plants growing in a compost-based A Sweet greens. Kale is one of the few plants that mix like the ones I use in garden containers do not need supplemental fertilizer. Plants growing in other actually taste better after a frost. mixes may need fertilizer once a week. Liquid

fertilizer.) These plants should all be sown directly into the Something to Sink Your Soil Into container they'll spend the season in: Starting plants indoors is a form of container garden- • beans • garlic (cloves) ing. And, just as I could use almost anything large that • beets • onions (sets) will hold soil as a large container, I could use just about • carrots • peas • corn • radishes anything small that will contain soil as a seed-starting • dill container. Recycled

standards. HARVESTING THE BOUNTY • 121 A Young and Tender Harvest For many of the other plants we grow in the edible gar- just before the plant starts turning the sugar to starch den, the proper harvesttime for the gardener is some- to ensure a long storage life into the coming spring. times quite different from the plants idea of maturity. When a plant is best harvested at its maturity, the Pea plants, for instance, are mature when they've gardener needs to look for a plant's stage

Like many biennials we gardeners grow as annuals, cauliflower gets confused when stressed, thinks that it's in its second year, and bolts. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to avoid stressing a cauliflower. First, transplant it carefully so as not to disturb the roots. its curd still tight, this 'Snow Crown' cauliflower is ready to Plan to transplant seedlings outdoors when they are four or five be harvested weeks old; plants older than that are more likely to be stressed now.

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