Monday, January 9, 2017

Symposium Sneak Peak: Plentiful Container Vegetable Gardens by Jennifer Verpraskus

Photo courtesy
Container gardening can be a fun and easy way to grow vegetables as well as flowers in the Front Range. Quick and easy access to food, as well as utilizing small spaces and hard surfaces makes growing food in pots desirable. Container vegetable production is somewhat more demanding than growing flowers and other ornamentals, but it can be done following some simple guidelines.

Photo courtesy

First, the quality of most vegetables is based on the soil’s ability to provide a constant supply of water and nutrients, so it is important to keep up with a consistent watering and fertilization schedule. Second, grow appropriate plants in the right containers with drainage. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, corn and beans are all warm season vegetables that like full sun and won’t tolerate frost. Kale, lettuce, swiss chard, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and collards can handle cooler temperatures which means they can be started earlier and last longer into the fall. Plants like tomatoes and corn should be grown in a container no smaller than five gallons, whereas lettuces and chard can be grown in almost any size container. Finally, it’s important to remember that all containers need proper drainage. Avoid any containers that may leach chemicals into your food.

Next time you are looking at your yard and thinking that you don’t have enough space to grow food, try growing in containers!  Not only will you enjoy access to fresh vegetables, but you’ll be growing something beautiful that can be appreciated visually as well.

If you’d like more information about growing vegetables in containers, please join us at the Colorado Master Gardeners of Jefferson County 2017 Spring Gardening Symposium: Beginning Vegetable Gardening:  Jump Start your Garden the RIGHT way!, on Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 8:45 AM to 4:00 PM at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. We have planned a full day of vegetable gardening excitement for beginning and intermediate gardeners in particular. Morning sessions focus on planning your garden, soil and amendments, and seeds vs. transplants. Afternoon sessions focus on the top 10 easiest vegetables to grow in Colorado, growing vegetables in containers, and a session specifically on tomatoes. A lunch and learn class will cover adding flowers and herbs to your vegetable garden. The cost is $75, plus $10 if you’d like to attend the lunch and learn session.

Click here to register. If you’d like additional information, please call the Jefferson County Extension Master Gardener Hotline at 303-271-6620.