Debbie Roland, Master Gardener
If you are a beginning gardener or don’t have much space, container gardening might be a perfect solution for you. A patio, balcony or even a windowsill will provide enough space for your own mini-garden. It can also be easier to control poor soil conditions and diseases. If you do get a pest or two they are easily managed in a container.
Many local discount and dollar stores sell flowerpots of all sizes at a reasonable price. The foam ones are lightweight and easy to work with and can be easily moved into a greenhouse or garage for over wintering, especially if you have added a base on rollers. Another benefit of rolling pots is that when the weather is too hot or bad weather is expected, they can easily be rolled to a shady or safer location.
Most plants that will grow in your backyard can be grown in a container. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, green onions, lettuce, and radishes are just a few that thrive in pots. Pots are also ideal for plants such as mint that are invasive and need to be contained.
Some varieties of vegetables which are ideally suited for these mini-gardens are:
Broccoli (2 gallons, 1 plant) – Packman, Bonanza, others
Carrot (1 gallon, 2-3 plants. Use pots 2 inch deeper than the carrot length) – Scarlet Nantes, Gold Nugget, Little Finger, Baby Spike, Thumbelina
Cucumber (1 gallon, 1 plant) – Burpless, Liberty, Early Pik, Crispy, Salty
Eggplant (5 gallons, 1 plant) – Florida Market, Black Beauty, Long Tom
Green Bean (2 gallons minimum, space plants 3 inches apart) – Topcrop, Greencrop, Contender, (Pole) Blue Lake, Kentucky Wonder
Green Onion (1gallon, 3-5 plants) – Beltsville Bunching, Crysal Wax, Evergreen Bunching
Leaf Lettuce (1 gallon, 2 plants) – Buttercrunch, Salad Bowl, Romaine, Dark Green Boston, Ruby, Bibb
Parsley (1gallon, 3 plants) – Evergreen, Moss Curled
Pepper (5 gallons, 1-2 plants) – Yolo Wonder, Keystone Resistant Giant, Canape, Red Cherry (Hot), Jalapeno
Radish (1 gallon, 3 plants) – Cherry Belle, Scarlet Globe, (White) Icicle
Spinach (1 gallon, 2 plants) – Any cultivar
Squash (5 gallons, 1 plant) – Dixie, Gold Neck, Early Prolific Straightneck, Zucco (Green), Diplomat, Senator
Tomato (5 gallons, 1 plant) – Patio, Pixie, Tiny Tim, Saladette, Toy Boy, Spring Giant, Tumbling Tom, Small Fry
Turnip (2 gallons, 2 plants) – Any cultivar
Local Master Gardeners have compiled a list of vegetables for just West Texas that can be accessed at westtexasgardening.org.
Please contact the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information.