No longer does one need to live in the country, or on a farm, to grow vegetables at home. Even the smallest balcony presents the possibility of fresh green beans or aromatic herbs. All you need to get started is containers with holes in the bottom for drainage, some soil and lots of sunshine. Warm season vegetables thrive when the air temperature is between 65 and 95 degrees F. Cool season crops, such as lettuce, require temperatures between 55 and 75 degrees F.
Choose a container for the vegetables. Many items can be considered planting pots, from bushel baskets to 1 gallon plastic nursery pots. The size will depend upon the vegetable you are planning on growing. For small plants, such as green onions and herbs, choose pots that are 6 to 10 inches. Otherwise, 5 gallon or larger planters will work.
Grow your potted vegetables in the appropriate planting medium. Agriculturists at Texas A&M University suggest using a synthetic medium, such as a commercial blend of sawdust, peat moss, perlite or vermiculite. This type of planting medium drains quickly yet retains moisture. You can make your own mixture by blending 1 bushel each of vermiculite and peat moss. Add 1 cup of 6-12-12 fertilizer, 10 tbsp. of limestone and 5 tbsp. of 0-20-0 superphosphate. Mix well and wet it completely prior to placing it in the planting container.
Plant the vegetable plants by digging holes the same width and depth as the nursery pot in which they are growing. Slide the plants from the pots, place the roots in the holes and fill the hole with the soil. Water the plants until it runs from the bottom of the pot.
Fertilize your vegetables in pots by watering them with a nutrient solution. Mix 2 cups of 10-20-10 or 12-24-12 liquid fertilizer and 1 gallon of warm water. This is the base solution. When you water your vegetables, mix 2 tbsp. of the solution in 1 gallon of water. Water the vegetables with this until it runs out of the bottom of the pot. Agriculturists at Texas A&M University say that you should water the vegetables once a day with this solution.
Leach the soil in the pot weekly by running clear water through the soil until it drains from the bottom of the pot.