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Root Depth Guide for Vegetable Container Gardening

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Before going all out to reconstruct your backyard to create a vegetable garden, dilettante your way into success with gardening in containers. Growing vegetables in containers is especially useful for those who live in an urban area or who have tight living quarters. In order for your vegetables to thrive, they need to be housed in the right size container. Pick a container that will properly serve your vegetable's needs as it grows.

Root Vegetables

Root vegetables need deep containers to grow. Because the flesh of the vegetable grows beneath the surface of the soil, you will need to allow ample room for the vegetable to thrive. While root vegetables can grow into varying lengths depending on the type of plant and the nourishment it receives, you should still allow plenty of space for each plant to expand. Plant carrots around 2 inches apart. Carrots need between 9 to 18 inches of soil to grow correctly. Plant potatoes 6 inches apart with at least 16 to 18 inches of soil depth. Turnips require a deep 3-gallon container with 2 to 3 inches of spacing between plants.

Lettuce Varieties

The world of lettuce and leafy greens can easily be grown in containers or pots. While lettuce and other greens do not require as much soil as root vegetables do, it is important to note what soil amount these plants need to grow to make a delicious salad. For Asian lettuce varieties and mustard greens, give your plants 4 to 6 inches of soil. Salad greens enjoy wide, shallow containers. Cabbage works well with a soil depth of 8 to 12 inches. Give a good 5 inches or more of spacing between your lettuce plants to allow them to grow to their full potential.

Vine Vegetables

A juicy tomato and a crisp cucumber can make all the difference in the world when putting a sandwich together or making a salad or other recipe calling for fresh vegetables. To successfully grow your vine plants in containers, make sure they have space up top and below the surface of the soil to get the biggest and healthiest vegetables. Plant only one tomato plant per 5-gallon container to get the best results for tomato varieties. Cucumbers will do well with at least of foot of space between each plant with a container that has 16 to 18 inches of soil depth. Summer squash needs 18 inches of space per plant and also requires 16 to 18 inches of soil depth for its roots.

Other Vegetables

Put your eggplant seedlings in a 5-gallon container that has between 8 to 12 inches of soil depth. Pepper varieties will do well in the same depth, but only need between 1 and 3 gallons of soil. For tight spaces, choose vegetables like beets, radishes or beans. Both beet and radish varieties do well in soil that is 9 to 12 inches deep. Space beets 3 inches apart and radishes 1 to 2 inches apart. Plant beans about 5 inches apart in a container that is 16 to 18 inches deep for the best results.

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