While Charlotte and the Charlotte-metro maintains its distinction as a “Green City,”– one that has a lot of flora and fauna and many homes have theirown yards– many residents may find themselves in condos, townhomes, apartments, or neighborhoods with strict HOA policies that may limit abilities to have a garden. So what do those residents do when they want to grow their own vegetables? Container garden!
With Summer nigh, many cool-temp recipes call for fresh veggies like tomato, zucchini, squash, green beans, and a large variety of herbs. All of these items are really easy to grow in containers; these containers don’t take up a lot of space, are easy to manage, and can be placed even on the smallest of terraces. Herb towers even grow well inside on kitchen counters!
To start, determine which variety of vegetable or fruit you’d enjoy most. Consider factors like how big the plant will ultimately grow to be, whether it is a vining crop, and what size fruit you want (cherry tomato or beefsteak?).
Many varieties of peppers and tomatoes do well in 6+ hours of full sun, so patio or porch space is ideal for these plants. Be mindful, however, of the materials used to construct said porch or patio. A cement slab patio will generate a lot more heat than these containers need. The fix is really simple, though: place your containers on a rolling dolly or stands. Not only does this allow for drainage but allows soil temps to stay cooler and ventilated.
Better Homes and Gardens partnered with Bonnie Plants to produce a one-stop-shop guide for container gardening beginners. They cover soil types, planter types, planter size, and make recommendations on “extras” like tomato cages or vining trellises. Be sure to check out their feature on BHG!
Most importantly, just remember that plants are resilient. Despite any fears or misgivings you may have about container gardening, there’s little you can do that will actually go wrong. You’ll save on produce costs and trips to the store and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing where some of your fruits and vegetables come from and… all right here in the middle of Charlotte!