Portable Produce Patch DIY
• Clean container (plastic, clay, ceramic or wood)
• Seeds or transplants
• Soil-less potting mix
• Label for plants (can be made from plastic silverware, piece of mini-blind)
• Container Selection: choose size of container based on size of plant, plants will grow larger with more space
• Light: determine how close and how much sun/artificial, fluorescent light the plant will need
• Water: keep soil evenly damp but not wet
1. Gather all supplies
2. Add water to soil-less potting mix and mix. You will know your potting mix is moist enough when it forms a clump when you squeeze it, but falls apart when you move your fingers.
3. Put soil-less potting mix into your container
4. Plant seeds (follow instructions on packet)
6. Place container in sunny spot or under fluorescent light
What are the Benefits of Container Gardens?
• Provide a source of local, nutritious food
• Allow you to garden in a small space
• Cost less to start
• Require less maintenance
• Create a beautiful, functional display
• Connect children with nature
• Can be moved
• Teach children about where food comes from
• Expose you to a wider variety of produce
• Allow for easier access than in-ground gardens
• Drain well
• Going through seed catalogs is a great way to enjoy a winter day!
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Downloadable publications to help make your container garden successful:
Container Vegetable Gardening
Includes information regarding: container construction, size, and capacity; crop selection and planting density; summer care (location, watering, fertilization, tomato tips). Lists suggestions for 12 container garden vegetables (more than 40 cultivars) including: carrots, cucumber, pepper, spinach, and tomatoes.
Creating Soil-less Potting Mix
Each card includes recipes for a soilless potting mix and an amended soil mix plus capacity of a variety of pot sizes.
Planting and Harvesting Times for Garden Vegetables
This guide can help northern, southern, and central Iowa vegetable growers schedule the planting of gardens so space may be used efficiently. Includes a staggered planting and harvest chart for crops grown April through October. Detailed planting directions are given for more than 25 common garden crops, such as radishes, lettuces, onions, peas, tomatoes, kale, peppers, squash, melons, and cucumbers.
Suggested Vegetable Varieties for the Home Garden
This publication suggests two or more produce varieties suited for Iowa gardens based on characteristics including color, size, texture, flavor, vigor, and early or late harvest. Includes more than 60 crops, such as: asparagus, beans, lettuces, endives, onions, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, peas, okra, eggplant, kale, peppers, pumpkins, melons, squash, leeks, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, beets, and several others.
Portable Produce Patch DIY
Download the instructions in printable format.
QUESTIONS or more information:
Call the Linn County Master Gardener Hortline: 319-447-0647 for unbiased, research-based answers and information