Sunday, May 20 , 2018, 7:32 pm | Fair 64º


Water Saver: Plant Vegetables and Herbs in Containers

While there may not be enough water this year to maintain a full-sized garden, plenty of vegetables and herbs can thrive even with watering restrictions when planted in containers using the right soil, says Agromin, an Oxnard-based manufacturer of earth-friendly compost products made from organic material collected from more than 50 California cities including those in Santa Barbara County.

“A successful container garden begins with the right potting mix,” said Bill Camarillo, Agromin’s CEO. “The potting mix should have a loose texture to hold in moisture and contain the organic ingredients necessary to maintain healthy plant roots.”

Some vegetables can do well in containers when planted in mid-summer because of their relatively short growing cycle. They include tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and radishes. Herbs can also be planted now, particularly chives, thyme, rosemary and oregano. An added bonus is that these herbs do not require as much water as other herbs.

To plant, first fill the container to about one-third full with potting mix. Loosen the plant’s root ball and place the plant in the pot. Add more potting mix and press lightly. Then water thoroughly.

“Many potting soils contain all the nutrients your plants need so it is not necessary to add fertilizer,” explains Camarillo.

Selecting the right container is also important. Choose a light-colored pot with a drain hole (dark-colored containers will absorb the summer’s heat). Place a saucer underneath the pot to catch excess water. The bigger the pot and the more potting soil used, the less often plants require water.

“You don’t have to forgo fresh, backyard-grown vegetables and herbs this summer,” Camarillo said. “You won’t have the variety you would from a traditional garden, but a container garden can prove to be a rewarding and satisfying alternative.”

Click here for more gardening and soil tips.

— Diane Zakian Rumbaugh is a publicist representing Agromin.

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