CTAHR NEWS

Container Gardening in Small Spaces

Don’t have a pot for planting? Buckets, plastic jars, and carryout food containers work, too!

  • 9 April 2020
  • Author: Frederika Bain
  • Number of views: 1044
  • 0 Comments
Container Gardening in Small Spaces

Hawai‘i is home to the most geographically isolated human population on the planet. We are vulnerable to disasters and heavily reliant on imported food. We need to become more food independent and have fresh produce readily available, in close proximity to local residents and their families. Growing your own is a great way to start.

With more than half-a-million housing units packed into our tiny state, containerized vegetable gardening is ideal for small spaces: apartments, condominiums, patios, as well as areas with poor soil conditions. With sufficient growing space, soil drainage and aeration, sunlight, adequate nutrients, and irrigation, you can grow vegetables quickly—right at home.

Pots

Plastic, clay, or cement pots are excellent for vegetable and herb production. But in a pinch, you’d be surprised at how many common household items can be used as planting containers—leftover plastic take-out food containers, old gutters, or storage tubs. With a little potting soil and fertilizer, these commonly discarded items can be transformed into food-producing vegetable gardens! Just make sure you cut or drill enough holes for drainage: about a half-inch wide, evenly spaced.

Root Space

Selecting the right container starts with knowing how much room the roots will need to fully develop. Some crops need more root space, such as cucumber, eggplant, daikon, soybean, ginger, taro, squash, rosemary, ung choy, and pepper. They should be planted in large containers—a 3- to 5-gallon bucket with holes drilled in the bottom is great. Medium-size plants, such as green onion, lettuce, spinach, basil, beans, mint, cabbage, kale, or radish should be placed in 1½- to 2½-gallon containers. Small herbs like mizuna, chives, and parsley can thrive in ½- to 1-gallon containers, like a plastic milk jug with the narrow top cut off. In general, it’s better to plant crops in a larger container rather than something too small that might limit the root development.

Soil

Be mindful that containerized vegetables are vulnerable to the same pests and diseases as vegetables grown in the ground. If soil-borne plant diseases are a problem in your area, try using “soil-less” potting mixes. For specific questions about pest management, visit the UH Master Gardeners website.

Another important consideration is fertilization, especially in Hawai‘i. So remember to feed your plants well. Stay tuned for an article on fertilization, coming soon!

Whether you have a natural green thumb or are a green-thumb-in-training, find your favorite seeds, review the science, get some fresh air, practice social distancing—and get dirty!

Jari Sugano and Kalani Matsumura, Cooperative Extension Service and Master Gardener Program, UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Print
Tags:

A Book of Beauty

Alumna pens an insider’s look at historical and everyday designs

MacNut Pest Management

A new study on the felted coccid can help growers manage loss from pests

Restoration and Re-Engagement

A $2M NRCS grant will support underserved communities and build healthy, productive soils

Housing Our Veterans

AUW is helping U.S. Vets have greater impact in Hawaiʻi

ʻAlae ʻula

NREM student recognized at Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference

In the House

FCS and MBBE join the Hawaiʻi Book & Music Festival

Hawaiiscape Green

Extension teams up with LICH to help small and minority-owned businesses

Pest-Con

Extension mini-conference is set for Oct. 15

Piggeries in Puna

A new deep-litter design may help jump-start family farms

Essentials and Organics

A new NIFA grant will support essential oils’ potential to safeguard organic crops

Grand (Re)Opening!

After a lengthy construction, the ADSC is resuming analysis.

In the Bull Pen

Extension hosts a speaker panel on livestock questions

CTAHR 2019-2020 Annual Report

Please take a few minutes to read these highlights in instruction, research, and extension

Long-Awaited Support

A new NIFA grant could enhance Hawaiʻi’s avocado industry

Starting from Seed

HDFS launches Ag videos for homeschooled keiki

Elephant in the Ocean

NREM study finds plastic pollution is outpacing cleanup models

A 600% Increase

Aloha United Way’s “COVID-19 Rent and Utility Assistance Program” is helping thousands

Giant Candy Canes

“Kō: Ethnobotanical Guide to Hawaiian Sugarcane Cultivars” gives a fascinating history

Ready, Set, Students

No in-class? No problem. ASAO is keeping CTAHR students in the loop

Helping 500,000+

The 2020 AUW Campaign targets Hawaiʻi residents who need assistance

A.I. in Ag

New grant opportunity is due October 5

Beyond Beginners

GoFarm Hawaiʻi consults on business plans, grant writing, and a whole lot more.

Vegan Leather

FDM students hope to establish sustainable manufacturing in Hawaiʻi

One Busy Man

Extension agent is helping livestock producers, near and far

$1.5M for Ag Ed

Grant designed to expand education for Native Hawaiians

Primed for Expansion

NIFA awards almost $1M to CTAHR’s Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture

Textbook Nutrition

Food Science and Human Nutrition’s latest edition adds an interactive layer

Welcome, Rock

Dr. Zhi-Yan Du joins MBBE

Men’s Wear

FDM professor is featured in a new book on masculine clothing

A Virtual Garden

The American Society for Horticultural Science’s online conference is a hit

RU AgCurious?

GoFarm Hawaiʻi Windward kicks off another farmer training

Giant Smiles

4-H contest gets keiki excited about agriculture

Safe You, Safe Campus

IT Services’ new app is mandatory for those coming to UH

12345678910Last