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Incredible Vegetables
from Self-Watering Containers

Starting Out With Self-Watering
Ed Smith recommends self-watering containers for seed starting. These planters have a water reservoir beneath the planting cells, some sort of capillary matting to wick moisture, and openings at the base of each cell. "This starting system has the advantage of giving seedlings a consistent level of moisture," Smith explains. "Drought-stressed plants can be stunted and sickly. Most plants don't ever fully recover from abuse they suffer as seedlings."

Successive Harvests
"You'll get the most out of your container garden if all the containers are growing something all the time," Ed Smith advises. Bush beans and lettuce, for instance, will continue producing if picked before they mature; but later harvests are often less tasty. For a continuous harvest of beets, carrots , radishs, spinach, turnips and other crops, replant every two or three weeks or start a new container. 

Is Container Corn Such A Corny Idea?
"Corn is among the crops that container-gardening gurus will tell you not to bother with," Ed Smith points out. He's grown Delectable, Golden Bantam and Luther Hill varieties in large self-watering planters seeded two inches apart and thinned to four inches; that's a dozen plants in a large container. "Some corn varieties are smaller than others, though, and worth a try in containers. They taste great, they're fun to grow, and you'll have neighbors slack-jawed in disbelief when you tell them you're growing corn in a container on your porch."

Suffering Herbs Taste Better
To grow the most tasty and aromatic herbs, don't raise them in self-watering containers. Herbs react to the stress of drought conditions by producing more of the aromatic oils that makes them so flavorful. Plants don't suffer water stress in self-watering containers, unless someone forgets to fill the reservoir for several days. 

Incredible Vegetables from Self-Watering Containers:
Using Ed's Amazing Pots System
by Edward C. Smith
Storey Publishing, 2005

Vegetable gardener Ed Smith explains how to persuade vegetables to grow as well or better in containers as they do in an open bed. Based on his own experimentation with self-watering containers, this book includes advice on choosing a container, how to provide nutrients, and what plants can be paired together. He picks the following vegetables as best for container growing and explains which varieties work best and how to grow them: artichokes, arugula, carrots, celery, chinese cabbage, cress, cucumber, endive, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mustard, pak choi, peppers, radicchio, summer squash, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips.

Earthbox Garden Kit
Earthbox Garden Kit

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