SKIP RICHTER: Growing an autumn container garden | Brazo’s life

I use a couple of old wheelbarrows. They hold a lot of soil and can easily be put in a sheltered garage if needed to avoid a deadly freeze or freeze. Wheelbarrows filled with vegetables are also a conversation piece for the neighbors when they are driven to that sunny spot in the front yard!

Whatever non-traditional container you use, make sure it has several 1/4 to 3/8 inch holes in the bottom for drainage.

Great growing media

Use a good quality growing medium instead of garden soil for optimal drainage as well as nutrient and moisture storage capacity. Add a slow release fertilizer to the mix and be ready to supplement as needed during the fall and winter seasons.

Select autumn vegetables

Choose from a variety of cool season vegetables such as lettuce, arugula, Chinese cabbage, and other Asian vegetables, mustard, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kohlrabi, kale, and cool season peas (snow, schnapps, and English varieties).

Root crops such as radishes, carrots, beets and turnips also do very well in containers. Most carrots will require a taller container, although shorter varieties of carrots are available.

There is often a significant difference between varieties when it comes to the number of days until harvest, so choose varieties that ripen quickly. For example, sweet peas that ripen in 60 days or less are usually more productive – and less likely to freeze before harvest time – than those that take 70 days or more.

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