What do you need to grow vegetables– and actually have something to show for it? Think prep early, and reap the reward later.
For starters you need a sunny location, a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight for veg plants. Tomatoes and peppers need 8+ hours of sunlight.
Fill your soil with lots and lots of nutrients that your plants can thrive on. Making flowers and fruit takes energy. The healthier the plant the better the fruit production. Compost, chicken manure, slow release fertilizers, peat moss, & calcium rich food for tomatoes. (Think energy drinks for the athletes of the plant world.) Organic or not, there are many options you can choose from to boost your soil.
Water. Dedicate a soaker hose to your veg garden area. A one time investment in a great hose will provide years of water supplement to your garden. After you plant, lay your hose in the garden under your mulch and walk away. (Ok, don’t walk away, but you get what I’m saying. Run it daily for an hour!)
Support. Veggies grow BIG. (Yes, they start very small, don’t be fooled.) Provide structures for your plants to grow up! Up is where the sun is, where the air can dry leaves…up is away from slugs and garden pests. Hoops, sticks and twist ties are the answer.
Container vegetable gardening means you do all of the above, but even more! More nutrients-liquid fertilizers to supplement your great soil- apply once a week. Hoops that are 3+ feet tall for tomatoes and cucumbers. Water twice a day on hot days.