Feeding Techniques

Container vegetables generally need supplemental feeding because the frequent watering leaches out many of the nutrients. Generally, plants need three major elements—nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium—plus minor trace elements. Each major nutrient affects vegetable growth in different ways.

nitrogen, for instance, is important for the leafy growth of lettuce, mustard, spinach and other vegetables. Phosphorus is used in flowering and producing fruit such as tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplant. Potassium promotes strong root growth and is therefore essential for carrots, beets and radishes.

Use either timeArelease tomato and vegetable food or a liquid fertilizer.

If you use a time-release fertilizer, mix it with the soil' when you initially fill the container, at the rate of one tablespoon to each two gallons of soil. This will feed your vegetables throughout the growing season. Use liquid fertilizers every two weeks according to the instructions on the bottle.

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