PLANT YOUR GOURMET GARDEN
You can grow the plants below in containers or a plot. Containers should be at least 12 inches deep by ⅓ to ½ the height of the mature plant in width. Containergrown veggies need more nourishment than those in the ground, where they naturally get minerals and other nutrients. For container gardening:
1. MIX UP A FERTILE SOIL. Combine 1 part compost with 5 parts vegetable potting soil, then top with additional compost. “Compost helps keep the soil moist,” says Shirey. 2. USE ORGANIC VEGETABLE FERTILIZER. It slows drainage, adds nutrients, and keeps nitrogen levels lower so edibles can bloom. Look for vegetable-formulated fertilizers that are CDFA or OMRI certified—Shirey uses Maxicrop seaweed. 3. TOP WITH MULCH. Once your plant begins to sprout and the weather warms, cover soil with 2–3 inches of mulch to keep it moist. But wait until you see green— mulch too early and the soil, blanketed by mulch, may not warm up.
4. MONITOR MOISTURE. Containers dry out in hot temps; check often. Avoid overwatering or standing water.