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Learn how to grow veggies in containers

By Staff | Oct 7, 2015

One of the best ways to grow vegetables is by using containers. But there are some things you need to keep in mind.

Karen Harty, edible gardening advisor for Grow a Gardener and a Lee County master gardener, will present a class on vegetable gardening in containers at the Edible Gardening Exchange on Thursday, Oct. 15, at 6:30 p.m. at the North Fort Myers Community Center.

“A lot of people can’t have a regular garden. So they want to garden on their lanai or in a small space,” Harty said. “Container gardening is a way for people to grow food in a limited space.”

Among the things that she grows very well in a pot, Harty said, are sweet potatoes and pineapples, though she has also grown citrus (which requires lots of water) and even bananas when she lived up north.

Harty said you can grow anything, depending on how much work you’re willing to put into it.

“Do you have someone to move them around or put them on wheels? What do you do when there’s a frost,” Harty said. “North Fort Myers can get some frost sometimes. If you have a tender plant, you can roll it inside or near the wall that radiates heat.”

Harty also discusses fertilization as well as some of the mistakes she has made, such as buying the wrong pot because it breaks apart in the Florida sun.

“I’ve spent a lot of money on pots and I tell them ‘don’t buy this,'” Harty said. “Learn from somebody who’s done it and made all the mistakes.”

As usual, there is an informal gardening chat that starts at 5:30. There is free tea and coffee, just bring your own mug.

Harty said this is the first of a series of six classes offered by the exchange. The cost is $10 for all six classes through March, plus a $10 lifetime Lee Parks and Recreation membership card if you don’t already have one.

The Exchange meets on the third Thursday of every month.

For additoinal information about the Exchange or the program, contact Harty at 530-8883.