Vegetable Gardening in Containers in Florida

Vegetable gardening in Florida can be a bit of a challenge.  For the most part the best season to grow vegetables is in the Fall, Winter and Spring.  The challenges that you face when you grow in containers is:  too much water, too little water, not enough drainage, disease and bugs.  You also have to choose the type of container as well as the type of soil and fertilizer.  I am going to be updating this blog as my project goes along to see if some of my choices are successful.  First I wanted to grow organically- so that creates a bit of a challenge because I have found that many of the Organic Potting Soils were rather heavy and compacted in the pots.  I bought a bag of Organic Choice Potting Soil ( and please get potting soil and not garden soil for your pots!)  and it was a bit heavy.  So......I decided to mix in the bottom half of the pot some 1/4" pea stone.  This would aerate the soil and if there was a great deal of rain my plants would not drown.  I also worked in some Espoma Plant-tone as an Organic Fertilizer.  This is one of my favorite fertilizers- I have used it in New England and sold tons of it at my nursery.  So here is a photo of my completed pots.  I have 2 cherry tomatoes and 1 Yellow Bell Pepper and I have seeded some Snap Peas and Pole Beans.  I hope my Condo Association doesn't have a rule about beans growing over my railings.

Note:  The day after planting it rained solidly for 4 days and none of the plants died so the drainage idea was a hit!  By the way you can get bags of stones at Home Depot or Lowes.  Another Advantage to adding the stones is that it gives the pots weight so the wind does not knock them over.  I live near the beach and it is a consideration.