I will grow the following vegetables in a big square area. How much depth is required to prevent root damage and non-vertical root growth? Note that I will grow them indoors.
- Collard greens
- Garlic greens
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Ginger is perennial, so I'm not sure it is good to grow it indoor. But I never cultivated it, so I don't know.
For the other vegetables, I think around 30 to 50 cm should be enough. Most could live with less ground, but I would have some extra space to help not to over-water (and under-water) the garden.
Of the plants you list, the Carrots are probably your biggest depth-desiring crop, Chard will be a close second. The chart on this page suggests a minimum depth of 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) for chard or carrots. I would expect the carrots to be the first plant to notice over-shallow soil. The root that you're actually eating might only be 8 inches, but the fine roots off the tip go down much further than that.
What is your set up? I am assuming you think you can dump 12" over concrete and get away with that for a garden? A vegetable garden doesn't need depth of soil in the GARDEN. Most roots to include carrots and other root crops don't need any more depth. That is not the problem.
95% of all plant roots or something close to that percentage are found in the top 4 to 6" of the surface, top horizon of the soil. That is where the chemicals and water necessary to provide the little chlorophyll factories in the leaves/stems to make food for the plant reside. Below 6 -12" is subsoil, has little organic matter, proper chemicals and little water makes it down that far for plants to need to expend the energy to grow roots that deeply. We aren't talking about support roots some plant have.
I am assuming you are making a big square POT for growing vegetables. Drainage is an issue. Using garden soil for this POT is another issue. Sun is an issue. Orientation to sun and wind is an issue. Is this outside on a balcony or a patio or is this inside or out of doors. Are you going to try to use rock/gravel at the bottom for drainage? We need to talk about an awful lot more. Otherwise I am just assuming. Please answer; 1) drainage 2) type of soil and that HAS TO BE STERILIZED POTTING SOIL NOT GARDEN SOIL 3) is this indoors out of doors over concrete what are the sides to be 4) what is the lighting? Wattage if you are using artificial lighting or sun orientation and zone if this is grown out of doors. Where is the excess water to go? Drain to?
All of these plants do just fine in POTS with sterilized potting soil with proper drainage no perched water table created by using rock or gravel beneath the soil, artificial true growing lights or decent sun exposure and of course the proper amount and formulation (s) of fertilizer and attention to pH.
Some on your list need higher N than P and K. The leafy stuff you don't want going into reproductive growth. Some of those plants need lower N in relationship to the percentages of P and K. Using fertilizer in pots and confined artificial garden spaces it is more important to be precise. Just a little too much and you will kill your plants. You will have to separate the plants; root crops (carrots), leafy vegetative crops (Chard, lettuces), reproductive crops (broccoli) as each need a different formulation of fertilizer.
pH is important, perhaps not so much with your list but keep this chart around; enter link description here
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