I think gardening is addicting, relaxing and so enjoyable. Having your hands in the soil, tending and caring for a garden can be good for the soul. Everyone, no matter if you live on many acres, 1/4 of an acre or an apartment can garden. With container gardening there are so many options available. Container gardening can allow you to grow vegetables, shrubbery, flowers, and fruit wherever you have some sun!
If you are wanting to try to grow some of your own vegetables this year try to find small, miniature or dwarf varieties. Leafy greens grow well, many herbs do wonderful, tomatoes, peppers, bush crops-such as bush beans, cucumbers and squash, although a trellis may be needed. Even root crops such as beets, carrots, potatoes, green onions, radishes and turnips can be grown in containers if you have one that is deep enough.
First you want to find a location that gets a good amount of sun, whether it be in your yard or patio. Then start selecting containers you wish to use. Think outside the box! What do you have that you can repurpose that would work? Are you looking to add character? If so, choose some unique items as points of conversation. Here are a few ideas that I have seen:
- Work Boots
- Metal Buckets & Pails
- Wicker Baskets
- Wooden Kegs/Whiskey Barrels/Rain Barrels
- Old Toyboxes & Wooden Crates
- Deep Roasting Pans, Stock Pots
- Old Fashioned Baby Carriage
- Old Chair (cut out the seat and attach a fitted container inside)
- Dresser Drawers
- Deep Enamelware Pots
- Child’s Wagon (choose one that’s deep so there’s lots of soil for the plants to grow)
- 1-5 gallon buckets
- Old bathtubs (this can actually be made very beautiful)
The reality is, almost anything can be used that can hold enough soil for the plant to thrive and that have proper drainage. To ensure that the container does have drainage and doesn’t result in root rot, make sure to drill several drainage holes in the bottom of the container if none are present.
To ensure success with your plant, it is important to select the right tip of soil. Regular gardening soil might work just fine, but you really should use potting soil (organic can be easily found) to ensure proper water retention and the right combination for your plant to thrive.
Fertilize often, with rich compost and research to see if your plants have specific needs. Blueberries, for instance need a high PH level to thrive, so plastic container do well for their containers.
Self-watering containers make container gardening even easier since they regulate the proper amount of water needed for plants. They can be quite pricey but you can find basic kits to turn your own containers into self-watering containers. Stay tuned in the next week or two I will show you how to turn a basic bucket into a self-watering container!
The reality is, you can really dress up some of the containers by painting or using a stencil on them. Once you start container gardening you start looking at your junk in a whole new way! So many things that would be trashed or taken to the thrift store can be used in some way. Why not make it a goal if you don’t currently garden to try your hand this year with one type of vegetable. It really is enjoying and so fulfilling to pick that first piece that you grew yourself!
Next week I will show you how easy it is to plant potatoes in a container, a repurposed one at that!