When you hear the word container gardening people often assume that you are talking about growing flowers but did you know that you can also use containers to grow vegetables?
It is often assumed that in order to have a garden you have to have a large amount of land and lots of space to grow, and that is true for some items or if you want to grow a large quantity of food. For those of us who just want to have some fresh produce throughout the year container gardening is a great alternative.
Container gardening is great if you don’t want to use up lawn space or spend a lot on landscaping. It’s also a nice option for those who can’t kneel easily on the ground, and those who live in apartment buildings and don’t have yard space. Here are a few things to keep in mind when starting your container garden.
Container Gardening Tips:
- When using containers to plant you want to be sure that you don’t overwater them as it will pool in the bottom and drown the plant. Use things that either have holes in the bottom, or could have a hole drilled in the bottom, as planting containers. The water will be able to filter through and the soil will soak up the necessary water to store for the plant.
- A lot of soil should be used in the container or planter. As mentioned above it will soak up the water. The more soil the better your plant will grow since the root system will have more room to spread out and grow.
- Don’t be afraid to fertilize your plants! No matter where they’re planted, there are plenty of ways to fertilize your plants naturally. Look into organic fertilizers, especially if you are planting foods that you plan on eating. Fertilizing your plants will make them thrive and will hopefully increase their longevity and the amount of food they put out.
- Make sure they will all get along
- If you are planning on planting more than one plant in each container, make sure that they will all get along. Some plants are dominant and will kill off other plants, just like animals. It’s the cycle of life even in plants! You also want to be sure that all of the plants in your container will grow well together. They should all like the same climate and watering cycle if they are planted together to better suite each other’s needs.
- Keep the plant in mind
- Depending on your container you need to keep the plant in mind when picking out both your plant and your container. Small containers should have small plants in them, plants that do not need a lot of room to grow or plants that like to be crowded together. Larger planters should have plants in them that need room to grow and expand in order to thrive. A common planter option is an old shoe or boot, be sure to plant small plants in these as they do not allow much room for expansion.
There are a variety of options available to gardeners who want to garden in small spaces. Square Foot Gardening or raised bed gardening is a great option for those of you who have a small, sunny spot in your yard that you are willing to give up some yard space. A great resource about square foot gardening is the book All New Square Foot Gardening. It will explain to you exactly how to set up your garden and what plants to plant where and when to maximize your output.
For those of you who don’t have the yard space or you live in a townhouse or apartment building then an EarthBox is a great option for growing. These deep boxes hold a lot of soil and encourage growth upwards. While they are a bit pricey they are sturdy so you can use them year after year. Also, because they are on wheels you can roll them from spot to spot to maximize sun exposure for your plants.
With these options space and time doesn’t have to be a factor in your reasons for not growing a garden so make sure to look into these options this year and enjoy the bounty of your garden!
What do you plan on planting this year in your garden? Do you plan on doing a container garden or a full garden? Leave a comment and let me know!
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