Container Gardening

Container gardening is easy, fun and accessible to anyone.

A huge space is not necessary to garden, not even a yard. All you need is a patio, a deck or even a front stoop. With a few containers you can create your own little oasis with little cash outlay. You can even grow veggies or fruits. Let’s take a look at how.

First consider your location. Vegetables need six to eight hours of sun a day. For heat- loving plants such as tomatoes or cucumbers a southern exposure is ideal. For cool crops like lettuce or spinach a southeastern exposure gives morning sun and cooler afternoons.

If you only have shade, you may want to choose ornamentals; there are many plants that prefer a shady summer.

Next, the container. This can be anything from one bought at a garden center to a bucket you have sitting in the garage. Just make sure it’s deep enough (lettuce and herbs don’t need much depth) and has drainage holes in the bottom.

Then fill the container with potting soil or a commercial soil-less mix. Do not use garden soil or topsoil; they are too heavy and will actually smother the roots. 

Now you’re ready to plant. You can use seeds or seedlings. (Check last month’s newsletter for instructions for seeds and when to plant). For plants, plant the roots, pat soil firmly around them and water.

You can even grow dwarf blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and other varieties in big pots. Have you considered a hanging pot of strawberries?

Make sure the plants have been hardened off before you place them in their full-time home.

After that, water them lovingly (that means “don’t forget them”) according to their needs. Vegetables will need lots more water than ornamental flowers.

Make sure you remember to harvest what you’ve grown—maybe a little bouquet in a vase and certainly the vegetables or fruit for your table.