It’s that time of year again, where spring has sprung, and thoughts turn to the upcoming gardening season. Some may think since they do not have the square footage available, that they are precluded from having freshly grown fruits and vegetables at hand. Not true!
You can have a wonderful well-producing container garden. Several vegetables grow quite well this way. Not to mention, it adds a lovely look to your patio or yard no matter the size.
Right now is a great time to get some of your seeds started indoors so that as the weather improves, they will be ready for transplanting. Or, if you prefer, hit up your favorite local nursery or outdoor farmer’s markets and see what delicious starts they have.
I find that doing an herb garden is lovely when done in a creative way. I have done the PVC tube method or repurposed rain gutters and attached them to pallets.
Any of your smaller plantings, such as lettuce or even strawberries, work well this way. These can be done in a myriad of ways.
Now for soil mediums, I have had good luck with a mix of Fox Farm’s Ocean Forest Potting Soil. The choice is yours if you have a mix that has worked well in the past then stick with that. If you’re doing quite a few containers then it might be more cost-effective to source from your local bulk supplier. They tend to have great soil blends as well.
Please keep in mind, depending on what you are planting in, such as terra cotta, dark plastic nursery pots, or cloth pots, the type of container will also affect the soil's ability to retain or diffuse the water.
Now for what to plant, that can be a hard one. If you're anything like me you want it all!
I find that tomatoes grow very well in containers as do hot peppers, they grow exceptionally well in the black nursery pots and really like the heat! The milder peppers seem to prefer in-ground planting. Zucchini and cucumbers do wonderfully well. I use a tomato cage to grow them up instead of out.
Green beans or peas are good for trellis growing in a container. Some of your root vegetables such as carrots, beets, radishes will do quite well in containers too. Smaller green onions are quite easy to grow.You can do potatoes this way as well, a little more labor-intensive, as you have to add more soil as they grow but the rewards are worth it.
There are many dwarf fruit tree options as well, apple, pear, peach, and citrus trees. I have several blueberries and also strawberry containers to round out the mix.
And to add a pop of color and fun, don’t forget those beautiful but edible flowers such as citrus blossom, clover, daisies, dandelions, hibiscus, honeysuckle, lavender, lilac, mums, nasturtium, pansies, roses, sunflowers, and violets, among others.
So many options out there now, as more and more folks are starting small container gardening or patio gardening.
Remember, you are only limited by your imagination or, in reality, your pocketbook.
Happy gardening this season!