I know you read the title and thought it is nearly freezing outside why would anyone be thinking about gardening but I’m here to tell you I am starting to plan out my garden for this year. Last year was my first year and I had a great yield. I poorly documented it as life got in the way but we saw tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, strawberries, scallions, green beans, and a baby watermelon amongst a few spices grow right on our deck.
As I venture into my second year of container gardening with plans to also build a raised bed, I just want to share a few tips and mistakes that I made along the way that may help you or encourage you to grow a small garden of your own. I really enjoyed my garden, seeing the growth was not only amazing to me but the children were mesmerized.
- Plan Ahead: If you are paying attention you see that stores are starting to introduce gardening materials, pots and seeds. Decide what you want to plant and look out for sales. I purchased many of my organic seeds weeks before I even planted them during BOGO sales at Home Depot. These make a difference when one packet of organic seeds can go for $3
- Go Totally Organic: If you choose to purchase organic seeds I suggest you research the seeds you buy to make sure they don’t contain GMOs. Most of the packets will say no GMOs on it. Also if you are using organic seeds don’t skimp on the soil. Purchase the organic soil as well. ( Last year I used Miracle Gro but after a little research there is a little controversy on whether it is completely organic. If this is important to you do more research)
- Have a Water Source Nearby: If you can help it try to set your garden near a water source. Because they are in pots they need to be watered more frequently which posed a task for me. I only had one watering can and it would take me nearly 5 trips to water everything. This year I plan to buy two large watering cans and also collect rain water to help with the watering issues.
- Start Your Seeds Indoors: If you look on the seed packet there are climate zones. The zone I live in says the last frost occurs in early March. I like to get a jump start by starting my seeds indoors so that by the time the weather breaks they already have roots.
- Use Starter Cups: I used these cups and I loved that I didn’t have to disrupt the roots to replant them. I tore the sides of the pot off and placed the whole thing in the new soil and covered.
- Be Mindful of Where You Want the Pot Before Filling: Those clay pots get really heavy when they are filled with dirt. Consider putting the pot on wheels or fill the bottom with plastic 2 liter bottles before filling with dirt. It will make the pot lighter and save you some soil. I also used plastic packing peanuts.
- Make Proper Labels: Trying to take a short cut I decided to write what I planted on the side of the cardboard container. Well it rained and washed all of the ink off.
Don’t laugh.I had to learn that lesson the hard way. Use popsicle sticks or something that will withstand the elements. Trust me.
These are just a few container gardening tips to get you started if you so desire. I’ll be back in a few weeks with tips on what you should plant together, natural methods of pest control that I used that worked and what you need to plant and harvest in the Spring that won’t be able to withstand the summer heat.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments.
Do you have a green thumb? Ever tried gardening?
Mrs. DelightulJanuary 14, 2015 at 5:54 am
Thanks for this post! I have to start my indoor garden soon. In the past I used our old egg cartoons as a starter pot. I’ve tried before starting with seeds and I’m going to try again this year. I would love to have more of a variety.
What kind of beans and lettuce did you plant? I tried planting lettuce last year and I think I did something wrong.
MimiJanuary 22, 2015 at 10:38 pm
I find that you probably have to plant lettuce early. By the time I put mine out the sun was too hot and burned it up. I did string beans, mixed greens, and romaine. I didn’t really get a good return on those. I’ll try again this year.
LashawnJanuary 14, 2015 at 7:24 am
I will be following this! I do not have a green thumb at all. I really really want a container garden this year. Now I’m off to research what I want!
MimiJanuary 22, 2015 at 10:38 pm
ChristieJanuary 14, 2015 at 7:51 am
Nice post! Thanks for sharing these tips. I love using containers for gardening!
MimiJanuary 22, 2015 at 10:39 pm
Containers are so simple and easy for gardening outside of the extra watering you have to do.
SonyaJanuary 14, 2015 at 10:29 am
I planted my first raised bed garden last year. Unfortunately, the squirrels ruined most of my plants. The only thing they didn’t mess with were my cucumbers. I need to start reminding my husband that he needs to build a cover for my garden now. So when Spring arrives it will be finished. I want to also plant some food in containers this year too. I’m going to look for those starter pots you mentioned.
A really good book about raised bed gardening is called Square Foot Gardening. I found it at my library last year and it was really helpful. You can also google Square Foot Gardening and find a lot of posts written highlighting the key information from the book.
MimiJanuary 22, 2015 at 10:40 pm
I’ve been meaning to pick up that book. I’m going to grab it this weekend. See, if we do a raised bed I want it as high as my waist to hopefully keep the critters out or like you said put a cover over it.
BreanneJanuary 14, 2015 at 3:35 pm
I love gardening… Great post. I can’t wait to get back to my garden in TX.
MimiJanuary 22, 2015 at 10:40 pm
Hey!!!!!! I was so happy to see your post in my reader. I’m just getting around to commenting. Hope you guys are all well!
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