Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy Container Gardening

Royal Purple Green Beans and Lettuce in the front
      I am guessing that everyone has probably already planted their gardens if they are planting one.  I had to move my raised garden beds this year because it just wasn't getting enough sun.  Now you know when you move a raised garden bed, there is a ton of soil that you have to move with it.  My timing of course was not the best.  I spent March trying to do an end of the year assessment for Homeschooling.  April was spent making notes about where we need to go in the kids education.   May was spent planning a new schedule just for the summer, and gathering materials for that.  You can see that moving my garden beds ended up in a hasty removal, throw into a pot, and plop them into their new (hopefully sunny enough) location.
     I really like the idea of container gardening and raised garden beds, simply because there are less weeds.  I also like the orderly nature of them.  I have learned that no matter how little or big your garden, harvesting your own food is a joy.  There really is something to going out into your yard and knowing where you food came from. I love it and so do my kids!

Here are some tips for container gardening:

  • Most veggies need full sun - that equates to at least six hours of sun per day. 
  • Water, water, water - containers dry out faster than ground soil does.  You need to water daily.  Water to keep the plants moist, but not drowning.  That can cause the roots to rot.  That leads us to the next topic.
  • Drainage - with all that water, make sure that you have good drainage.  Try to avoid containers that don't already have drainage holes, or buy containers that you can at least put the holes in yourself. 
  • Garden soil - be sure to use a good mixture of soil.  I used the soil mixture recommended from All New Square Foot Gardening.  
  • Fertilizer - if you don't have it in your soil, then be sure to add some.  You can add such things as liquid fish emulsion, manure, compost tea, or gardening compost.
  • Containers - have fun picking your containers.  Large containers are great, mainly because the soil stays moister longer, and you can plant more.  You can even be creative here, using things around the house, just make sure that it has good drainage and you can do anything.  
  • Harvesting - I like to always let one plant of each type of food, go to seed.  I collect the seeds, dry them out, and then store them for next year.  I buy my seeds at Seedsavers.  They have great stuff, and they give you the directions on how to harvest the seeds for the following year. 

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