CONTAINER GARDENING 101
I just thought I would write a quick article to answer this reader’s question and for any one else out there who is interested.
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Which gardening blog do you follow. I was going to try container gardening, I just found out I have lupus and I thought growing from a higher level will be easier on my joints. I was telling my husband we should stock up on our own goodies so we arent eating crap thats out of season. I ate a banana that was yellow and organic and was hard as an apple it took a week before it wasnt as hard .(november) which has made me want to garden for the first time. Ive already made my list I want to try that match my growing zone. I was already eating healthy but I know its time to take it up a notch and put where my food comes from more in my hands.
Yes you can grow fruits and veggies in a pot. It is easy and a fun thing to do. Here is what you need to know.
First: Location, location, location: In order to know what you can grow know the conditions in your area. First you need at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight for fruit producing plants. Leaf only plants like greens and lettuce can take a tad less but if you are looking for tomatoes, squash and the like you need sun and lots of it. Some times you can boost the amount of sunlight by reflecting sun towards the area that you need. I won’t be getting into those methods in this post however but it can be done.
Second: Once you have the sun, know the conditions. That would be knowing the the plant hardiness zone that you live in. That will tell you the general average temperatures in your area and when it is safe to plant. From your search engine type in your state and then the words plant hardiness zone. I live in Pennsylvania so I typed in Pennsylvania Plant Hardiness zone and got this page:https://www.plantmaps.com/
type in the zip code and a box will open up giving you your local conditions such as average temp, drought conditions, freeze data and current drought conditions. This is very important information to have so make sure you keep it.
So you have the conditions the next thing you need to know is what you can actually plant. Back to the search engine or just look here:https://www.thevegetablegarden.
Now that you know your hardiness zone you can click on you zone’s planting schedule and you will open a list of what you can grow where you live. You will also find tips on how to plant them and their care. For more in depth information you can pull up a guide from your county extension office. This is a good thing to do since it will tell you much more about those things I.E critters that can and will want to eat your plants before you can harvest them.
Third: The container. This is up to you. You can grow in just about any thing. You can build squares or buy them. You can use large pots, old buckets and old kiddie pool, bath tub. I have even seen people plant in the spaces of cinder blocks. You just need something to hold the soil.
Here are some suggestions.
That’s right your container can be as high or as low as you want, they can be wheel chair accessible even it is up to you. What ever you choose make sure you place it exactly where you want it because you are not going to be able to move it easily. That said some people stick to smaller containers and put them on wheels, say a furniture dolly in order to move them to capture as much sun as the can.
Fourth: Soil. Every gardener just like ever cook has their preference and can argue forever about what works best. Just keep this in mind. Location, location, location. What works for me in Pa. may not work for you in your location but there are rules of thumb that work in all location. Use a soil rich in organic material that is light and drains well. If you don’t have it then you have to make it or buy it. That means amending the soil. Here is a quick and dirty regarding dirt.
One thing I will say right here is this. I am a believer with using what you have and sourcing what you need locally. I am also cheap so if you can get it for free or near free go for it instead of buying bags of prepared soil.
Again this is just a quick and dirty to get a discussion started. Wanna talk growing food? Lets get started.