After my first post about starting a garden, one of my co-workers stopped by my desk. He’d been doing container gardening for the last few years since he did not have a space for planting. He gave me some GREAT tips and said I should share!
Never plant outside before Good Friday!
Some tips for the containers:
- The container should be 10-12 inches in depth. This will allow space for the roots to grow.
- Depending on the type of container, the garden can be moved to identify the best location in your space (yard, porch, deck, wherever).
- Be sure to put holes in the bottom of the container so the water can drain. Otherwise, the plants can get root-rot from sitting in too-wet soil.
- In the bottom, there should be 1-1.5 inches of gravel. This also helps to drain the water properly.
- If you have a container that is just walls, put a tarp or plastic along the bottom. Make sure it is dark. It is to help keep weeds from growing in the garden.
- For the soil, use miracle grow mixed in with top soil if you’re growing vegetables. The miracle grow will release a constant source of nutrients for the plants. Since they’re in an enclosed space, they won’t be able to get nutrients from another source.
- Edited Note: Miracle grow can burn some plants. Especially if too much is used. You should mix it with soil and/or compost. Some plants may not tolorate the miracle grow at all.
- A few plants that may not take to the miracle grow (as listed by my friend at Managing My Merry Mischief)are blueberries and artichokes. Blueberries like very acidic soil and artichokes like alkaline soil.
For his garden, he used 5 gallon buckets. My husband and I have some spare wood from a shelving system we took down so he is making us some planter boxes.
Now that I have some information about the container, I asked about how to care for the garden. What kind of sun should we look for? How much water will the plants need? What is the best natural pesticide to use? I don’t want a pesticide that can potentially poison my baby.
Container Gardening Care Tips
- My co-worker said the best sun is morning and evening. You want to avoid sun from 3:00 PM and on. That is the hottest sun of the day and can burn the plants.
- Similar to the miracle grow, get familiar with the plants you are growing. Some plants (like strawberries) will not thrive in 3:00 PM sun. It’s just too hot. Tomatoes, love it!
- Watering is plant specific too. Seedlings need more water than a fully grown plant. Once a day watering should be suffient. That may be too much for some plants, though.
- The best natural pesticides…Marigolds! Plant one Marigold in the same container as the vegetables. The Marigolds should be planted before the vegetable plants begin to flower. They’re great to keep out rabits too!
Time to go make the rest of the gardening boxes! The goal is to have 3 made so we can start planting this weekend, now that we’re past Good Friday.