Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Container Gardening

This year I tried my hand at container gardening and have found that it is the perfect solution for those people like me who are renting or don't have a large yard. This year has definitely been an experimental year as I've learned things that work and things that don't.

For instance I started some of my plants like my tomatoes in the middle of April. Instead of starting them inside as starts I planted the seed directing into the container and brought my plants into the garage at night so they wouldn't freeze. By the beginning of July my tomato plant was still only a couple inches high with only two sets of leaves. I think had I started my plants inside where the temperature was consistent my plants would have grown a lot more in those two and half months. I've learned that most plant starts like the warmer temperatures at first. Once they get a few sets of leaves you can start to acclimate them to the change in outdoor temps.

I live in a particularly windy city, especially in early spring. I think in June we were constantly having wind gusts of at least 40 mph or more which was hard on tiny starts. Thus I had to start many of my plants over in the beginning of July and I moved my container garden from the south side of the house to the north where it had a little more protection from the wind.

In July I also started putting Miracle Grow on my plants once a week. All this does is to add nitrogen to the soil and I saw a huge improvement in my plants.

The photos above were taken in the beginning of August. My plants know are much bigger but thanks to a recent severe hail storm not quite as pretty to look at. Thus far we have enjoyed the following fresh foods from our container garden:

Zucchini (bush variety)
Green Onions
A Carrot
Green Beans
Strawberries (not shown, they are in a Topsy Turvy container in back)

I anticipate that we will continue harvesting the above as well as the following:

Rutger Tomatoes
Sweet Peppers
A Small Carrot Variety

Not too bad for the first year. The only plants I have failed to grow successfully for some reason are Spinach and Lettuce. I won't give up though. Next year's container garden will be much larger and more successful as I will have a better idea what to expect.

Do you have a garden? What are you growing? Any tips?


  1. We grew tomatoes and peppers quite well in the spring. Cucumbers, not so much. We've got a second planting in with tomatoes, peppers and hot peppers. I have lettuce in ground, because I've heard that FL dirt is fine for them.:)

  2. we do it because it is so hot here that we need to be able to move them to shade & back to sun- containers are great! love your veggies-