Do you live in an apartment or on a smaller piece of land? Do you think you do not have enough room for a garden? Well, whatever your situation, I’m here to tell you about a way that you could potentially grow your own food.
Are you familiar with the term ‘container gardening?’ If not, I’m going to introduce you to it today.
So let’s get started exploring the concept of container gardening.
What is Container Gardening?
Container gardening is a simple concept, though it is relatively new to most of us. Basically, you have multiple containers and grow individual plants in each container.
Now, you may think that you couldn’t grow anything in a container, but actually, you can. It is truly that simple. If you have a few buckets or planters and a sunny location, you could grow a small garden in individual containers.
In my experience, I prefer container gardening. We have a large garden space, but I still grow multiple items in a container each year because I think they are easier to tend to.
Every year, I grow my colored varieties of peppers in containers. I also grow my carrots in containers as well.
If you have a sunny spot for a container garden, you might want to give it a go. The cost is minimal to start, and you might find your new favorite pastime.
How Can Container Gardening Help Me?
I understand that not everyone can garden, not even a container garden. When I was younger, unmarried, and just starting out I lived in a tiny 1-bedroom apartment with my cat.
And when I say tiny, it was a tiny apartment. However, I didn’t even have a balcony. I probably could’ve utilized a side yard that was next to my apartment building if I really wanted to, but I just didn’t think of gardening then.
I get that a container garden still may not work for everyone, but if you have a small yard or even a balcony, it could still work for you.
Which means a container garden could still benefit you in some form. You may not think that you could get much of harvest out of a container, but you can. I grow enough carrots for my family in about 5 pots.
It doesn’t take a lot of space to get a great harvest. This harvest provides fresh, good food for you at only a fraction of the cost. You can actually learn here how to get seeds at a very reasonable price.
Also, you know what you are eating because you are the one raising it.
Plus, let’s not forget those, that may have a larger garden but physically aren’t able to tend to a large garden anymore.
Well, you don’t (necessarily) have to quit gardening altogether. If you are able to get out to your back porch, then maybe you could still grow a few things in containers.
Then there are people like myself. I container garden on top of growing a large garden because truthfully, I have better luck with some veggies in a container. Carrots are one that I struggle to grow in the garden but do great in a container. It is because I’m able to keep the dirt loose enough for them to grow more easily.
I’ve also found that container gardening can spare your plants some of the issues with diseases that they may face if planted in a larger garden. It is usually because of the space in between the plants since they aren’t feeding off of the same soil.
So as you can tell there are a lot of benefits for practically anyone when it comes to container gardening.
What Can You Grow in a Container Garden?
As mentioned above, you may think that container gardening couldn’t actually amount to much.
Well, I’m here to tell you that if you think that, then you’ve got it all wrong. You can grow a variety of vegetables in containers. Keep in mind that you can actually purchase some seeds that are meant for containers. That could make container gardening a little easier if you are new to the idea.
Here are a few items you can grow in containers:
I know, the first time I saw corn growing in a container I had to do a double-take. However, it actually can work. Here is a great resource to help you figure out how to grow corn in your container garden.
And I was pleased with how pretty corn looks when grown in a container. You could easily place it on your front porch or balcony for a little décor as well as food.
Growing tomatoes in a container is a piece of cake. I find that my tomatoes do a little better in a container because I tend to baby them more.
Every year we plant large amounts of red tomatoes in our garden. However, I love yellow tomatoes so I usually plant a few of those in containers so I can enjoy them and save a few for canning as well.
I grow my strawberries in containers every year. My strawberries are planted around an old tree stump of a tree that was a widow maker.
We cut some old plastic barrels in half, filled them with dirt, and planted our strawberries in them. They come back larger and larger every year.
4. Fruit Trees
This is how I began getting up the nerve to have an orchard. I had read and heard all of these things about fruit trees, and I knew I wanted them but it was intimidating to me.
So we went to Florida one year, and I bought small orange and lemon trees from a gift shop. Then brought them home and raised them in containers. That is how my orchard was born….in a container.
5. Green Beans
Green beans can be easily grown in a container. You’ll need to go with a bush bean in order for it to work very well (in my experience) because then they just bush out instead of run everywhere.
However, if you like runners better than bush varieties, I’m sure you could put a small trellis in the pot to give them something to run on.
Squash is another one that would probably need a small trellis inserted in the container in order for them to have a place to grow up on to.
However, squash is a pretty simple vegetable to grow and it also has many different varieties to choose from.
Melons are another option that you may not consider right off the bat when thinking of container gardening.
Still they, too, can be grown in a container with a trellis. Here is a resource to help you grow them in your container garden.
As I’ve already said, I prefer growing carrots in a container. I think it is easier because it is simple to make sure that the dirt stays loose.
However, I grow mine in large pots so they have plenty of room to grow. Just remember to thin the carrots out when they begin to sprout and make sure they are being grown in a large enough (and deep enough) container.
Potatoes are another one that I have found to grow rather easily in a container. We still usually plant most of our potatoes in the ground so we can get more of a harvest.
However, if you aren’t trying to feed 5 people year-round from your garden, then you may be able to use one of these options to grow your potatoes in a container.
Onions are another one that may actually be easier to grow in a container because you can move them around as needed.
I usually have better luck with my onions in containers as well because then I can place them wherever needed to keep my chickens away from them!
Garlic is another one that can be grown in containers. It takes a while to grow so planting them in containers may make it easier to find a location to grow them in.
Plus, I have an easier time keeping my chickens out of my garlic using this method as well.
I grow some peppers in containers every year. We have a row in our large garden for regular bell peppers and a row for hot peppers.
However, I like to grow a variety of colors in peppers too. So I plant my colored peppers in containers so I can enjoy them and baby them a little too.
What Do I Need to Start My Own Container Garden?
Starting a container garden doesn’t take much of an investment. You probably have most of the items on hand.
Here is what you’ll need to start your own container garden:
You don’t have to get fancy with your containers for a container garden. We grow most of our items in large, old flower pots that I don’t use for anything else.
Plus, I use a lot of 5-gallon buckets. My husband went through this phase of collecting every bucket he could find.
However, it worked perfectly for me because I just drilled holes in the bottom of most of them so that water could drain properly and then planted in them. (You all know he has to be a patient man to put up with my shenanigans!)
Still, if I find I’m running low (because I went overboard with planting, as usual) I use plastic pots.
2. Good Soil
Next, you’ll need good soil for your plants to grow in. You can purchase soil from any local garden center.
Or you can make your own great soil. We have a spot on my mother-in-law’s property that we dig up dirt from. It is a place off in the woods, and I’m not sure why it is so great, but she always told us to use the dirt from there and we have for years.
Finding great soil isn’t too difficult a task. Even if you have to buy soil and can’t afford the great variety (because it is expensive) use some of these tips to make it better.
3. A Sunny Location
After you have your pots and good soil, you’ll need a sunny location to plant in. This could be a back porch, front porch, side yard, a balcony, or even a sunny window. You can grow some herbs in containers sitting on your windowsill.
Once you have a sunny location in mind, you are almost ready to begin your own container garden.
4. Seeds to Plant
The final item you’ll need to start your own container garden are seeds to plant. I’ve already shared here how to find seeds for practically no money.
Once you have the varieties you want to plant, plant them in the good soil in your container in a sunny location, and you are well on your way.
And that is how you can start your very own container garden! I hope after reading this article you have a better idea of what container gardening is, the benefits it can provide, and also what you could actually grow in your very own container garden.