Container Vegetable Gardening

I went to a meeting in Silverhill with my friend Glenna.  The talk was given by a Master Gardener on container and raised-garden vegetable gardens. 

It was really fun to listen to her presentation and I was getting excited about the prospect of gardening.  We rent our home so I can only commit to container gardens.  Mostly I have no luck.  Last year I think I planted too late.  And when we moved, I left some of my plants with a friend, but brought the broccoli with me.  Unfortunately, while it had done so well in FL and I was looking forward to it’s first fruits, it was eaten by caterpillars shortly after we got here.  

We did have a great container herb garden.  For Father’s Day the boys bought Gary several herbs, pots and potting soil.  We had a motherlode of basil, thyme, rosemary, dill, mint, and cilantro.  We grew red peppers as well.  We didn’t do much with the peppers; they were supposed to be mild, but turned out otherwise.  By the winter they had dried up and the seeds burst out.  I put them in the woods along the back yard.  Maybe we’ll have peppers back there this year. 

So anyway, I learned about composting, replanting, distance between plants, mulch and soil.  After the talk she gave out free plants.  I received a tray of 6 crooked neck squash, 6 cherry tomatoes and 6 Early Girl tomatoes. 

The next few days I set to work figuring out what to do with these plants.  I found some pots and replanted and while shopping, decided to add more.  So now I have a patio-vine tomato plant, 6 crooked-neck squash, 6 cherry tomatoes, 6 Early Girl tomatoes, string beans (I have one large plant; the others never grew), and 6 spineless okra.  Our herbs are thyme, rosemary, cilantro, mint, and basil.  All of these are in containers.  I had each 6-pack in one large pot and now I’ve been separating them into other pots so they have more space around them.  I think one more pot will do and they’ll all be at a breatheable distance from each other. 

I have lots of flowers on these plants.  Over the weekend I found a few cherry tomatoes sprouting,  and yesterday I found each squash plant has approximately 4 flowers on them.  They’ve gotten really big. 

I tried lettuce but found I planted it too late.  It should be harvested right now.  I know better for next year.  That was one thing I found really interesting was the planting dates and harvest dates.  I found a planting “wheel” on www.al.com that I’ll keep for future planting reference.

I’m looking forward to harvesting these vegetables.  This is really a lot of fun, and great therapy.  I get to spent useful time outside with my plants.  I love my vitamin D.

This fall I’m teaching/leading some 4H-ers in a Junior Master Gardening program.  We need a location for our garden.  I can’t offer my yard only because we’d only get container gardening; most other families don’t have the space.  I’ve heard of several possibilities of local property we could rent or borrow.  I like free so we’ll push for the borrowed land use.  Wish me luck and stay tuned for gardening updates.

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