Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Container Garden

Container Garden
It’s a great time to start a spring project. The warm weather is coming, the flowers are blooming, and the grass is growing. Now is the time to start a container garden if you don’t already have one. This is a great way to add fresh produce to your diet. Just think how rewarding it will be to walk out to your patio and grab a head of lettuce, a cucumber, and a tomato to make a refreshing salad in the summer. But, to reap the rewards, you have to put a little work in now.
 If you have limited space, you can use large flower pots or half wood barrels. These can be found at your local hardware or big box stores. The barrels or flower pots make a great addition to your patio or deck. They can be as decorative as you would like. For the soil in the container, I suggest using an organic potting soil. The potting soil tends to hold moisture longer than top soil in containers. Use organic compost instead of using a chemical, when you need to fertilize.  When using organic material, you don’t have to worry about what unsafe chemicals are being added. Also, you don’t have to fill the whole container up with soil. That would cost more money and the plants only use about six to eight inches unless you are growing tomatoes or root vegetables. Just add some bricks or rocks to fill the bottom. One thing to remember about using pots or barrels is that you have to keep an eye on the soil moisture. It tends to dry out a little faster than if the plants were in the ground. One way to combat this is to use mulch around the plants. This will reduce moisture lose and keep weeds out. As far as what to plant, it’s really up to you. Just think about what you like to eat or what would be a healthy addition to your meals. You could even devote one container to fresh herbs for cooking.
Two things you need for a successful container garden is the right amount of water and sun light. We mentioned the soil moisture in the earlier paragraph; now let’s talk about sun light. Most vegetables need at least six hours of sun light to grow. Some plants can get away with less, but put them in a place where they can get the most if not a full six hours. One other thing I would suggest is to add a few small flowers to the containers. This will attract bees to pollinate the plants, which is needed to produce the fruit or vegetable. My favorite flower for containers is the Marigold. It is compact and naturally repels insects. Oh, and it is pretty too.
Well, I hope this has helped inspire you to grow some vegetables of your own. You don’t have to have a yard for a garden spot to grow healthy food for your family. Get your kids involved also, I have found it’s easier to get them to eat their veggies if they helped grow them. Good luck everyone. 

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