Container Gardens

Container Garden
Easy to do Container Garden

The Perfect Garden on a Budget with a lack of Space

This is one of my personal favorites and can be done almost anywhere. Are you living in an apartment or condominium? This would be the kind of garden I would start. Container gardens are easy to start, don’t break the bank, and work well in limited space environments. I have only done a few years of container gardening, but I have struggled and succeeded at it. For example, last year my lettuce burned from too much sunlight and the peppers I grew turned into wonderful plants that gave me no vegetables. Then, if that wasn’t enough, my squash vines choked my tomato plants which never grew any fruit. You’re probably thinking, why am I going to read this guy’s advice? Well, the best way to learn gardening and get a green thumb is through trial and error. Let my mistakes and lessons learned guide you to a better container garden.

Fast forward to this year! Today, I am effectively growing basil, potatoes and oregano, with the first signs of sprouts from my greens and spinach starting to take off. So, let’s discuss what you will need to begin with.

Container Garden Supplies
These types of gardens are extremely easy to prepare for and started. Below is a list of the only supplies you will need:

1, Containers

Gardening soil

  1. Containers
  2. Hand rake or tiller
  3. Garden Soil
  4. Compost (for heavy-feeding plants like squash)
  5. Seeds
  6. Water

 

Estimated Cost 
Obviously, the cost to spend will vary on how much you plan to grow an need for your preliminary setup. Also, depending upon the time of the year and where you live can change the cost of supplies. For example, during peak gardening months near early spring, most stores (feed, grocery, even dollar stores) practically give their garden soil away. Containers can range from $5 to $10, depending upon size and where you get them. Next, most of the remaining items, such as the tools, hand rakes, and seeds will range from $2 to $5 per item. Those inclined can find tools at garage and yard sells, goodwill type stores and even borrow from neighbors, friends or family.

By and large, starting a small container garden shouldn’t cost a person more than $100 to get growing and going.  More than likely, it will probably cost a person a lot less, especially, if they are frugal and buy used and/or borrow from other people. This is where it can be fun to challenge yourself and see how much you can grow on a budget.

Let’s Grow
One of the most significant thing focus on when planting a container garden is by understanding that the roots of the plants are limited by how far they can grow and go. This is where it’s imperative to properly plan and make sure the containers you use are big enough to lodge your selected vegetables. To illustrate, most of the vegetable containers I use are between 12 to 14 inches deep and 10 to 12 inches wide. Although, I will say that depth is even more important when you plan to grow root vegetables like potatoes.

Top 10 Vegetables to grow in Containers:

 

  1. Carrots
  2. Cucumbers
  3. Green Beans
  4. Green Onions
  5. Tomatoes
  6. Peppers
  7. Potatoes
  8. Lettuce
  9. Turnips
  10. Squash

Some of these vegetables actually grow well together in containers. For example the tomatoes and carrots can grow together in the same container, while squash requires its own space and needs a separate container due to being a big feeder and required large amounts of compost over the other plants. I learned this lesson first hand and saw how squash will choke other plants out and not allow them to grow past their seeding point.

Summary

This is just the beginning. Now you need to find places for your containers and follow basic garden principles surrounding proper sunlight, temperatures (if you need to bring them in at night), and plenty of water. Now that you have the tools, please feel free to add anything you feel I left out and post your results in the comments section below.

Happy Gardening Friends,

Michael