The Best Vegetables for Container Gardening
Growing up, my mom would plant a big vegetable garden every year so the idea of growing my own food has always been appealing. Due to our lack of yard space, I have tried a bit of container gardening in the past, but this year, I intend on going “all out” and documenting my progress!
Although I won’t be able to grow enough vegetables to last all summer long, it’s still nice to know exactly where they come from and to have the satisfaction of eating what I grow. Nothing beats watching your hard work come to fruition!
Since containers are just that, containers, they typically don’t work well for all types of vegetables. From my experience and online research, here are the best fruits and vegetables for successful container gardening:
When you’re purchasing your seeds or starter plants, you’ll want to look for varieties that say they’re good for containers. I always have great success with patio tomatoes and Spring Mix type lettuce.
Will you be planting a container garden this year? What have you had success with in the past?
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5 Ways to Grow a Garden in Small Spaces
It’s that time of year again when the grass is green, flowers are nearly blooming and people are starting to think about or prepare their gardens. It can be tough for some who wish to plant, but feel they don’t have the room or ability to plant anything where they currently live. Here are 5 Ways To Grow A Garden In Small Spaces that will help anyone, no matter the size of their living space or yard, to be able to grow some type of garden that will supplement their groceries as well as bring the joy of watching a garden grow.
Create Window Boxes
Using ready made window boxes is a great way to go when trying to garden in tight spaces. There are many to choose from or you can create your own with a long narrow basket lined with plastic. (Make sure to poke a few small holes in the plastic to allow for drainage.) Windows are great for the sunlight plants need while using space that is otherwise typically empty in your home.
Whether you use traditional pots or the empty containers and baskets you have around the house container gardens are an excellent way to grow vegetables in a small space. Herbs and tall plants do best in container gardens as they can grow up instead of out. Tomatoes, Peas, Green Beans and Corn are all great for containers, just make sure you also have plenty of room for them to grow upward and proper support to hold them up.
Related: The Best Vegetables for Container Gardening
Hanging baskets or a great way to grow vegetables that tend to create longer vines. Cucumbers, Squash and Zucchini grow nicely in hanging baskets as long as you don’t crowd too many in one basket. Repurpose regular baskets with some plastic sheeting in the bottom and some small chain woven through the sides to create a “hanger”. Make sure to invest in sturdy material so you don’t wake up to a basket of vegetables and soil all over your floor.
Turn a Flower Bed into a Vegetable Garden
Sure we love the tulips, lilies and roses around the front of the house, but would it be better for you to use that space for vegetables instead? You can also leave the bulk of your flowers in place and grow only a few vegetables in between. Weeding back what you currently grow as flowers and filling in empty space with herbs, lettuce, cucumber, squash and more will help to create food and beauty at the same time.
Use a Trellis on the Side of Your House
Many vegetables actually grow on vines that will easily trail upwards on a trellis if trained. Planting in the ground beneath or in a sufficient container beneath a trellis and training the vines for peas, green beans, and more to grow up the trellis is a great way to use otherwise wasted space. It also creates a bright visual attraction for your home.
Just because you live in a small space doesn’t mean you can’t easily grow a garden to help supplement your grocery budget, as well as increasing your healthy food intake. These 5 ways to grow a garden in small spaces are just the beginning of many ideas available for creating small gardens in any space. Thinking outside the box is the best way to go when trying to create great gardens in a small home or small yard.
A beautiful herb garden is a great addition to your home but can be difficult if pests find your garden a good home to live in. With a little planning and maintenance, you can protect your garden and help it thrive. Here are 5 tips to help you out.
Use Strong Smelling Herbs
Take advantage of plants that repel pests for your herb garden. Planting pungent herbs like mints along with other herbs will help reduce the number of pests you have to deal with. Herbs like catnip are great for repelling ants, weevils, squash bugs, aphids, and Beatles.
Use Flowering Herbs
A great way to deal with pests in your herb garden is to plant herbs that will attract beneficial insects. Flowering herbs like lavender, basil and dill are a great way to attract butterflies and bees that will help pollinate your garden and make your plants stronger.
Use a Bug House
Place a bug house in your herb garden to attract insects like parasitic wasps that will deal with leafminers and hornworms and ladybugs that will help protect your garden from aphids. A bug house is an easy way to encourage beneficial bugs to come to your garden and stay to protect it from pests.
Snails and slugs can be a common issue in herb gardens. A line of salt along the garden bed edging is a great way to keep them out of your garden. Slugs and snails will back up and go the other way if they touch the salt instead of venturing into your garden beds and pots.
Use a Soap Solution
If aphids take over your garden you can save your herbs by spraying them with a safe and effective soap solution. A teaspoon of dawn dish detergent or liquid Castile soap in a spray bottle with water can help kill aphids when they take over your herb garden. Spray this solution on your plants getting the undersides of leaves in the evening so it has plenty of time to dry before the sun beats down on your plants.
With these tips, make your herb garden a great addition to your home garden. Besides fresh herbs are the best for cooking with!
Food is expensive. When it comes to making a budget for your family, you’ll notice that one of the highest costs you have is food. While it’s not possible to eliminate food from your grocery bill, you can decrease the costs by growing your own food.
On that note, did you know that many of the scraps from foods you purchase on a regular basis from the grocery store can be regrown in your very own kitchen? Instead of throwing away food scraps, you can start thinking differently about them!
Below, I’ve listed 7 foods from the grocery store that you can regrow in the comfort of your home. If you consider growing your own food right in your garden, you’ll have no problem growing your own produce from scraps.
One of the simplest foods from the grocery store you can grow from scraps, is celery.
Planting celery is very simple: Cut off the base or the bottom part of the vegetable and place it in a bowl with warm water. Place the container in a spot that has direct sunlight most of the day.
After a week, you’ll notice that there are leaves growing at the base of the celery. Once you see these leaves, it is now ready to be transplanted in the soil.
Romaine lettuce is easy to grow from leftover scraps. Instead of throwing the bottom of the full head of lettuce in the trash, place it in a bowl with a bit of water.
Keep this bowl in a place with direct sunlight. Mist the leaves with water consistently. After two to three days, you will see that there are shoots of new leaves appearing. Once you see them, your lettuce is now ready to be transplanted or simply harvested for salads.
Growing bean sprouts is easy. Just soak a handful of dry beans in water then leave it overnight.
Drain the water and place the beans in a container. Cover it with a towel, leave it overnight, then rinse it again the next day.
Keep doing this until you see the sprouts growing, then you can transfer them to your garden.
Another easy vegetable to grow, whether it is indoors or outdoors, are onions.
Cut the root of the onions off and plant it in a garden plot or container. Cover the root with potting soil but leave at least half an inch of the onion exposed. In a few weeks, you will start to see leaves growing.
For Green Onions, use the top part of the onion and leave the bottom 2-3 inches with the roots attached. Place them in a container with water covering the roots. In no time you’ll see the tops of the green onions growing new green. You can keep them this way and just continue using the tops and allowing them to grow in the water. Just change the water periodically and rinse the roots.
Garlic is an easy way to start growing scraps with fast results.
For garlic, choose a whole bulb or individual cloves that have started to send out green sprouts. Place the bulb or clove in a small amount of water and change the water daily.
Did you know that you can grow a potato out of potato peelings?
Check the peelings to see if there are eyes on them. Cut the peelings into two to three-inch pieces but make sure that there are at least three eyes on each peel.
Dry these peelings, then plant them in your soil, about three to four inches deep. In a few weeks, you will see a potato plant starting to grow.
Don’t throw away the seeds from the tomatoes! Rinse them and allow them to dry.
Once dried, you can start planting the seeds in a rich potting soil. Once the seedlings are a few inches high, you can transplant them outdoors where there is plenty of sunlight.
Turn your food scraps into golden nuggets. Instead of throwing them away, use them as another source of food. You are not only saving money, you are also assured that your family gets better and healthier food.
Herbs are great plants to grow in your garden or home. They add flavor to food and leave your home smelling great. Growing your own herbs can be a bit stressful for new gardeners but the truth is some herbs are so easy to grow they make the perfect plants for beginner and not so green thumb gardeners. These are some of the easiest herbs to grow.
Chives are a great herb for even the newest of gardeners. This hardy plant can hold up well if forgotten for a while. You can choose onion or garlic varieties to accent your cooking or grow both. The delicate flowers add a great pop of color for this grassy herb.
Mint is a favorite herb for new gardeners. It holds up well as part of your potted herb garden out outside. Mint thrives even if you forget to water it from to time and is perfect for cooling summer drinks and sweet desserts.
Basil is a great herb when you need an easy to grow plant for your collection. Basil can grow well in the garden or a sunny window and is very versatile in the kitchen. Basil comes in a large variety of flavors allowing you to customize your garden to fit your needs.
Rosemary is an easy to grow herb that leaves a fresh scent. It can grow well potted making it a great option for adding a delicate grassy green to your potted herb garden. Rosemary is very useful in the kitchen for savory dishes. If you are a less than mindful gardener this herb will do just fine with a bit of neglect.
Scented Geraniums make a great option for growing at home. Scented Geraniums come in a variety of scents in everything from floral to chocolate. Choose a variety that will accent your space and help build the beautiful herb garden of your dreams.