Container Gardening: (Even for those who have failed their "green thumb" before)

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Growing your own food is rewarding in more ways than one.

Two things happened to me in the month of April that have forever changed my life and my views on life, so to speak. #1, I noticed how expensive buying leafy greens and plant based foods actually is, when purchasing from a grocery store. #2 I had a conversation with one of my cousins about her successful container gardening -- seeing all of her pictures of fruitful and prosperous growth left me hopeful. It was then that I decided I would venture into the realm of container gardening myself. Not free from mistakes, but overall.. I am really proud of how things are looking in a short amount of time. Sustainability is achievable in your own backyard -- no matter how big or small your space is. Here is a very amateur guide on what I did to kick things off and and an update on how my veggies are growing.


Seeds! Choose which veggies or herbs you want to grow. I chose micro greens, swiss chard, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. 

Containers with drainage holes (or containers that you are able to drill holes in on the bottom). The containers need to be reflective of how much room whatever you are planting needs. For example, tomatoes need a lot of space. A deeper "planter" or container is necessary for those veggies to thrive. For herbs and things like lettuce or basil, the depth is not necessary. 

Soil. Some use potting soil, which is perfectly fine ( I chose to use Miracle Gro Performance Organics All Purpose Container Mix-- blended with aged compost). Purchasing food for the plants is a good idea, too. Though your soil says it will sustain up to three months, I purchased the Miracle Gro All Purpose Plant Nutrition 

A cultivator. I bought one from the Dollar Tree! For only a buck you can till the soil and mix things around prior to putting your seeds in. 

Watering can (optional). Our hose is quite a distance away from the sun available area in which I placed my containers.

It's been exactly four weeks and one day since we planted our seeds and let me tell you, the growth is incredible! Daily watering (but not necessarily by us -- thank you, Washington), placing my containers in the best position for sunlight, adding extra plant food, and removing any little bugs (and icky spiders) that might have found their way inside the containers overnight have really aided in our success. I will say that the instructions on the back of the seed packets are crucial! I planted my peppers too soon and they have not sprouted. Peppers like a warm climate and it's still dropping down to the low 50s for us. I don't know if they will sprout once it gets warm or if the peppers are a lost cause all together. Definitely a reminder for myself moving forward. 

Swiss chard and micro-greens

tomatoes (looks like a cucumber seed found its way over there, too).

Cumbers in the back, tomatoes in the front. 

For the girl that has always managed to kill her flowers and never dreamed of being successful in planting anything, this has been an incredible change for me. I love having so much green in my backyard and I've even started collecting indoor plants for added life and just sterile air. If I can do this, you can totally do this! My entire family is so supportive and my kids love peeking in on the "seedling babes" when they are playing outdoors. My husband has become such an awesome gardner in this all. Always willing to assist and share any knowledge he has. SO, i hope this helps someone on the fence. If you are an experienced plant collector (indoor only) or an active container gardener, please share your favorite plants, tips, trick, etc. with me! I am always looking for new information and better ways to sustain my container garden. 

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