Container gardens for limited-space vegetable gardens
Annie and LJ tackle container gardening
“LJ, what are you doing?” “It’s time to get our hands dirty as we shelter-in-place from the pandemic and plant a vegetable garden. I found some old pots in the garage. We have a sunny kitchen window which is a good place for an herb garden, so I’ll use one there. Got any suggestions for the others?” “You know I love the idea of growing our own. Is there a reason we’re not using that space in the back yard?” “Our soil isn’t good, we need to conserve water, and it doesn’t get sunny enough. Container gardening means we can move the plants around to maximize sun exposure. And, it’s easy to start a container garden. A container can be as simple as an egg box to germinate seeds, to mason jars for hydroponic growing, to more elaborate containers with light and watering systems. First we need to check our nursery’s website that has easy instructions and then review the Plant Hardiness Zone map for information on what grows well in our climate. Cilantro, parsley, mint, and basil thrive in our zone.” About an hour later, Annie said, “I’m excited about this new project, sweetheart, planting a garden even if we’re starting with a simple herb garden is a commitment, but worth doing because the freshness means better taste and higher nutritional value. I did research and learned there’s been a significant uptick in interest for home gardens. Some say this is a national movement, similar to victory gardens planted during the World Wars. Many don’t have access to a yard, so container gardens are the answer. Here are some popular containers we can use for growing fruits and vegetables.”
- A grow bag https://www.bootstrapfarmer.com/products/grow-bags. The bags are made of fabric that allows plants to breathe, creating a healthier root system. They can be easily stored when not in use.”
- Cole & Mason Self-Watering Indoor Herb Garden Planter https://www.bestproducts.com/eats/g1523/indoor-herb-growing-gardens/?slide=7. This planter has a hydro-pad that soaks up water from the reservoir and allows herbs to draw water as needed.
- Rolling Self-Watering Planter and Rust Resistant Tower. https://www.plowhearth.com/
This lightweight, portable planter on wheels makes it easy to move for maximum sunlight or shade. The self-watering irrigation system ensures that the plants stay wet but not overwater. The steel frame is ideal for growing tomatoes and other vine-growing plants.
- Aquaphoric Herb Garden Tub https://www.bestproducts.com/eats/g1523/indoor-herb-growing-gardens/?slide=4 This 4x14 inch window garden indoor herb garden tub uses a hydroponic watering system; the fiber soil in the base of the container absorbs the right amount of root zone water and oxygen to feed herbs or plants
- Self-Watering Fruit & Veggie Tower https://www.gardensalive.com/product/self-watering-plant-tower-green This four-tier planter is ideal for tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, and other vining flowers. It contains a 2-liter built-in reservoir
“Annie, we can grow herbs, green beans, onions, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, strawberries, and dwarf fruit trees in a container. If we have to rely on eating the food we grow, we will have a variety.” Annie thoughtfully paused and…
Andrea Breaux writes about food-as-medicine and global earth-friendly solutions on her weekly blog at healthyhealingeats.com.