My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.
– Claude Monet
Interested in gardening but don’t have the space? Looking for a new lockdown hobby? Container gardening is definitely for you. No longer a past time for those with big yards, container gardening is an easy way to grow flowers, veggies and herbs when space is limited. All you need is a container!
Let’s start with an overview of the benefits…
• Less disease – Harder to spread from pot to pot
• No weeding
• No heavy tools or equipment required
• Colourful, vibrant way to add privacy
• Pots can easily be moved around to chase sun or shade
• It’s a kid-friendly activity
• Smaller growing space – plants produce less, making size/care more manageable
Next, onto the research and planning stages…
Start off Easy
My interest in gardening came about after seeing someone regrow green onions in a glass of water on Pinterest. What started as an experiment on my kitchen windowsill has become a bit of an obsession.
I’d almost classify lettuce as a weed.Those seeds sprout in less than 48 hours! Lettuce can handle cooler, shadier areas, and can usually be transferred outside earlier than other vegetables. Once ready for harvest, they make a great base for your WFH salad.
This is key. Some crops can be direct sowed outside when the weather warms up, but you may need to start others inside. At least until the risk of frost is over. If, like me, you don’t want your inside space overrun by pots of dirt, create a schedule based on germination, harvest cycle, and weather tolerance. In the summer months, you may choose to direct sow into your outdoor containers for a fall harvest.
This can be especially helpful in small spaces since some veggies and herbs support and grow well together, others not so much. For example, peas grow well with cucumber, chives and mint, but not with garlic and onions. Some are just buddies that like to grow side by side, others will even enhance the flavour of their neighbours. And there are a few menaces that stunt growth or attract pests. Be sure to choose the right sized containers so that anything co-habitating has the space and nutrients they need.
The Right Environment
Too windy? Too hot? Too much or not enough sun? A very simple spreadsheet (see mine below) can help you track what your plants need to prosper. That includes the vegetable or herb name, container size (width & depth), required hours of sunlight, and any other “personality traits” that you should be aware of.
Share the Love
Chances are, you’ll end up growing more than you could have imagined. Share your bounty with friends and family – as safely as possible, of course.
Lastly, here’s a brief list of the things you’ll need to start your container garden and where you can find them – with Cash Back!
• Quality Seeds – I got mine on Etsy
• Hand shovel or trowel – TSC
• Seedling pots – local grocery store garden center (gift cards)
• Appropriately sized planters – Canadian Tire
• Organic potting soil – get it at Home Depot with a gift card
• Trellis’ (plants like cucumber, tomato, and peppers need support) – local garden centre
• Watering Can – Walmart