Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Pot Garden

Contrary to some beliefs you do not need a great amount of land to create a garden.  Growing plants in containers has been around for a long time.  If you have some sunny roof space, patio or balcony space you can grow something for yourself.  The benefits far outweigh the time.  I have a 10 x 30 concrete front porch that I have lined and double lined with containers of vegetables, flowers and herbs.  There is nothing quite so pleasing as to sit on the porch and enjoy some nice refreshing veggie or flower from my effots and the earth's goodness.  I love cherry tomatoes and at $5 a pint this winter I was convinced I had to do something about my tomato habit.  So, I have 10 tomato plants in 20 gallon pots.  It is a joy to watch them grow and I get 5-10 tomatos a day off of one plant.  I think I will get my $3 per plant investment back very fast.  Along with daily feast of tomatoes I am getting the occasional zucheni squash from my 1 plant, cucumbers, sweet banana and bell peppers, fresh basil, rosemary, thyme, dill, chives and sweet refreshing day lilies (delish!).  What a treat, and no pesticides in site.  My summer squash and sweet potatoes are not ready yet and the eggplant died so I had to replant - it will be a while.  Plus I am learning what each type of plant likes in regards to light, soil, food and water.  You can order almost any kind of herb seed at www.richters.com from out of Canada.  Good site that tells what the herbs are used for.  Bonnie plants hosts a site that tells you just how to grow your herbs and vegetables.  Some people choose a large pot and plant herbs good for the stomach in that pot, another pot and plant herbs good for burns in that pot and so on.  Get creative, just get started.  It is hard to learn to identify herbs in the wild.  One stepping stone is to order the seeds and grow the herb so that you know for sure what it is supposed to look like before you go searching for it in the wild. 
I found the plants I purchased that were in the degradable peat pots where you have no transplant shock did far better.  Dark pots get as much as 10 degrees hotter in the sun than light pots.  Plastic pots hold onto the water longer, but I prefer the clay pots.  My plants seem to stay cooler and do better in my hot summer in the clay pots.   My sister used one of those round blue plastic children's wading pools for a big pot....don't forget to put holes in the bottom for drainage if you do decide to use one.

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