Container gardening again

A few weeks ago,we caught the tail end of a special on Square Foot Gardening and it inspired me to start container gardening again, but in a new and more productive way.

Containers-2002 I have been gardening in containers for many years, and even designed and built cedar planters to allow stand-up gardening. These planters allowed us to grow vegetables on our deck where the deer herds at Lake Monticello could not get at them.

When we moved to Floyd, VA, in 2005 I tried conventional gardening but the local deer and other varmints ate most of what we planted.

I considered container gardening again but could not get enthused because of the expense and the effort involved.

Mel Bartholomew and his Square Foot Gardening showed me how to create better container gardens for less money.

Containers2009-1  After reading his website and viewing his videos, I realized that I had never really understood how to create potting soil. My previous container gardens were basically amended topsoil which worked after a fashion, but was very dense and hard to work with in a container.

Using some of the Square Foot Gardening ideas and incorporating my own, I created an expandable container garden out of old file storage baskets, some plastic trash bags and some landscaping cloth.

The potting soil is one third vermiculite, one third topsoil, and one third compost for which I am substituting spagnum moss, humus, and composted manure until I am making compost in enough volume. This combination is easy to work with, the plants love it and it drains well but stays moist.

Containers2009-2 Currently, I have onions, beans, peas, potatoes, parsley, tomatoes and squash coming up. Parsnips should be showing up any week now and I will be adding more containers as time and money permits. I have also used heritage vegetables wherever possible.

With the container garden sitting on our back deck, our first action of the day is to pour a cup of coffee and saunter out to see how the vegetable are progressing. It is truly satisfying as every day brings new surprises.

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0 Responses to Container gardening again

  1. Dragon Quilter says:

    Thanks for the great tips David! I had the same back off on doing this as you did…gives me hope that I might try again!

  2. Thank you for sharing about space gardens. I live in a small place and only have a small space to garden but I love my plants try to fit different types in my small space. Thanks really enjoyed your blog will check back later.

  3. Mouse says:

    Oh yes! My daily routine involves a trip to ‘the nursery’ in the greenhouse to check my seedlings and a little inspection of the small veggie plot in the hopeful expectation that soon there will be something to eat!
    Such simple pleasures are worth so much
    n’est-ce pas?

  4. Margaret says:

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Margaret

    http://howtomakecompost.info

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