With spring and summer often comes the desire to plant things. If you are someone who enjoys growing and preserving your own food but you’re also someone who just doesn’t have the outdoor garden space that you need, we’ve got a great collection of projects for you.
We’ve found some fruits and vegetables that you can grow in containers. These range from herbs and, fruits to tomatoes, cucumbers, and just about anything else that you would normally plant in a larger garden.
The difference is, you can grow these on the deck or porch or wherever you have room because they’re all in some sort of container. Plus, these foods grow very well in containers so there are no worries of getting smaller than average tomatoes. If you want a huge beefsteak tomato in a container, that’s just what you’ll get. So whether you have a huge gardening space or not, if you want to grow your own foods, you can and we’ve got the perfect foods for you to grow in those containers. Take a look, pick out your favorites, and DIY your way to more homegrown food on the table all year long.
It’s not surprise that tomatoes grow well in containers. After all, they do sell them in those upside down growing containers, right? If you love fresh tomatoes throughout the year, you can easily grow them in just about any sized container, depending on the variety of tomato that you want to grow. You will want to be sure that the container is large enough to handle the plant and you can begin with seeds or starter plants, whichever you prefer. Also, add a cage to the outside of the container for extra support as the plant gets taller.
You can grow basil indoors or out and it’s great for adding to soups and other recipes. Even if you don’t have an all-out herb garden, you can grow a bit of basil for your favorite dishes. You’ll need a six inch planter, some fresh potting soil, and of course, the basil. Keep in mind that when you water basil, you need to avoid getting the leaves and stem wet. It’s best to pour water directly onto the soil. You also need to provide it with a bit of direct sunlight every day so if you are planning to grow it indoors, make sure that you use containers that you can easily move to the deck during the sunniest part of the day.
All types of squash grow well in containers, particularly summer squash. Squash will actually grow just about anywhere you plan it. It’s a very hardy and versatile plant so if you want to add fresh summer squash to your dinner table, grab a few containers and plant those seeds. Keep in mind that you will need to harvest the squash regularly when it begins to grow so that the plants don’t get bogged down. You should be able to get about three squashes each week when they start growing so be sure to get them off the plant to make room for new growth.
Parsley grows very well in containers so if you love adding fresh parsley to your dishes, this is the perfect herb to grow on the balcony or porch. Parsley grows well in small containers and only requires partial sunlight so it’s the perfect food to grow in apartments or other tight spaces. You will need to keep the soil moist for the best results and take care that you don’t overwater your plants. It grows best in temperatures between 40 and 80 degrees which makes it perfect for winter container gardens. Just remember to bring it indoors at night so that it doesn’t get too cold.
Strawberries actually thrive in containers despite being known as a plant that needs plenty of room to grow. They are actually one of the best plants to grow in pots and they thrive even indoors so you can grow your own fresh strawberries all year long. You need to choose a sunny spot and this can be by a window. Strawberries can also be supplemented with artificial sunlight, which makes them perfect for winter growing. You do need to choose a container large enough to handle them and make sure that you harvest them regularly when they begin to produce to make room for additional growth.
You can enjoy pineapple any time during the year by growing it yourself, even if you don’t live in a tropical area. Start with a fresh pineapple and cut off the crown, leaving a bit of fruit at the top. You’ll want to soak the crown for a day or so in water to allow it to soak up moisture and then plant in a gallon sized plastic container. You will want to choose a warm, sunny spot for your pineapple which makes it a great choice for balconies and decks. If you are growing during the winter, be sure to bring the plant in at night.
Oregano is a very popular choice for container herbs and it grows very well in any sort of container. In fact, growing oregano in a container helps to prevent spreading so if you want to keep your oregano under control, containers are actually recommended by most expert gardeners. You just need a small container for each plant and a bit of potting soil. Oregano is an easy to grow herb and it’s very hardy so you should have no trouble getting it to grow well. Choose a sunny spot to put your oregano during the day and then bring it in at night, especially if you are growing it during winter.
Having an herb garden doesn’t actually mean having a large garden space. You can grow many herbs in containers and rosemary is one that does very well with regards to container gardening. Choose potting soil that has a minimum of peat moss. Rosemary prefers alkaline pH so the acid is great for helping it to thrive. You’ll want a bit of sand in the bottom of the container for drainage and the surface should be allowed to dry out just a bit between waterings although it should never be completely dry.
Sweet peppers really thrive in containers so if you love adding red, yellow, or green peppers to your favorite foods, you can grow them easily even without a garden space. Choosing the right size container is important here. You want the peppers to have room to grow and not be squashed. Smaller peppers will require at least a 2 gallon container while larger varieties will need a 5 or 10 gallon pot. You will want to allow the peppers at least 8 hours of sunlight each day when possible so choose a spot that gets plenty of direct sunlight. You can bring them in at night if you want, just take them back out each morning for full sunlight.
Chives are without a doubt, one of the hardiest herbs that you can plant. They grow very well in containers or just about anywhere else you want to plant them. Chives are great for adding flavor to soups, dips, and of course, baked potatoes. Chives are also perennials so once you plant them, they’ll come back year after year. You can move them indoors if you want to keep your harvest going all year long, but they do prefer a bit of sunlight throughout the day so choose a spot where they can get some sun at least through a window during the winter.
The Backyard Greenhouse Is Finally Getting Some Respect!
Ms. Kirkpatrick plans to decorate using washed-out paint finishes, farm tables and old galvanized-steel seed trays. She has several old baskets to hold tools and clay pots. And she wants to have cabinets built around an abandoned porcelain sink she discovered in her grandmother's house. "I'm now looking for old, ratty oriental rugs to throw on the floor," she says.
At International Greenhouse Co., a commercial and residential distributor in Danville, Ill., sales to homeowners are up about 30% from three years ago, while commercial sales have been "in the dumps," says business owner David George. Hartley Botanic Ltd., a British maker of Victorian-style greenhouses (average price, $65,000), pegs annual sales growth in the U.S. at about 15% for the past three years. Behind the growth is increasing "awareness about growing your own food and getting back to nature," says Johnny Mobasher, Hartley's U.K.-based managing director. Hartley's typical consumer is about 60, "fully retired, their mortgage is paid up, working a couple days a week and with a lot of disposable income," he says.
Brenda Plantz, 65, has been experimenting with different plant combinations in her "Victorian manor" greenhouse from Hartley, which she had built last July at her Charlottesville, Va., home. The cost, including electrical wiring, gas heating and plumbing installation, was about $80,000. Her San Marzano tomato plants, started from seed, are about a foot tall, and mesclun lettuces are ready to pick. She plans to start English cucumbers from seed soon. But more than a vegetable zone, Ms. Plantz's greenhouse is her playroom. "It's a huge sunny spot, and fun to go there in the wintertime, sit at the table and have a cup of tea," she says.
Greenhouses let in light and contain heat—meaning on a sunny, frigid day, temperatures inside can easily run 50 degrees higher than outside, says Shane Smith, author of the book "Greenhouse Gardener's Companion." In winter, that can be ideal for growing tropical plants, which thrive in temperatures in the 80- to 90-degree Fahrenheit range. But watch out in spring and summer, when interior temperatures can be unbearable for plants and humans, climbing up over 120 degrees. Crack open a few windows or run a fan so plants don't overheat. On winter nights, to protect plants from frostbite, it may be necessary to run a space heater.
Mold and mildew thrive in greenhouses with overwatered plants or inadequate ventilation. The fan or the heater will help, but running them also will add hundreds of dollars a year to the electric bill. "It's kind of like having a pet," Mr. Smith, the author, says. "If you disappear for four or five days, you can have problems."
Ms. Plantz appreciated the risks of ownership last August, when an earthquake rattled the East Coast a month after construction ended. "I looked over to the greenhouse and the very end pane moved," she says. "We were petrified that the whole thing would come crashing down." The structure remained standing.
When Dan Schwenker, 57, and his wife, Deb, 55, built their long-dreamed-of outdoor pool, Mr. Schwenker thought of a way to swim year-round. "An idea popped into my head—greenhouse," says the retired vice president of a Burlington, Iowa, construction company. "We usually go for a swim at night, after we get off work." Even in the dead of winter, he says, "you can just go out there, turn on the pool lights, see the blue water— it's just really nice."
From the Wall Street Journal http://www.wsj.com/articles/
By Anne Marie Chaker March 7, 2012
Creative Garden Pallet Uses
Are you looking for a way to add dimension and interest to your garden area? Is your dilemma one of limited space? Try adding an old pallet to your plans for an inexpensive solution to many gardening challenges. You might already have one lying around that you can reuse. You can also seek pallets out at recycling or donation centers and at stores that carry large item inventories. Don’t be afraid to just ask your local hardware store if they have pallets you can take off their hands.
Once you have found a pallet, you should clean it up and determine whether the wood of the pallet has been chemically treated with preservatives, especially if you would like to plant edibles into your pallet garden. After that, the key to incorporating a pallet into your project is to tap into your creative side and think a little outside of the box. Or maybe inside the box, in this case. Here are ten clever ways to use a pallet to enhance your garden projects.
A Greenhouse will be a valuable addition to your property.
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