Creative gardening in small spaces
Last Friday was an exciting day for me - I brought home my Burpee plants. I just love selecting tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and herbs that will grow in the containers on I have on my deck. The community I live in doesn't allow me to plant my vegetables and herbs in the ground, but I can grow food to my heart's content on my deck and patio.
Container gardens are an easy way to add beauty and grow food in small spaces. Gardening in containers taps into the creative genius in all of us, since we need to accomplish a lot with a little. (Listen to our "Gardening in containers" podcast here.)
Every year I try to add a container or two to my collection. Some years the containers I choose are tied to my color scheme. Other years I choose containers based on size. This year I am adding a couple of larger containers so that I can grow Burpee's Take 2 tomatoes. I need a container that is at least 16 inches wide and about the same depth. By planting my Take 2 in this container I will enjoy the benefits of harvesting slicer tomatoes and cherry tomatoes that I grow in the same pot. I'm also going to grow Burpee's Lemon Dream and Tangerine Dream peppers. This pepper combination is also part of Burpee's Take 2 collection. These peppers look like hot peppers but are sweet with just a hint of heat.
When choosing new containers there is a checklist I go through: After color and size, I make sure any container I choose has drainage holes. This is very important since vegetables and herbs don't like "wet feet."
This year I chose terra cotta pots for my herb collection. I am growing Pesto Party Basil, along with Rosemary and Sage plants. I like the look of terra cotta and since my pots are on the smaller side they will be perfect for my Burpee herbs.
To round out my container garden, I'm also growing a cucumber called Fresh Pickles. This cucumber grows up instead of out and will provide me with dozens of pickling cucumbers at harvest time.
How can you tell if your favorite vegetable can be grown in a container? Read the plant tag! If it has a spread that is less than 14 inches, it is likely that you will have success growing it in a container.
Container gardening isn't limited to just growing your own food. I also like to grow flowers in containers, too. My favorite is Wave Petunias. Waves provide me with an easy splash of color that spreads over my containers. My new favorite color is Easy Wave Red Velour. It adds drama to my deck while I wait for my vegetables to grow and ripen.
Most of the vegetables and herbs I grow will be ready to eat by the end of July. However, I start eating the Baby Boomer cherry tomatoes as soon as I can. It's like eating candy. Because my harvest is so large from my Burpee plants, I generally put my harvested fruit in bowls and use the bowls as centerpieces when I'm having a gathering. That way my friends can take home some of my harvest when they leave.
I hope you'll enjoy growing your food in a container garden as much as I do. Drop me a line below or send photos of your garden to me at this link.