I’m not sure where exactly I got the idea to attempt to grow fruits and vegetables in my back yard, but I am beyond excited to get started. I have a teeny tiny backyard and a hyper boxer puppy, so I knew I needed to get creative if this was going to happen.
My initial thought was to have elevated boxes or containers and I started looking around online but couldn’t find what I was looking for. The few things I did find for container gardening were ridiculously expensive. So, I decided to ask my brother for some help and fortunate for me he said yes! I came up with some very basic plans and sent them over to him and he took my idea and then added some insight and this is what he made:
Didn’t he do awesome?! Each box is about 4 feet long and 18″ wide. Which gives me a lot of room to work with. I had to move the boxes around a bit because the bottom box doesn’t get a ton of sun due to the shadow of the top box. Originally I had planned to position it so that it was parallel to the fence but the then I realized the bottom box wasn’t going to get much sun at all. Once I got it in place I went to work filling the containers. A few days before my brother brought the boxes over I stopped by a nursery and picked from the available vegetable plants. Since I’m a little late getting started gardening I didn’t want to start with seeds and opted to go with transplants.
I wasn’t going to buy anything that day, I was planning to just ask a few questions but they were starting to run out of the veggies I wanted. So I decided on two bell pepper plants (I meant to get the same kind but ended up with a “Big Bertha” and a “California Wanderer”), a jalapeno plant and a strawberry plant. Then I also grabbed a basil, rosemary, cilantro, sage and mint plant. After I picked out those plants I discovered the citrus trees and decided to grab a Mexican Lime tree.
I had to go in for jury duty the day I bought my first round of plants and because the lime tree was a Mexican Lime Tree, I decided to name it Pedro after the defendant in the case. And I have to say the lime tree is what I was most excited about.
To fill my containers, I did a layer of rocks, then I did a layer of organic soil, a layer of compost and finally more soil. The reason I did a layer of rocks was to help with drainage in the containers. I did all of this at night so I couldn’t really snap any photos. In the top container I decided to put my peppers because they need a ton of sun, or so I’ve been told.
After filling in the top container with my goodies I set to work on the bottom container and quickly realized I didn’t have enough plants. I had the strawberry plant, thyme, basil and sage. I went and picked up another strawberry plant and then went in search of a cucumber bush.
I put my mint in its own container because I hear it really takes over the whole garden. Lastly I decided to get a tomato plant and went with the Roma Tomato. Of course whenever I’m out in the garden my little helper likes to be out there with me.
There are a few things I’ve learned right off the bat. First of all, if you buy Bell Pepper transplants, don’t be alarmed if your plants look droopy. They will also look this way after being out in the sun; it is a way that the plants conserve water in the hot summer sun. You’ll notice at night that the leaves will perk back up. On the strawberry plants, if the leaves look brown, it cold be an indication that there is too much water in the soil. This can be an issue in container gardening because drainage can be an issue. I’m hoping that not watering them for a couple of days will help them to dry out. Unfortunately over watering isn’t something I can help right how. We had a big rain storm and they got a few hours of rain the other day.
On the plus side, I can already see peppers developing on all 3 pepper plants. It looks like 4 peppers are forming toward the top of each of the plants. Pedro is also already sprouting limes, I guess that’s what you’d call it. And I see quite a few new buds starting to grow.
Because I don’t just want one round of crops, I decided to sow some carrot, turnip and cauliflower seeds. I’m a little nervous about the seed process but we’ll see how it goes.
For now, here is what my little container garden looks like:
Stay tuned for updates with my container gardening adventures!