Last year was my first year to try my hand at container gardening and it wasn’t a very successful attempt. So this year, I’ve taken what I learned last year and trying again.
My “container” last year was this double decker box that my brother made for me. It is awesome, but unfortunately the bottom box didn’t get enough sunlight and nothing really grew. I guess things might have grown if I’d been more strategic in where I planted things.
See how cool is that thing? I felt really bad cutting it apart but my brother wasn’t too upset with me. In fact he came and helped out!
First big difference between this year and last year is that I started my garden about 6 weeks earlier than I did last year. I got started when I did because a friend gave me onions and I needed to get them planted. I planted them in the top box of my container and waited until we separated the two containers before really getting going.
Once I had two containers for gardening I went crazy! Planted the rest of the onions, 3 bell pepper plants, 2 roma tomato plants, 2 strawberry plants, 1 blueberry plant and 1 spaghetti squash plant. I also brought my trees out of the garage, but sadly I believe Pedro the Lime tree did not survive in the garage. The peach tree however is going nuts! It is covered with blossoms and I can see the fruit beginning to form.
Here’s how the garden is set up this year:
And then check out all these blossoms on the peach tree:
I do have some herbs planted too but decided to move them to the front of my house where they only get a few hours of sunlight because I REALLY want the cilantro to grow!
Here are a few of the tips I’ve been given that I will be applying to my container garden this year that hopefully will help you as well.
- Put some epsom salt around the base of your pepper and tomato plants every three weeks
- Fertilize every three weeks, but pay attention to the plants. Fruits require a different fertilizer than vegetables do. (You might already know this but I was clueless about how often to fertilize)
- Rosemary can help keep mosquitos away. I planted it in the back and in the front.
- Marigolds help keep the bugs away from tomato plants so plant them in with your tomatoes or close to them.
Last but not least, I am most excited about my two rain water barrels that my uncle installed for me. I noticed last year there was such a significant difference on how my plants reacted to rainwater vs water from the hose. I have mainly been watering with water from the barrels but I do mix in hose water occasionally too because I want to preserve my rain water.
Three weeks into this year’s container garden and I’ve already gotten 3 strawberries, I can see 9 jalapenos coming in and the onions are growing like crazy. I just need to figure out how I know when they are ready. I have used the tops of the onions for cooking which has been nice.
I’m still holding out hope the lime tree might come back. Just today I noticed some new green growth down on the trunk. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
What are you growing in your container garden? Are you an urban gardener?