First Container Garden (First Garden)?!

juliemaye(8b)January 26, 2014

Hello everyone!

I am brand new to this forum and this is my very first post ever!

For years my Mom wanted me to get into gardening so that I could help grow our own vegetables and really understand the satisfaction behind eating your own food!

Last year, at the very end of the season, I went to the garden shop with my Mom and picked out (3) herbs, Stevia, Chocolate Mint, and Mint. I made tea out of the three (plus some of my moms Lemon Mint from out back) and what a joy!

Anyway, I will be posting more in the herb section for that later - my question right now is, what is a good way to start container gardening?

I purchased 6 different seeds - Yellowstone Carrots, Green Onions, Squash Soleil, (Yellow?) Zucchini, and Romaine Lettuce....are these easy enough to grow in a container? (My Mom will be having a regular garden so anything that would be too difficult I can just give to her for her garden LOL!)

My Mom has never container gardened before. (I want to learn so that when I move out and rent homes for a while, I can bring my garden with me, rather than having to leave it behind!)

I guess this is a sort of sloppy post for questions so I'll brief the questions below...

1) Will I yield a decent harvest out of container gardens?
2) Are there any tips on how many plants to plant in one container?
3) Is it easier or harder to garden in containers?
4) Are there any other plants you'd recommend trying?
5) What size containers should I use?

I'd like to have 6-8 containers on the go this year, vegetable-based, and then another 1 or 2 for my herbs, depending on the sizes of the containers. :)

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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Welcome Juliemae! The seeds you've chosen require different treatment and different sized containers. They all will grow better if they each have their own containers. For example, carrots require a container that is at least 8-10 inches deep, and they can be planted fairly close together. Zucchini and squash can get huge. For each plant, you would probably want a container that holds at least 10 gallons of soil, which would be about 16 inches wide by 12 inches deep. Lettuce can grow in a shallow container, but it would need to be pretty wide (2 feet.) to provide enough lettuce for more than one dinner salad. Some of your seeds need to be started in spring, others in summer.

I suggest you start slowly, with only a few containers. Herbs are a great place to start. Maybe do one zucchini and some carrots or lettuce. You'll have to buy (or find) containers and learn about what kind of potting mix to grow them in. (You can't use garden soil.)

There are some books you could buy or get online that give you a good basic introduction to growing vegetables in containers: The Bountiful Container and The Vegetable Container Bible are pretty good. You could also visit the Vegetable Growing Forum To learn about what each kind of vegetable needs to grow well. Do a Google search on "growing X in a container" for free advice.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 5:28PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Actually, in my view, container gardening is a much difficult task for a beginner than planting in ground. With container gardening you attempt to to partially mimic and take over the mother nature's role. By alienating a plant from the soil, controlling water, nutrients, light, wind. In the extreme case you take a plant indoors and cut off all its attachments to its normal habitat. So to me container gardening is more challenging. Your plants will need constant attention, more care .. when it comes to watering, fertilizing, providing light, where as one may neglect some plants in the garden for days and sometimes for a week or longer.

JMO

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 11:45AM
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juliemaye(8b)

Interesting! my mom is also having a garden in the back yard, I was thinking of placing my containers next to hers...

I am thinking I may leave my herb garden as container bound and take a portion of her plot and grow my veggies.

does this sound like a better idea for a beginner?

I also will be growing some flowers in pots, so I can make pretty center pieces :)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2014 at 7:16PM
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