Benefits of Container Gardening

The first additions to this year's container garden.
The first additions to this year’s container garden.

Container Gardening – Great for Small Spaces 

Living in a condo, co-op, townhouse or apartment can make gardening tricky. Container gardening can be the way to go if you’re working with a small space but want to reap the benefits of having fresh herbs and veggies on hand. If you’re lucky enough to have a sunny patio, deck or balcony, container gardening will easily work for you. I know some people do it indoors but I can’t speak to that since I’ve never tried it.

For some, container gardening can be really therapeutic. It’s rewarding to tend to a small garden and reap the benefits over time. Once your plants are fully grown, you can save money too by having fresh herbs and small veggies/fruits at your disposal. I love using mint for tea, infused water, etc. Cherry tomatoes are excellent in summer salads, omelets and fresh salsa. Fresh herbs complement many summer dishes as well.

What to Grow

I’ve had the best luck with growing herbs, flowers and small vegetables in containers. Mint, thyme, cilantro, hot peppers, cherry tomatoes, basil, etc., are all pretty easy to grow and don’t require a lot of maintenance. You can find a great selection of these herbs and vegetable plants at Lowe’s, Home Depot or your local nursery. Sometimes, Trader Joe’s & Whole Foods will even have a small selection of these plants.

When to Start Your Garden

Spring is a great time to get your container garden started. After the last freeze/frost has passed, you’re ready to go! I usually wait until there have been a stretch of 5-10 days of mild weather (with no below 30 temperatures in the upcoming 10 day forecast) until I begin my gardening. If you start a little on the early side, by July your plants will look so amazing.

Five Materials to Have on Hand

  • gardening gloves to protect your hands
  • plant pots (make sure they have drain holes)
  • potting soil
  • gardening shears
  • watering can

Maintenance 

Watering your plants is really important, especially during the hot & humid days of summer. Although it’s not necessary to drench them, keeping the soil moist is a good rule of thumb. It’s even beneficial to keep a spray bottle handy to gently mist the plants throughout the week, in addition to regular watering. Here’s a simple slideshow that explains how you can maintain your container garden. Enjoy your gardening!

Be Well,

Nicole

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