When thinking about Earth Month, many minds go to beautiful images of gardens and freshly-picked produce.
It’s a dream, for sure, but sadly more and more of us are living in settings where that sprawling vegetable patch just isn’t attainable. Lucky for us, container gardening is an option. No matter how big (or small) your space, you can most likely get a container garden going — even if it’s just one pot. Herbs, tomatoes, greens, peppers, spring onions – they are all great options for us small-space farmers. Pick up some planters and read on for tips and tricks to get your garden growing.
If you’re growing in a container, you’ll want to make sure you purchase some good, organic potting soil. It’s important to note that top soil or dirt from your friend’s backyard just won’t cut it. Potting soil contains materials that add additional nutrition, and is made to be light and airy, allowing for good drainage. You’ll want to buy organic because many of the commercial varieties are often treated with chemicals to prevent the growth of weeds or plant-borne diseases.
Whenever you’re filling a pot with soil, mix in some perlite. These little white balls are naturally-occurring volcanic glass, and they’ll help your plants breathe. The perlite stops soil from getting compacted and is a great filtration aid.
Every good gardener needs a little hand spade. You’ll end up using this guy more than you think.
One of the first things I learned after starting a container garden is how important pruning is. It seems counterintuitive, but a little snip snip here and there really helps your plants flourish. As tomatoes grow, you’ll want to cut off the undergrowth to encourage the main (stronger) branches to reach out. Sheers are also super helpful when you want to harvest. I love running outside and snipping off some fresh parsley and chives for a quick upgrade to my dinner.
As your plants grow (especially tomatoes & peppers), they’re going to need some support to hold them up. Have a few wooden or metal stakes on hand to prop them up with as they start to fall over. You can reuse the stakes from year to year, and all it takes is some string to affix them to the plants.
+ Are you planning a garden this year? What are you growing? Please share in the comments!
Check out more earth-friendly tips and tricks from our #FPEarthMonth series!
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