Tips for Container Gardening

A vase filled with water

Home grown food gardens can offer a multitude of benefits. In the right climate, you can grow most vegetables that you can eat, and often better than those that you buy at the store. Gardening makes us feel good about what we are doing, gives us exercise and helps us appreciate the natural world. It can even improve your mental health. But gardening also has other benefits.

Container Gardening Tips

A bowl of fruit sitting on top of a green plant

Home grown vegetables offer a wide variety in texture, shape and color. They can even be more exciting than any flower, offering an array in flavor, texture and color from stems to leaves. There’s as much to choose from as there is to eat: from spiky, curly roots of Swiss chard to feathery green stems of fennel and spicy, lemony flavors of garlic, to flat leaf tomatoes, tender herbs such as parsley and oregano, all of them unique and delicious. And just when you thought that was enough, adding some delicious herbs can turn your garden into an almost herb garden!

Home grown food gardens not only offer a wide range of vegetables, but also very tasty herbs. These can add a lot of zest to your summer barbeque. Some popular herbs you might want to consider growing are basil, dill, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, chervil, marjoram, basil, sage, thyme, basil, chives, tarragon and more. Most of these herbs can be grown in full sun, with water regularly provided. But, be careful not to over-water them, as they will need moisture to survive.

In terms of shade, most plants grow best in partial shade during the day and a little more at night. For instance, tomatoes will do best in partial shade during the day and then have a special plant hat on the night that will block out any sunlight during the day. This is important to remember if you plan on planting your food garden in the shade, because it’s impossible to tell whether your plants will survive if they have no sunlight during the day. The same applies to your herbs. They also need sunlight, but you’ll need to provide this for them more carefully in partial shade.

Many gardeners tend to think that greens are only good for cooking, but in truth, there are many ways you can incorporate greens into your garden to make them even more attractive and beneficial. Carrots are particularly easy to grow, even for beginning gardeners. However, it’s important to know how to cook them, as well. It’s often better to pick your own carrots and grow them yourself, rather than buy them at the supermarket and cook them with additives that could ruin the flavor. You can find books at your local gardening supply store or online that will help you choose exactly which types of carrots are best for your type of cooking.

Leafy greens are another very popular type of vegetable garden topic, as they’re extremely eye-catching and certainly pleasing to the eye. However, some leafy greens can take longer to grow than other greens, such as swiss chard or green beans. If you plan to have a lot of these types of vegetables in your garden, you might consider either planting swiss chard or some other type of leafy green, or perhaps a root crop such as a radish.

There are a few vegetable crops that are especially suited to container gardening. These include pole beans, which grow quite quickly; sweet potatoes, which like being in the shade; and tomatoes, which grow well in shade and can even be trained to grow when you water them! There are some crops that tend to be hardery in containers, but many of them will do well in an outdoor environment with a good amount of sunlight, if only for a short period of time. These include pole beans, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peas, carrots and beans. These are just a few of the fruits and vegetables that can be grown successfully in small containers. Take the time to research the plants that you personally like best and see if they’d be good options for your garden.

End Note

A box of fruit and vegetable stand

Finally, there are some more unusual plants that are worth considering for your garden, including stink bugs and ladybugs. Although ladybugs are typically considered pests, they actually make wonderful additions to a garden in the right spots. If you want to attract them, plant a few stink bugs and keep them away with a simple insecticide spray. They won’t take longer than a week to start getting used to your garden and will definitely make a difference when it comes to the types of insects that you have visiting your home!

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