Not everyone has a yard in which to plant a garden. They might live in a high-rise overlooking a major city skyline with only a deck or a large sunny window. They might live in a tightly-packed condo or apartment complex that has small “yardlets” that get no sun. They might rent a house or duplex from a landlord that won’t allow them to dig up the yard for a garden – after all, if they move away, will the next tenant do anything with the garden or will it end up being a big muddy hole?
Container gardening gets around these issues. Many vegetables and fruits will grow well in containers, provided they are placed in the right sized container to allow for their growth patterns, and started off with good quality, fertile soil. Container gardens require more frequent watering and fertilization, as the soil does tend to dry out quickly and does not have the benefit of being part of a large, nutrient-rich living soil organism the way a garden planted in the ground does. Fortunately, EnviroDrip makes drip irrigation systems specifically for container gardeners, so hoisting the watering can is not necessary:
The larger the container the better, as there will be more soil volume and therefore more room for compost and fertilizers to feed your plants. For quite possibly every kind of container or planter in the known universe, click the link below and have fun picking out what you will need. Short, tall, wide, narrow, indoor, outdoor, hanging, they’ve got ‘em all:
One of the benefits of a smaller container garden is this: smaller tools. This set below may be the only tools you need to tend your crops:
If your container plants are outdoors they will benefit from sun, rainwater and beneficial bees, birds, and bugs (as well as be susceptible to the usual pests that plague any other garden), but if they are indoors, they are quite isolated from the rest of the natural world. If your plants are going to be indoors and you have anywhere to set up a rain barrel, do it, as your plants will benefit from being watered as much as possible by rainwater rather than chlorinated and fluoridated tap water. It needn’t be conspicuous. Click below to choose a rain barrel from a number of shapes, sizes, colors, and styles:
Be prepared to thoroughly clean your containers (scrubbing with natural soap, rinsing and air-drying, then wiping with dilute hydrogen peroxide solution to kill any diseases) and replace your soil about once a year, and if the plants are indoors in a sunny window, rotate them regularly to make sure that they get as much sun as possible on all sides. Be open to the idea of a compost or worm bin in the kitchen or utility room if you have nowhere outside for one (we certainly don’t recommend a compost or worm bin doubling as end tables in your living room – though they would make interesting conversation pieces, to be sure). Click the link below for your choice of compost bins – including several specifically designed for kitchen use – and worm bins.
IMPORTANT: If you live on the second floor or higher and plan to grow your garden on a deck that hangs out over empty space, check with the building supervisor about the weight limitations of your deck! You do not want it to collapse under the weight of a mini-orchard or dense vegetable garden and injure or possibly kill anyone walking below.
Rather than attempt to make general statements about container gardening vegetables and fruits here, we will, when posting information about planting specific fruits and vegetables, include instructions for container growing them as well as traditional planting. Fear not, container gardeners, for you will not be left in the dark.