Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Container Gardening

Here’s a post from our previous Garden Coordinator, Briana, about container gardening!
I hope you're all enjoying the new blog and I'd like to say how happy and proud I am of how everything, not just the gardens, have grown. As many of you know, I am no longer in the gardens at Greener Village. I'm living in Halifax and working as a massage therapist, but that doesn't mean I'm not growing food!

Some of the things I used!
My biggest criteria when I was looking for a new apartment was a balcony that would get plenty of sun (I'm sure you can guess where this is going). I was lucky enough to find just that and so my adventure with container gardening has begun! While I have planted in containers before it has been more for decoration or because my mint was going out of control (as it always does). I never planted containers with the hopes of producing enough actual food to supplement my groceries. I'll admit that is what I thought I'd do, what I wanted to do, but I realize now that isn't quite feasible at this time with my space and resources. So, thinking a little more practically I’ve decided to grow herbs, tomatoes, green onions, and lettuce/salad greens.
I picked a few easy veggies to try in containers as well: beets, bush beans, and sugar peas. Herbs are wonderful to grow in containers. Most don't need too much space and when it gets too cool outside for them you can simply move them inside. This is a great way to have fresh herbs during the winter as well. Lettuce is easy to grow (unless it's in greenhouse 4, haha!). It doesn't need more than a few
A happy tiny garden :)
inches of soil and a small patch can produce a deceptively large amount of food. I'm very used to having tomatoes in containers as well. Determinant varieties (the ones that'll only grow to a short height) are great for containers and from my experiences on the farm they can produce a lot of fruit if taken care of. The beans, beets, and peas seem like an easy enough idea to me. I love beet greens, so my goal is for lots of greens rather than full size beets which would need more space. I planted peas because I wanted to grow something that would climb the railing of my balcony (I want it to be obvious that a gardener lives here!). The bush beans are my real experiment. Pole beans would have been fantastic for climbing my railings, and I may still plant some. As I write this, I’m growing more and more tempted because I'm remembering just how well pole beans climb.

If you think container gardening might be for you, here’s some points to consider!
·         Grow determinant varieties of tomatoes that won’t grow large and which will produce all season
·         Leafy greens can be easily grown in pots and produce a lot of healthy veggies
·         Fresh herbs are easy to maintain and you can grow them indoors all year
·         Mint should be kept in its own pot because it will take over
·         Don’t be afraid to grow climbing veggies like peas and beans to make use of your balcony railings!
·         Proper watering and feeding the soil every two weeks will keep your container garden happy all season long

Hopefully this can inspire some lovely home gardens!
All the best,
Briana


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