For the past few years I’ve been really gung-ho about setting up various (landscape and container) gardens (because landscape gardens look pretty and container gardening is fun!) and being as self-sustainable as humanly possible, but life and work necessities and hobbies have gotten in the way and I’ve simply never gotten around to it. Not this year I said to myself; I buckled down, did some research, and made a list (because everything in life ends up better when you begin with a list!). What I learned is that I have a slight problem – There’s absolutely no way that I’m going to be able to set everything up and have it functionally growing things in time for me to be able to actually harvest much of anything.
Solution? Container gardening.
Turns out, there are very few things that can’t be grown in a container (as long as you get your seedlings or plants from a trusted source and/or do your homework before choosing seeds to sprout yourself). In fact, there are so many different reasons to take up container gardening (even if you have a huge yard) that I thought it warranted a post. Here are just a few of them:
It Makes For An Easy Transition Period
Now, I’m not sure if it’s this way everywhere, but any time I’ve ever purchased an established plant from a garden center it’s been greenhouse-raised. That’s all well and good until I take this (relatively sheltered) plant and throw it in a bare are of the yard where it will get eleven hours of direct daily sunlight.
Shopping Suddenly Becomes Super Convenient
Especially if you happen to have southern exposure that you can simply walk out to. Two of the biggest complaints that people have about cleaning up their diet is that 1) It’s entirely too expensive, and 2) It goes bad quickly; seeds cost next to nothing (and established plants aren’t even all that expensive when you figure just how much you’re going to get off of the plant), and things tend to last a whole lot longer when they’re still attached to the vine.
Not only is it easier to choose a salad for dinner when it’s only steps away, there’s also something incredibly therapeutic about simply walking out onto your porch and getting what you need whenever you’re feeling a little peckish. It doesn’t get more local than that, and that’s something you can definitely feel good when feeding your family.
Maintenance Is A Breeze
When you choose to have a big garden, you’re choosing to make a big commitment (even a small one can work out to be a part-time job’s worth of hours depending on what exactly you choose to grow). They take quite a bit of time to water because the ground takes its time soaking it up, but you have to be careful that you don’t overwater your plants either because then they could get root rot and die. Then, there’s the weeding – So much weeding. And you need to do the weeding daily or before you know it they’ll be out of control and then you’ll need to devote an entire day to only weeding, and nobody wants to spend their Saturday doing that.
When you plant things in containers, there’s little to no weeds to contend with and as long as the pots you choose to plant in have proper drainage, it’s nearly impossible to overwater them.
And The Portability Is Really Handy Too
Full disclosure: We have a fairly large yard. Because of this, landscape maintenance is almost a full days job and requires a plethora of different tools. Even with a push mower and weed-eater, there are still things that we need to move out of the way every time we do it. Having your plants, herbs, and produce in easy-to-move containers makes life a whole lot easier and can end up saving time.
Another thing to consider is that (at least in the Northern hemisphere), the days will start getting shorter again in just a couple of weeks – Just because you have direct sunlight somewhere now, doesn’t mean that you still will in eight weeks time. Having the ability to move your plants wherever you need to can ensure that you get the very most out of them.
Do you prefer the look of container gardens or are you more smitten by the traditional, in-ground type? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below (and maybe attach some pictures – I’m always looking for new ideas)!
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