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05/27/2013

Making Gardening Easy With A Container Garden

Garden Fresh Salad GreensI love spending time out in my garden. It is soothing, it gets me out in the fresh air and sunshine AND I get to eat healthy fresh organic food for pennies. I have talked before about the importance of growing your own food if at all possible to help insure that your food is safe.

I know for some folks the thought of starting a garden is overwhelming. It seems like a large and daunting project to undertake.

Do you feel this way? If so I suggest starting with a container garden. You can get started no matter how little space, time or energy you have to devote to growing fresh organic produce.

Planting in containers is fast because you don't have to dig up the lawn, prepare the soil etc. Jut fill a pot with potting soil and plant your seeds or seedlings. I once grew my garden on a 5 x 8 balcony.

To start just choose ONE plant. A patio tomato is a good choice. Another good choice is a pepper plant. Bell peppers or hot peppers - you choose. You could try a few green bean plants in a pot. There are so many options. 

Then as you are ready add another plant. Go as slow or as fast as you have the time and energy for. You may be surprised that once you get started you won't want to stop.

Next time you are out grab yourself a big bag of organic potting soil and some organic plant food. I try to stay away from plant food that is made from animal products. 

Then start scouting around for good containers to use. Look in your basement or garage. Go to a second-hand store. Be creative - Many things can be a pot. Here are some ideas:

  • 5 gallon bucket (get a cheap on from the paint department of your big box home improvement store or maybe a free one from a restaurant)
  • trash can
  • large pot from your kitchen
  • Clay pots
  • Flower pots
  • Plastic tubs
  • Window boxes
  • plastic gallon jug with top cut off
  • Mixing bowl
  • Old wheel barrow 
  • Ceramic pitcher

You get the idea. Almost anything can be a container. Cut or drill a 1/2 inch hole (or several smaller ones) in the bottom for drainage. Use a nail and hammer or a drill or dremel tool depending on the type of material. You may want something to put under the pot to catch the water that drains out. An old plate works well.

Visit your local garden supply center and choose one or two hardy looking plants. Ask for help in choosing the best variety for containers. Patio tomatoes are usually smaller and more compact than other varieties. 

Then the next time you have 30 minutes to spare, take your container, your potting soil and your new plant and get to work! Fill the pot with soil, add the plant, water, and step back and admire. 

Water your container regularly. Find out about caring for your plant by searching the internet. Or ask a gardening friend. I find it amazingly rewarding watching my new plants grow each day. 

Do you have a container garden? Tell us about it in the comments below. 

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Ama Opare
Lifestyle Coach, CEO at Opare Institute
Supporting you by bringing you flavorful and satisfying vegan and raw vegan recipes, inspiration and online training and one-on-one coaching to help LOVE YOUR VEGAN LIFE! I am an educator and revolutionary who has teamed up with my physician/dietitian husband, Nana Kwaku Opare, MD, MPH, CA, to address the growing health problems in the Afrikan/Black community by building a Nation of Black Vegetarians and Vegans.

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