Since the COVID-19 pandemic began and people were looking for things to occupy themselves at home, gardening has hit the scene in a big way. Before you go buy half the garden supply store, consider these things first. Gardening is an absolute joy but it can also be a huge pain if you don’t do a little research first. It’s as simple or as complicated as you make it, but it is absolutely a worthwhile hobby during these very uncertain times.
Bigger is better for Containers
Bigger is almost always better, but with larger containers comes a need for more soil and thus weight becomes a consideration, especially if you plan to move your containers often. Drainage is very important in a container as is soil depth. We recommend grow bags for good airflow, drainage and portability.
You need enough sunlight
Unlike in-ground plantings, you can move containers around to get more sunlight. Think about using containers with handles, or setting them on tray casters, so they can receive enough sunlight.
Vining crops need support
It’s not just for support but also to grow upwards, saving space which might be at a premium. Some cheap options are strings tied to bamboo poles, hooks, or heavy gauge trellis that stick right into the pots.
Containers need potting soil
Don’t just jam some ground dirt in a pot and expect great things to happen. Potting soil is necessary as it is already blended with aerating compounds and small amounts of slow release fertilizer.
Container gardens do require more frequent watering (sometimes multiple times each day depending on your climate) than in-ground plants. You can do slow drip irrigation by just shoving full water bottles into the dirt of your pot and checking the bottle every day or two to fill it back up.
Fertilizer is a must
More frequent watering can wash out some of the nutrients a plant needs to produce vegetables in containers and there is less room for roots to find more nutrients. There are many options for fertilizer both liquid and slow release and you generally can’t go wrong with a 10-10-10 fertilizer used according to the directions.
Know your zone
Spring planting, summer harvest, fall garden, winter crops. These are all considerations that will have a huge impact on the plants you choose to grow as well as when you grow them. A short amount of research will help you choose what is right for your pots and knowing your climate zone will assist you in your choice.
Stuff your pots with companions!
Plants like each other, they have friends who help them out and grow better. A tad more research on your part will have you with full, glorious pots! For instance, tomatoes love basil, marigolds and onions.
Learn How to Store for the Winter
Some crops do better frozen, some are better canned, while some can be pickled or turned into sauces. Whatever crop you have invested in growing, make sure you are ready for storing it because all that hard work to keep them alive and happy, you should get the reward of lasting supplies in the off season!
Gardening is a wonderful way to reduce stress while contributing to your local environment. It will also save you money through winter on produce if you properly store your harvest.
Don’t forget to put all those savings away for a rainy day with a Solidarity Savings Account!