Why Plant In Containers?
Following are the primary benefits for growing your garden in containers.
This is by far my most favorite reason. Who likes weeding their garden? Not me, and if you do, you have my blessings! My Mom was one of those rare people who loved weeding the garden. She would get up very early in the morning and have it done by breakfast time. However, for people like me, who consider weeding a drudgery; then container gardening is for you! There is virtually no weeding in containers, except for maybe a stray piece of grass here and there; but that is nothing compared to having to weed an entire garden.
Only a small space required for preparation:
You can get your containers ready and do your planting in a very small space. Several years ago, I lived in a studio apartment with limited area for preparing my containers. I used the kitchen counter and a TV tray which provided plenty of room for preparing my buckets; plus, I was close to the sink for my water supply. Just be careful about soil going down the drain. To prevent this, I put a piece of newspaper in the sink to set my container on. That way, any soil that doesn’t make it in the bucket ends up on the paper. When I am done planting, I just roll up the paper and throw it away in the trash can. The TV tray was handy to hold the tools I needed for preparation and planting.
When you container garden, maintenance and upkeep is very minimal. I remember my Dad would spend hours tilling between the garden rows and hoeing around all the tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, cucumbers, cabbages, zucchini, and on and on. You get my drift! After it rained, he would do it all again. My Dad loved it, because he knew it was necessary in order to raise a bountiful garden. For those of you who do it, you all know that tilling is very strenuous work. With container gardening, you can just sit back, relax, and watch your plants grow and produce. However, you will need to fertilize regularly which will be discussed more later.
A container will fit just about anywhere:
You don’t need a big space for your container garden. You can have just one container with one tomato plant or one pepper plant and you have a garden. A 5-gallon bucket will fit in a small space, like a corner of a patio, balcony, sidewalk, or yard. You can add more containers as your space permits. When planning your container garden, keep in mind that most vegetables require some degree of full sun. For example, tomatoes need at least 8 hours of sunshine to do well. In other words, you may have the space but it’s in the shade all day. For this reason, you will need to grow shade tolerant plants, like lettuce or spinach. Also, small containers, such as a 12-ounce plastic cup, will grow herbs that will conveniently fit on your countertop by your kitchen window.
Another aspect I love about container gardening is the flexibility of have a mobile garden. If you don’t like a container in a certain spot, you can easily move it to a different spot. For example, when a thunderstorm was approaching with strong winds, I just moved my 5-gallon buckets of tomatoes into my carport for protection. Then, the next day I moved them back out into the sun. Also, if you are “hardening off” your plants, they can be moved from sun to shade during the day without causing harm to your plants or breaking your back!
Enjoy a garden on a small budget:
If you start the plants yourself from seeds, buy inexpensive containers or re-purpose ones you have at home, buy potting mix and soil on sale, and use tools you have around the house, then you can save a lot of money. Therefore, having a container garden cannot only be started and but also maintained with little out of pocket expense to you. Plus, the fun part is watching your plants grow and thrive with the result being delicious vegetables and fruits. And best of all… you did it yourself!