I’ve made no secret over the past few years about how hard I’ve worked to learn how to garden. Unlike many others, having a green thumb does not come naturally to me. Over the years and through a LOT of trial and error I’ve picked up some great tips for successful gardening as well as learned quite a few lesson the hard way on what not to do! I thought I’d share a few of my favorite gardening tips today and show you how this year’s garden is progressing (lots of before and progress pictures to come!)
As you might know, we are living in an urban townhouse during our few years here in Washington, DC so I’m container gardening exclusively now. I was nervous at first when we moved because I love being able to cook with vegetables I grow myself-it makes eating healthy easier and gives such a sense of accomplishment! Luckily for me our back patio is full sun so it’s the perfect spot for me to grow all of my favorite vegetables! The first thing I did this year was make a list of everything I wanted to grow and stock up on containers that would fit the full size plants. I also purchased and installed a trellis so my vining veggies could grow up and produce without the extra space.
It was difficult knowing that I couldn’t grow as much as I wanted due to space constraints so I narrowed down my list to my very favorite plants that I knew our family would get the most use from. For us that included salsa plants: tomato, cilantro, and jalapeno along with squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and bell peppers. Herbs such as mint, rosemary, and basil round out the bunch and leave us well stocked for cooking this summer!
Tip #1: Research your plants and make sure you can accommodate their needs! Use containers large enough for your full-grown plants and provide plenty of space for plants to grow to maturity even if you need to work vertically to allow them to grow!
When it came time to plant I made sure to look for healthy plants that were not rootbound in their containers.
Sunday morning at @homedepot #spring #gardening #picoftheday #photooftheday A photo posted by Melissa (@thehappierhomemaker) on
Be sure to pick plants that aren’t fully mature as well-it may seem like a good idea to pick the little tomato plant already growing fruit but your yield over the season will be better if you let it grow and get an established root system in your container prior to fruiting. I also planted in Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control Potting Mix-it helps prevent over or under watering which I really struggled with as a novice gardener!
Tip#2: Buy healthy plants and plant in quality container potting soil.
To make it easier for me to feed my plants this year I installed Miracle-Gro® LiquaFeed® Universal Feeder on our hose faucet. It took less than five minutes to install and it attaches and stays at the hose spigot and can easily be switched between feed and water to make it beyond easy to feed my plants.
I feed them every other week and it makes a HUGE difference in the size of my plants! Check out the growth in just two weeks!
Tip #3: Don’t forget to feed! Don’t sell yourself short by not feeding your plants!
I like to add flowers around my garden that attract pollinators like bees and butterflies to help encourage them to pollinate my veggies! Some of my favorite summer flowers are geraniums and zinnias. I also love sunflowers, daisies, and asters.
Tip #4: Attract pollinators to increase productivity of your garden.
What are your favorite gardening tips for small spaces and containers?