I got some of the seeds and plants for my container garden from my employer Monsanto at no cost to me.We are doing a great container garden there too and it inspired me to give it another go at home. I was not asked to write about the garden and the opinions here are mine and mine alone.
Some of you may remember a few years ago, I was growing tomatoes in the raised bed that came with the house I bought in St. Louis. I was proud to graduate from a couple of simple containers to something bigger. Well, the previous homeowners had planted mint in that bed and no matter how hard I’ve tried over the years, that mint has just gotten stronger. Eventually, it ran me and whatever else I wanted to grow out of there. And with my travel schedule, I let myself give up on growing a garden at all. Now here I am with backyard broccoli!
This year I am back at it! I have more containers than ever and a wider range of plants than I have done too! Part of that is the inspiration of work — we have a home garden business, some of my colleagues who garden on bigger scales and knowing bloggers who have home gardens (check out the #heyletsgrow feed if you want to be inspired) — and some of it is having extra hands around the house to help water this summer. In addition to inspiration, I also got a few types of seeds and a few seedlings colleagues started.
My Growing Container Garden
I seem to have the gardening bug pretty bad… I have kept it simple the last several years with just herbs. But this year I keep getting more containers and more plants! Right now I have:
- Tomatoes (a few different ones)
- Peppers (both hot and sweet ones)
- Flowers (for prettiness & pollinators!)
- Herbs (a couple of types of basil, cilantro, sage)
- My rooster JZ keeping watch
And one weekend, when I was getting tomato baskets/stakes, I saw okra! Of course I had to buy a plant. The photo at right is the garden early on. Yes it looked kind of pitiful so I am sure you see my hesitation in posting!
Learning Lots so Far
Since I’ve never grown broccoli, I was excited that a colleague walked me through the process. This variety (Artwork from the breeders at our office) will produce a head and when you cut that one, it lets two heads form from the small buds beneath it. And when I cut those, it will multiply again.
Appreciated my colleague Eric pointing out that he uses plastic pots instead of clay because they are better at holding water and they are lighter to move around too. Since it has already hit 100 degrees and my containers have already been moved, this was a good shopping tip! He also pointed me to potting mixes that are lighter weight and provide fertility and water holding capacity than straight soil.
I used a combination of old pots I had and some new ones. On the new ones I bought, I got some of the biggest around planters available. Now I wish I’d bought more of those, especially for the tomato plants because now that the plants are in full fruiting mode they need lots of water and the smaller pots just don’t cut it.
The Garden Has Really Grown!
It is amazing how much the plants have grown! Sun and water…. and the results are flowers and small fruits and vegetables. Check out how the garden’s gotten taller than JZ now.
Here’s a short video showing you where the container garden stood last weekend. Yeah, I know it seems strange since I meant to post all of this weeks ago, but I hope to post weekly results for a bit. I am just beginning to have ripe tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers…. looking forward to more!