From Balcony to Table

Health Plus
August 8, 2018

From Balcony to Table: Growing a Container Garden

If you've ever wanted to grow your own food but thought you needed more space, you'll be glad to know growing a garden does not require a yard! There are several benefits of growing a container garden and it may be easier than you think. Use the following tips and steps for a successful, low-maintenance garden! 

Benefits of Growing a Container Garden 

There are several reasons why growing a container garden can be a positive addition to your life. For one, it is a leisurely activity. There is no need for heavy gardening tools or excessive bending. Container gardens can be less stressful than traditional gardens, due to fewer pests and limited room for weeds to grow. Secondly, you can quickly snip herbs when cooking because your garden is close to the kitchen. You can also mix and match what plants you choose to grow in your pots. Give yourself some variety! Plants that cannot usually be grown in a garden next to one another can thrive when grown in the same container. Lastly, if you move, your garden is completely portable and your plants can move with you! 

Plants That Thrive in Containers

There are many varieties of food available for starting your container garden. Take a look at the following plants that thrive when potted:  

  • Tomatoes
  • Beans
  • Lettuce
  • Peppers and Chilies 
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Squash
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Garlic
  • Okra
  • Collard Greens
  • Dill
  • Broccoli

How to Plant a Container Garden 

Growing your container garden does not have to be labor intensive nor complicated. The steps are simple:

  1. Gather Supplies: you will need a large plant pot, synthetic soil, a watering can, seeds, and labels. 
  2. Prepare Plant Pot: fill your pot to three inches below the rim with synthetic soil. Using your finger, hollow out a one-inch deep hole for your seed, drop the seed inside, and cover with soil. Feel free to put multiple seeds of the same plant in one hole when planting to ensure opportune growth. When planting a variety of plants in one large pot, be sure that each has enough room to grow, or at least 3 inches between them.  Once you have planted your seeds, label each plant within your pot. 
  3. Pay Attention: once your seed is planted, it is up to you to help it grow! It will need attention daily, so check out the tips below for maintaining your container garden. 

Tips for Maintaining your Container Garden 

Your new garden needs love and attention in order to thrive. However, it doesn't ask for much! The most important step is watering daily. If you feel like you need a reminder, stick a note on the fridge or set a reminder on your phone. Use a synthetic fertilizer to provide nutrients normally found in the ground that your plants will need for growth. Pull your pots towards the house on cold nights to keep them from withering. Depending on the plant type, be sure to provide plenty of sunshine for growth. Lastly, "pot up." Your plant might outgrow its pot. If that happens, transfer it into a larger container to avoid root rot, which stunts growth and produces a less nutritious end result! With these easy tips and steps, your container garden is sure to flourish. From container to table, make your plants a reflection of your personality and taste! 

Challenge 

Try a new recipe using fresh herbs.

Recipes

Chilled Cucumber-Dill Salad

Light and Creamy Broccoli Soup