I planted everything in our greenhouse four to six weeks ago and already there is a lot to see. (This is the second in a series on container gardens… the first one is here.) We are eating arugula and bok choy with small bits of cilantro, basil, and parsley. Here are some pictures of the container gardening. First, the larger leaves are bok choy, which we have been eating in salads for a couple of weeks now. Behind it is cilantro, which looks a bit scraggly because yesterday I thinned it quite a lot when I was collecting greens for our usual lunch, a big salad.
More things we’ve been eating are below. That’s basil in the front and I have already run out to the greenhouse and picked a few leaves to throw in a stew. Behind, the morning sun is just hitting the arugula. Even when it’s tiny it has that characteristic spicy flavor that makes it such a good accent in a salad.
We actually have arugula in the outside garden too. Kelly planted it a few weeks before we got the greenhouse project together. We are still having temperatures some nights that go to 32 degrees and below, but arugula doesn’t care about that. The plants outside aren’t as tender but we are eating them too.
The parsley below is thriving. Gotta thin it some more! I do admit to overplanting, specially when seeds are tiny.
This container of parsley is already delicious, or at least I think so. My husband doesn’t care for parsley’s flavor, so I am happy to be growing it in this small container where I can just nibble on it when I walk by or add some to my own salads. I expect that this one small planter will provide a LOT of parsley over the summer. I’ll keep providing pictures of our container garden.
Here are the three blue homemade self-water garden bins we made. From left, we have cucumbers, pole beans, and snow peas growing. The peas have already put tendrils around the homemade trellis wires. You can see that the sun will be coming from the right, as the leaves are facing that way.
For contrast, below are two photos of raised beds in our garden out in the back yard. The first one is red-leaf lettuce with a glimpse of garlic beyond it. Below is spinach. Kelly planted this late last fall, maybe in November, and they are our main sources of salad greens now. We haven’t bought lettuce or other salad greens in weeks!
Six Container Gardening Tips
I’m a beginner at container vegetable gardening and here six tips based on what I’ve been learning:
- Water every day at first and then as the plants grow, check and see when you can move to every other day. Then if it gets hot outside, go back to at least checking every day.
- What I just said doesn’t apply to self-watering containers. With them you can water less often. But when the plants are still really tiny, I preferred to water them every day since their roots weren’t yet very deep (if they ever were going to be.)
- Don’t be afraid to underwater… the plants will begin to look a bit droopy if they are thirsty.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and to learn from them. (My biggest mistake? See the next tip.)
- Don’t overplant seeds. If more come up than will be happy in the container, pinch or pull them out soon.
- I’m glad to be extending the season with the greenhouse that my husband built. Here is an article I wrote not long ago about inexpensive small greenhouses.
- Have fun and do it!
Here is the book that inspired my container garden. Love it!