Sowing your seeds
At this point, you have figured out what your frost dates are, your hardiness zone, how much sun exposure your garden spot gets, the direction your garden spot faces, your planting season, and how much space you have for your garden. If you have not, please go back and read the ‘How to Prep for Your Garden’ article before continuing with this post.
Yay and YAY! You are moving right along. Time to buy your seeds and all your supplies. Again, our focus is container gardening. Let’s start with the basic supplies like pots, soil, etc. I use both plastic and cloth pots when gardening, but if I could only use one type I would choose cloth pots. The reason for this is I don’t necessarily have to worry about my plants getting root bound. I have learned that when using a fabric pot, the plant’s roots self-prune once the roots touch the fabric.
Here is an example of a root-bound plant. At one point, the pot the plant was growing in was big enough but soon the plant would have had to be transferred into a bigger pot. This is why you notice in the picture the roots were in the shape of the pot the plant was in and the roots had nowhere to go. The plant would have stopped growing and started to die. Does this always happen? Nope! I know, just when you thought gardening might be easy, lol (I promise it gets easier). Plants that have shallow roots like bush beans or cucumbers generally do okay with five gallons of soil. When I use fabric pots, I don’t normally have this problem. Please note, fabric pots do not get rid of this problem completely. No matter what, if you notice that your plant is dying because the pot’s too small, transfer the plant into a bigger pot. The fabric pots I have been using. I bought these a year ago and not one tear or rip! I like to garden on a budget, so I am hoping that these pots last for a few more years.
On to the next step…… SOIL. There are so many wonderful options for soil out there. I like to use Earthgro’s compost and topsoil. I love the ingredients and it doesn’t hurt that they are kind to my pocket! I mix my soil instead of buying potting soil, however, I know a lot of gardeners who buy potting soil and call it day. To each their own, it’s about what YOU have time to do and what YOU can afford. One wonderful potting soil you can buy is Happy Frog. It is an organic potting soil that gives you great results! Whether you decide to mix your own or buy the potting soil, try to make sure the product is organic. Keep in mind, you will be eating what you grow, I try….lol, I said TRY…to keep everything I use in my garden organic. There will be times in your gardening journey when you believe that you are using an all-organic product and find out one day that it is not organic. If you want to ensure you’re always using organic products, look for the OMRI (Organic Material Review Institute) label on the package. The rule of thumb is if you see that on the package it should be fine to use in organic gardening.
Okay! So, you got the pots, soil, and seeds…. Now what? Make sure you have your tools. No need for a lot of gardening tools. The tools I use are gloves, a shovel, and a hand rake. It doesn’t take a lot of tools because I garden in containers. The last thing you would need to think of is how you will water you garden. You have a few options for this. Your options include using a watering can, hose and nozzle or an irrigation system. I have used all three at one point! At one point the watering can was effective, however, when my garden got bigger it was not efficient enough. From there, I switched to water irrigation. This is not a kick to water irrigation… it just didn’t work for me. I won’t blame the irrigation system, I just didn’t feel like trying to figure out how long I needed to set the timer for lol. So I opted for the old-fashioned way, a hose, and a nozzle. Honestly, for me the hose was the best way. It forced me to look at my garden every day. Going out daily helped me keep track of pests (that will be discussed in another article). There you have it! Now you have everything to start your garden! Happy planting!
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