June 19, 2008

Garden THIS Summer?

It's NOT too Late!

Even if it's just a salad garden of lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers, it is NOT at all too late to do some planting. Peas, carrots, green beans, always radishes of course, and much else can still be started in the ground or in containers. In many places, even a short-season variety of corn is still possible.

Although potatoes may seem a particularly unlikely choice to grow in a small home garden, there is nothing like new potatoes, especially with tender young green beans from you own backyard. This year we're experimenting with a lot of bucket-growing, and I can tell you, it's been a huge success so far. In the photo above you can see that the potatoes are thriving, while in the blue buckets, some green peppers are coming along nicely too.

So think about it... One bush green bean plant in a five-gallon pail, one potato plant in another, parsley and basil plants tucked into a third, and of course, lettuce, tomatoes and cukes can all be container grown if your space is seriously limited.

Where to get the buckets? Well, first off, ALWAYS ask for the buckets, NEVER just help yourself. While a construction site is the obvious first choice for those 5 gallon buckets that joint compound comes is, you might also ask about pickle buckets from a local restaurant or deli. I'm sure there are other places to find buckets too, but these come right to mind.

What kind of soil to fill the buckets? Well, I've often found that just regular old dirt really compacts in a container situation, so mix that plain soil with compost, a little peat, or even some commercial blends. I hate to even suggest that last option as I don't want you to spend money to save money. (Hmmmm ... good idea for a future posting ...)

The really nice part about container gardening is that you can move the containers to catch more rays of daily sun, especially important toward the end of the growing season. Yes, the buckets are likely to be heavy but for any (few) plants that really need extra sun, a wheeled plant thingie such as you'd put under an indoor plant, a child's wagon, a mechanic's creeper, an unused dolley ... anything along this line will be helpful.

And if all else fails, I hope you've had a chance to check out farmers' markets, farmstands, and pick-your-own operations near you. After all, it's time to get out and start picking strawberries!


1 comment:

Suzanne said...

I am headed to the garden to plant more veggie seeds in our Victory Garden!