by Dave Keeshin
April 12, 2020
Today I begin a series of gardening hints and hacks for growing vegetables and herbs in containers. It's easy, space saving and economical. It's a great and safe way to spend time while sheltering.
I've been growing herbs and vegetables in containers for years. Now I'm prepping for the current growing season. Here's what I've done so far. Also, if you haven't done any of this yet there's still time
1. Get Seeds.
I've already gotten most of mine. This year I've used a few sources. Sweetyards Seed Company, Sustainable Seed Company and Seeds of Change. All shipped through Amazon. Needless to say, shipping has been a little spotty, but I've gotten most of what I ordered. If you need seeds, contact your local garden center or hardware store to see what's left. Please purchase from local sources - they need the business. A lot has already been sold out. Also, local environmental organizations and public gardens, do seed swaps and the like. If you're not sure what to grow, get a vegetable and herb variety pack.
Here are some good growing vegetables in containers ideas.
And remember, herbs are about as easy to grow as weeds. Here are ones that do well in containers:
- Lemon Balm
2. Prepare Soil
If you need soil, read this.
If you are wondering if you can re-use last years soil the answer is yes. Here's my take on recycling potted dirt:
- Remove dead plant material – if dead plant looks diseased don't use the dirt.
- Pour dirt into a black trash bag, plastic garbage can, bucket or leave in place.
- Add enough boiling water to dampen dirt. Cover and place in a sunny area.
- One or two weeks into it stir dirt, add some new potting soil & fertilizer (here's what I use), stir and cover until ready to plant. For us here in the Midwest, around the last week in April or early May.
Starting plants indoors really never works well unless you have the right lighting, watering and ventilating systems. What you can do to get a head start is germinate seeds a few days or so before planting. Most vegetable and herb seeds germinate between three and fourteen days. Here's a short video from Welsby Roots showing a clever way to germinate seeds. And here are five more great seed sowing ideas from GrowVeg.com I'll start geminating seeds in about a week.
More to come...