liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

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Trying My Hand at Container Gardening: Experiment Year 1

When I first started reading up on container gardening for fruits and veggies last year, it was waaaaaaay too late to give it a go.

This year, I figured, I'd give it a try.

Why container gardening?

Well, the first (and most important) is that I live in an apartment complex, which means I can't exactly go digging up the ground around my apartment without getting some stern frowns from the landlord. Only relatives of the landlord can do that (prime example: my neighbors), but even then their garden is tiny and confined to a postage-stamp sized area right next to their back door.

The second (and almost equally important) reason is that I live in an urban area. The odds of the soil being polluted with heavy metals is fairly high.

At least with container gardening, I know the soil's clean, right?

Anyway, today I made a go of it.

My initial plan was to plant strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red bell peppers.

Then I realized the cost of buying all the containers for all those plants.

"Self," I said (yes, I do talk to myself before trying something stupid). "Self, why don't we find out if you'll actually be able to pull off container gardening. Start small."

So, I settled on 4 plantings of the Eversweet variety of strawberries and two containers to hold two plants each. Then I bought some yummy compost soil from Maine (and yes, it is yummy. It feels so incredibly rich and loam-y).

I settled on the strawberries because, apparently, they're very forgiving plants...which I need since my thumb isn't so much green as it is a wilted green. Also, they're perennials. If I play my cards right, I'll be able to keep them in their containers and get yummy strawberries for up to 5 years before I have to replace the plants.

Bonus, they can winter (strawberries apparently go dormant in the cool is that?) in my basement with no ill effects for up to -26 degrees F (-32 degrees C). Since the odds of getting that cold in my area during the winter time without a windchill factor involved is practically nil (something which my basement won't have since it's sheltered and out of the wind), I'm totally good.

Best of all, once the plants start producing berries (sometime at the end of June, beginning of July), they'll continue producing berries all the way up until they go dormant.

If this works, I'm gonna have delicious homegrown berries that are MINE ALL MINE aaaaaaalllll, summer long.

*fingers crossed*

If this works, I'm going to go for a growpole and try those upside down cherry tomatoes next year.

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