Container Vegetable Gardening – a Work in Progress

So now that I’m self-employed, I find myself around the house a little more. Which means I’ve had time to do some of the things on my “I Really Want to Do [fill in the blank] But I’ve Just Never Had Time Before!” list. One of the items on this list was to try to grow some vegetables.
I’ve learned enough about myself over the last few decades to realize that perhaps I should “start small” before I just go gung-ho into something new. This is one of those Mindfulness Aha Moments, by the way! I’m trying to stop and determine how I really truly feel about something before jumping in with both feet (this doesn’t mean I’m successful, but if I’m aware of it, maybe I’m headed more in the right direction)…
So vegetables. How could I dip my big toe into the waters of veggie growing without going crazy? And if I dug up the lawn and then changed my mind – oh I’d never hear the end of it! Plus, I’m on a very limited budget, so that had to be considered.
I decided to go for a minimalist approach and am trying to grow vegetables in containers.

We already had a bunch of big and medium-sized pots around, so I informed The Boyfriend that we would not be planting flowers this year, we would be planting FOOD. He actually seemed happy about this, probably because it meant I would then be responsible for watering everything.
With the necessary buy-in achieved, I went and bought a very large bag of “vegetable garden” soil from the store and mixed it in with some of the old stuff left in the pots. I should explain that if a plant that decides to hang out at my house is wanting to survive and grow, it better learn to deal with crappy dirt and maybe a little less water than it might actually like. Because I can’t bear to throw away DIRT and sometimes I forget to water. It’s a Survival of the Fittest approach to horticulture.
You’re probably thinking, these poor veggies don’t stand a chance! You could be right – it’s still too early to tell…
I bought some seeds online from The Seed Guy and they took a long time to mail them out, but they came with instructions and are apparently heirloom and non-GMO. I bought carrots, zucchini and squash from them – and then I bought radish, beet and cucumber seeds locally (read: grocery store). Supposedly they’re heirloom and non-GMO as well. I shoved a few seeds into some pots and said “ok seeds, do your thing!”
And then it rained for a month. The seeds loved it.
Everything is now growing! So far, the only thing I’ve been able to “harvest” are some radishes and sadly, they are so incredibly spicy I can’t actually eat them. So… radishes seem to be easy and quick, and if you like spicy, you might give them a try.

radishes

The squash and zucchini are growing quickly and are almost ready to flower, and the cucumbers, which were the last to be planted, are still pretty tiny guys (or gals?). A few of the pots don’t seem to bedoing as well as others – I guess this could be because of the soil quality and possible the size of the pot. But probably mostly soil. So OK, next time I’ll pay more attention to that. Because the little beet seedlings look oh so sad. And the carrots… well how can I tell if a carrot is ready to be picked? I just googled it, and here’s what I found. Well duh, I think I can handle that…

There’s just something very satisfying about being able to plant a seed, nurture it, watch it grow, then harvest and eat the (hopefully not too spicy) result. As my journey continues to become more present to the world around me and how I spend my time, growing veggies fits in nicely.
So, it’s still an experiment in progress, but so far, so good. I can’t wait to see if I’ll get some yellow squash and zucchini, because we eat a lot of it! And at the very least, I’ve learned that as much as I WANT to like radishes, they are not the veggie for me.

Have you done any vegetable gardening? Container or raised bed or? How did it work out? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Additional Information
Here are some additional materials for you to peruse, if you want to find out more about container vegetable gardening!

  • Better Homes and Gardens (of course)
  • This DIY / Crafty web site provides a nice article
  • And I thought this infographic was pretty cool. Not sure what part of the world it’s for, so the seasons may not be super helpful, but there’s other good information included – and it looks cool!

 

the container veggie farmer hard at work.
the container veggie farmer hard at work.

radishes2

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