Vegetables and herbs can be grown easily in buckets. Notice the drainage hole in the sidewall, saving some water (not drained through a hole in the bottom). See also the layer of coarse sand on top (mulch), which is limiting evaporation (Willem Van Cotthem’s comment)
Gardening in a Bucket
Growing wholesome, healthy vegetables in a container are a way of life these days. Here are some easy and less expensive tips for creating that bucket garden.
In a large container or on a plastic mat on the ground, mix garden soil and compost in a 2:1 ratio. Two scoops of soil and one of compost, add the recommended quantity of slow release fertilizer from product label
Drill 6 to 8- ½ inch holes in the bottom of the 5-gallon buckets. Make sure that the buckets did not contain toxic materials!
Line the bottom of the bucket with gravel. You may substitute broken pottery or sticks that are broken in short links
Fill the bucket to within 3 inches of the top of the container
Place container in sunny spot that will allow drainage
Plant chosen vegetable with two seeds in center of the container
Spuds on tap: pick what you need for your meal and leave the rest to grow
Photo: GAP Photos/Gary Smith
How to grow potatoes in pots
Not only fantastic if you’re short on space, growing potatoes in containers make for a delicious crop
By Lia Leendertz
That sweet, nutty taste and the texture like slicing butter just doesn’t exist in the shop-bought potato, and I wanted it back in my life.
The answer has been to start growing them in pots. There are lots of ways in which this beats growing them in the ground, and a few in which it really doesn’t. Let’s get the negatives out of the way first. This is not the way to grow if you are after bulk and high yield. It is also high maintenance and you will need to remember to water regularly and well.
However, if flavour rather than bulk is your priority then this is a lovely way to grow them.
Potatoes grown in pots become almost a different vegetable. One of the reasons they are so good is that they grow so fast, giving them a soft, moist texture and almost non-existent skins. This also happens to be the secret behind the flown-in earlies: they are grown in places where the soils warm early in the year, so growth is speedy. But most of us don’t garden in a south-facing sloping Jersey field by the sea. After the chill of winter most UK soils are slowly warmed through by a still-weak sun. But pots can be moved to a sheltered corner to bake, onto a sunny balcony or patio, or even into a polytunnel or greenhouse. This will help increase the heat in the compost and therefore the growth rate of the potatoes.
Unlike all the trends our industry has seen come and go, the farm-to-table movement has the power to rewrite our future.
A trend is like a wind that disturbs a pond but doesn’t reshape it. Take gazing globes, huge 10 years ago. They made our industry a lot of money, but their popularity faded, and we moved on, unchanged.
Container gardens had a bigger impact. They were a hit with customers who wanted instant gratification and with retailers who liked selling several products at once. They also reflected a changing customer base, who valued getting the visual impact of gardening without the work.
I want to take the time to unpack that thought. Container gardens’ popularity rose along with the flood of smart phones, big, immersive TVs and games like Candy Crush. People still eat out, go to theaters and, yes, garden. But they spend less time doing so.
So it can be argued that selling container gardens was a necessary adaption to our customers’ lifestyles.
Combo gardens had a bigger impact than gazing globes. But what gazing globes are to container gardens, that’s what combo gardens are to the farm-to-table movement.
Rosemary in window-Turn 1/4 every few days to keep growth even (B.Petrucci)
Winter Care Tips for Indoors Plants
by Carol Kagan, Master Gardener
From Master Gardeners I have learned a few key things, so here is my quick tip list followed by a number of great resource sites. It is important to check the needs of each plant since they can vary greatly.
1. Be sure the plant is potted in the right size container (with a drainage hole) and right potting soil.
If you are digging it up and dragging it in from the outdoors then potting it up, don’t use garden soil. It’s too heavy.
2- Water only as needed when the soil is dry.
Water from the top until water comes out the drainage hole (You do have a drainage hole, right?) into the saucer. About two hours later, drain any excess water from the saucer. Don’t allow the roots to stand in water. If you don’t see drainage but have watered well, check for a clog in the hole and clear it. Inconsistent watering is one of the primary reasons for plant loss.
3- Use room temperature water.
Leave tap water out overnight, uncapped or uncovered, to allow the chlorine and fluorine added to city water to dissipate. Although these probably don’t harm plants, you want the water to be at room temperature anyway. Rainwater, snow melt and well water are ok. Don’t use water run through water softeners.
One year, these three plants were used in two pots and the foliage rich result was eye-catching
Yellow shrimp plant with two companions make the perfect trio in two pots
Foliage Lasts Throughout the Season
One of the benefits of focusing on plants for their foliage features is foliage lasts throughout the growing season. In many cases, annual plant blooms will wither away towards the end of the summer from heat exhaustion or repeat blooming.
So when you use foliage with a captivating thriller plant, like the yellow shrimp plant, you result with a stunning combination which is easy to assemble and maintain.
Echoing Foliage Colors
Notice how the dark purple plum like color (violet-red color on the color wheel) of the sweet potato vine’s heart shaped leaves are repeated in a band of the same rich purple plum color in the leaves of the Coleus ‘Kong Rose’ plant.
Repeating a color of one plant in another plant is a way to add impact to a design. This holds true in containers, patio pots, and in gardens of the ground.
I had good results, but wasn’t sure if it would work with the newer opaque milk jugs, so I tried it last winter.
This does work with opaque milk jugs!
I tried it last winter and by spring I had tomato seedlings. I worried that they were coming up later than they should, but our spring was cold, so they were probably on time.
I’m not sure why it worked with the opaque milk jug, but it did. When the top and bottom halves of the opaque jug were closed, they didn’t fit together as neatly as they did on the translucent milk jug. Maybe that let in enough light for the sprouts.
Other containers for winter sowing
If you don’t trust the idea of using containers that are opaque, there are lots of other options.
The whiskey barrel as a planter has been a attempted and genuine process of acquiring a prominent screen for your back garden. The size of these wooden planters makes them ideal for big shrubs or tiny trees, or even as an herb back garden, suitable for outside the kitchen door. More, these barrels final for many years, even many years, in advance of needing to be changed.
Utilizing whiskey barrels for gardening will recapture the rustic nostalgia of the earlier and build a charming planter for your perennials, shrubs, trees, or herbs, which will be the talk of your neighborhood. You will need to come to a decision irrespective of whether to use a full-size whiskey barrel or a 50 percent-size barrel. If you come to a decision on a 50 percent barrel, you will then need to come to a decision irrespective of whether you will use it standing upright, or put it on its side and have your bouquets flowing out of it. Furthermore, think about where you will put your barrel and make certain this is the appropriate location, as once full, the barrel will be far too heavy to shift all over the back garden. Also, consider the size plants you will be utilizing in the barrel. These containers have a whole lot of soil ability for a much bigger plant.
Plastic tray, plastic bag and a marker to build a mini-greenhouse
Starting your own transplants
By MINNIE MILLER, T&D Garden Columnist
How much money do you spend every spring buying vegetable and flower transplants to fill your garden or make up containers? Make this the year you save a little cash by growing your own starter plants. You will be able to pick and choose the exact varieties you want by selecting your seed. The sense of accomplishment you will gain by growing your own, start to finish, will be priceless.
Now is the time to start gathering the supplies you will need including containers, seed starting mix, liquid fertilizer, labels and seeds. Seeds ordered online take time to be shipped as do related supplies. If you are going to need to set up grow lights you will want to come up with a plan and implement it as a first step to successful transplants.
Be sure you can supply the right conditions for starting seed or you will not be successful. Seeds do not necessarily need light to germinate, but most do need warmth. Once they have sprouted, you will need to supply them with 16 to 18 hours of light daily to grow strong seedlings. Grow lights or regular florescent lighting can be used.
You don’t have to purchase special containers to start seed, but there are some handy ones out there that include trays and “domes” that help keep moisture regulated. Ordinary flats that have drainage holes, used pots and even recycled plastic produce containers (such as greens or berries are packaged in) can be used. The container simply needs to hold soil and provide drainage. You will want saucers or solid trays underneath to catch excess water.
Have on hand a supply of liquid or soluble fertilizer for watering the seedlings as they grow. Regular light doses of liquid fertilizer, along with adequate light, will keep plants strong and stout so they will be more successful transplants.