Part 2 of Low Maintenance Gardening
In an earlier post, I talked about Low maintenance gardening and debated whether there really was such a thing. (You can check out that article right here: Maintenance Free Gardening, Is there such a thing?)
I think the general understanding is that if you are going to garden, there will be some maintenance to be done. The amount of maintenance will depend on your own particular circumstances. Carefree landscaping ideas are a great way to start and Containers will play a big part in that ideal.
The easiest and most low maintenance way to garden is to contain your garden in a very closely defined space. This will make it easy to water, fertilize and pull out the unwanted freeloaders (weeds) that are bound to show up through the summer months.
Planting your garden in pots is a wonderful way to landscape and arrange your garden to suit your needs. You can have pots of herbs close to the kitchen or BBQ area to that they are near at hand when you want them. Or using pots for flowers to increase the beauty of your outdoor dining space is lovely too.
The whole idea of gardening in containers is to make it easier for you to plant, the flowers or vegetables, and to harvest them as well. In my case, my arthritic knees just don’t like to bend down to the ground level anymore. So bringing the level of the garden up higher is a bonus that my knees are particularly happy about.
What kind of containers are appropriate for carefree landscaping ideas in your yard?
Well, let’s get this sorted out right now. First of all, there are many different types of containers that can be used for gardening. Picking the right container for the type of plant you are planning on growing would be the first step in making good decisions.
So let’s start with a few basic understandings on the plants and how they like to grow.
Herbs are easily grown in a Clay Strawberry type of planter. I’m sure you have seen these pots around. They stand anywhere from 12 inches to 3 or 4 ft tall. They have pockets on the sides that are perfect for herbs to grow in and you can grow more than one type of herb in these pots too. Most herbs are grown for the season and then discarded. While the plants are growing many people harvest as much of the herbs as possible. You can freeze or dry many herbs for use in cooking later on in the season when nothing grows outdoors.
Tomatoes would not do well in a herb type of planter. They need a planter that is theirs and theirs alone. Tomatoes are heavy feeders, so they will not appreciate sharing their growing space with anything else. Tomatoes need at least a pot that is 5 gallons or bigger, deep enough to possibly put a growing stake into. Good soil is the next thing that tomatoes will want and then regular fertilizing with a good all-purpose vegetable fertilizer, used as per instructions on the container. The only thing I would do with my tomato plants is to have a smaller planter filled with marigolds nearby. These two plants work very well together. The blooms on the marigold and the smell of them will keep tomato pests away.
Peppers are great to grow in containers. It doesn’t matter if they are hot or sweet peppers, either will grow well in a good soil. Peppers can be planted two or three to a pot, depending on the size of the pot. Again a clay pot would work well for this plant. Drainage at the bottom is important.
Now here is a vegetable that will love a hot spot in your garden. Eggplants will do better in a pot than in the ground. They love it hot and sunny and if they are in a pot with the sun shining on the container, they will enjoy that warmth on the root of the plant. A great choice for a container in your yard.
Beans, either wax or green beans will grow well in containers too. They should be the bush type of plant. Climbing beans would be better suited to the ground areas. Bush beans will thrive so long as they get watered regularly and get sunshine. Containers for beans would be anything from clay pots to old pails filled with good ground. They are not fussy. Give them ground and a place to grow and you will have lots of beans growing to suit you all summer long.
There are so many varieties of greens that can be used for salads. Iceberg lettuce has given way to many other varieties of greens that have better nutritional value in them. Try growing some new types of greens and see if your taste buds are not excited by the different flavors. Raddichio, spinach, dwarf kale, arugula, red romaine lettuce, swiss chard are all types of salad greens (and reds) that will do wonderfully well in containers. Carefree gardening at it’s best when you can grow all of these in pots or towers for your consumption during the growing period.
You can also grow some pretty neat flowers that are edible as well. Nasturiums are the first flower that comes to mind. They are pretty, and peppery in taste. If you are having company over for dinner, imagine their delight at a homegrown salad from your carefree garden, topped with beautiful edible nasturiums in yellows and reds. You will be the talk of the town. Not only will their salads look nice, they will taste so much better because have grown them yourself. You know that there are no pesticides because you took care of the whole growing process. That is one of the beauties about learning how to garden, to begin with.
Appropriate Containers for your Carefree Landscaping Ideas
Here are just a few of the types of pots you can use in your Carefree Gardening Ideas. Each of these pots is good for several different types of plants. The long rectangular planter is great for a herb garden. The larger growing bags would be wonderful for those tomatoes or other vegetables and the pots would work well for salad greens and more.
There are a wide variety of planters available that will make gardening easy, carefree and your landscape will be easier for you to enjoy. No more bending down to the ground level, and you can still get your hands into the ground if you want to. It is a win-win situation for sure.
Stay tuned, I will bring you many more ideas to keep your gardening without all the stress and back breaking exercise that happens at ground level. I will help you raise your level of gardening to a manageable height so that everyone is happy and you still get the benefits of gardening for your pleasure and your table.
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