By Michael Nolan
I’ve been offering advice on home gardening for quite a few years now, and the most common excuse I hear from people who don’t have a garden is that they lack the space they need.
Nothing sets me off like the word can’t, and most often these people get a full scale lesson in gardening for small spaces whether they like it or not. Just about anyone, anywhere can handle a bit of container gardening.
Did you know that in the 1940s here in America nearly half of all fresh produce in this country was grown at home in Victory Gardens? Over the years it seems as though we as a society become so spoiled that we forgot how to take care of ourselves. But I digress. Let’s discuss how you — regardless of your available space — can grow at least some of your own vegetables and herbs at home.
If you have an empty 5-gallon bucket and a sunny spot on your porch, you can grow a tomato plant that will produce pound after luscious pound of tasty treats for next to nothing. When you compare that to an average price of over $2.00 per pound at the supermarket, it makes sense for your taste buds and your wallet.
I calculated the weight of the tomatoes produced from a single one of my 12 tomato plants last year and using the average price at the time I realized that I had grown nearly $100 worth of tomatoes on that one plant.
The only real learning curve involved in vegetable container gardening is to choose the right size container for whatever you decide to grow. Tomatoes, for example, have deep-running roots that require a container with more depth, which is why I use 5-gallon buckets. You can even hang them upside down from a sturdy plant hook on your porch!
Radishes, spring onions and almost every variety of herbs will flourish in a window box which in my opinion is one of the most practical examples of container gardening for those will little or no available space for such endeavors. If that option isn’t available, use the window sill in your kitchen as the perfect location for a small indoor herb container garden.
Be sure to do a little research before you start your container garden to ensure that you’re using an appropriately sized container for the plants you are growing. You can ask for advice at your local garden center or you can feel free to ask one of us here at Urban Garden Casual. We love reader questions!