It’s been a blustery February so far and with spring around the corner (believe it or not!) you may want to rid those February blues by starting to grow plants, herbs and veggies in the luxury of your own home.
Not only will this provide fresh food for you and your family, but also prepare us for warmer weather with hope in the forecast for those of you who’ve had enough of winter! Container gardening is easy – anyone can do it!
To get started, you’ll need to gather some planting containers; depending on the space you have available will depend on the size and number of containers needed. You can use just about anything lying around the house if you want to get creative and re-use things that you already have.
For instance, here’s a short list of things that make excellent containers for planting:
- Bottom of barrels (for larger containers)
- Rubbermaid containers (with holes in bottom)
- Tins (garlic grows well in tall tins)
- Empty coffee containers
- Clementine boxes
- Old baskets
- Clam shell containers (these act as great mini greenhouses)
- Cans (soup, tomato, etc.)
- Reusable shopping bags (and they are portable!)
If you’re starting seedlings to transplant into the ground or a bigger container, here are some planting tips:
- Re-use single K cups (coffee)
- Egg cartons
- Milk containers cut in half
- Any type of margarine tub
- Toilet paper rolls set in a container
*Remember to poke holes in the bottoms for proper drainage
Once you have your containers ready for planting, you’ll need soil, of course! There are many soil combinations on the market; however, you’ll want something affordable and that works. Try to avoid peat moss in soil starters or in general.
Peat bogs are seen by some scientists to be as important and fragile as rainforests; they are not a renewable resource and that‘s where the concern lies about the use of peat moss by gardeners.
Valuable and unique bogs are in danger and by removing the peat, wetlands are destroyed, threatening wildlife habitat and altering natural ecosystems. The bogs, like other wetlands, are nature’s water purifiers contributing to healthy watersheds and, in some areas, to safe drinking water for nearby populations. An estimated 10 per cent of global freshwater resources are filtered through these precious bogs, providing effective flood prevention. Destroying peat bogs destroys these benefits.
When choosing soil, go for a soil-less potting mix made for container gardens to ensure that plants will have healthy, happy roots. If you use heavy soil for outdoor gardens, you’ll find your roots may rot. Try making your own – it will be cheaper and more effective. Use enhanced compost, perlite and vermiculite as well as a top soil. Vermiculite and perlite come from different kinds of rocks. Both products improve soil aeration by containing spaces within the particles that can contain air so plant roots can receive oxygen.
There you have it, just a few tips from Century 21 for growing your own container plants in the presence of your home. What a great way to rid those winter blues, get started now and grow, grow, grow!
News provided by Century 21 Millennium.