The following is a guest post by Rabecca Ranaldi of http://ranaldifamilyfarm.com!
Spring is in full swing and summer is almost here! Birds are singing in the garden and happily picking apart my sunflowers. Bees are fat with pollen, happily buzzing from blossom to blossom. Summer is quickly approaching, so let’s get in gear and start discussing containers so you can get your garden growing just in time for the cucumbers and watermelons to abundantly flow!
Surprisingly enough you can grow in almost any container! Typically when a gardener thinks of growing in a container we think of pots. I recommend choosing bright colored pots to add some pizzazz and personality to your garden area. Remember that light-colored pots tend to keep the soil cooler than dark-colored pots. Try hanging pots for blooming flowers, tomatoes or strawberries.
Do you prefer to get more creative with your containers?
The great thing about creativity is it also tends to go hand in hand with being thrifty! Here are just some of the many many creative options out there for containers that can be successfully used in your garden while recycling or reclaiming old objects from your house or trash:
…Boxes, empty paint buckets, a broken kiddie pool, cracked laundry basket, old toy bin, empty coffee containers, an old wagon, tires, an old bathtub or toilet, old shoes or rain boots, pallets, cinder blocks, an old colander from the kitchen, river rocks/stones, logs/firewood, railroad ties, wicker baskets, tin cans, an old bed…
When it comes to the material of the pot we typically choose terracotta or clay because they are pretty, but take note they will break easily especially after being out in the sun day in and day out. Wood containers are much more natural looking and can protect the roots from rapid temperature swings, which can be very common and detrimental to your plant’s growth. The exciting part of using wood is that you can start from scratch completely and design/build your own.
What to use?
You can choose to recycle and reuse old wooden crates or pallets to make a garden box or wood sections from an old fence or deck can be put together to create a fully functioning raised garden bed.
Just make sure to note what type of wood you use; cedar and pine which are treated with nontoxic preservative are rot resistant woods that would make great material for planters without harming the soil or root systems. Metal containers can be used as well, but you will want to line the metal with plastic to protect the root system of the plant from the rapid heat temperature changes.
Make sure that whatever container you build or pick to grow in is going to be big enough for your plant. Some plants will become root bound if their pot is too small. Also make sure whatever you grow in has efficient drainage holes so that any excess water can drain from the soil. Some seeds grow well indoors in egg cartons or empty plastic containers. These containers could also be used to grow herbs and and veggie starts that can be transplanted later on in the season.
So what type of container are you going to use? I would love for you to share some pictures of your recycled/reclaimed/thrifty/space-saving container gardens!
Check out what we’ve done in our containers this gardening season at http://ranaldifamilyfarm.com!