Gardening is satisfying because you can see growth in just a short amount of time. My Swiss chard has exploded and makes me wonder if I planted too many for the container size. Three weeks passed between the top photo and bottom photo below.
- Place 2" of packing peanuts in the bottom of small containers (4" in larger pots) to facilitate drainage and prevent water build-up that could damage the roots of your plants.
- Use a slow-release fertilizer (Osmocote was recommended) at the time of planting.
- Add a layer of mulch, after placing plants in the soil, to help keep the soil moist.
- Water every day during warm weather, and water each plant until you see water come out the bottom of the planter.
The photos below show 4 weeks of growth on a container of herbs I made during the class. We were advised to add 3 herbs to the 14" container. I chose cilantro, parsley and basil.
Now that I have a full pot of herbs, I really need to start using them. Here is some advice that was shared on how to clean herbs:
- Select leaves with good color, nothing yellowed, wilted or with holes.
- Place herbs in a deep bowl of cold water. Let them soak long enough for the dirt to settle to the bottom of the bowl.
- Once the herbs are clean, spread them out on a towel. Blot the herbs gently before rolling them up in the towel.
Another tip mentioned during the class is to buy a watering can with a narrow opening which allows you to water the soil and avoid getting the leaves wet. On hot days, water on leaves will burn and leave yellow spots. I previously used the watering can on the left and have now switched to the one on the right.
Does anyone have any other advice on container gardening? I still have some empty containers, and would like to grow even more this summer!