Save money using your home grown container vegetables. How to achieve healthy fresh living without spending a lot of money.
“Organic” according to Merriam-Webster Online http://www.m-w.com is relating to, or involving the use of food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides.
Okay, for example we spray pesticides to kill insects. Even though it’s done in small amounts, that’s not considered organic anymore. Organic means anything that grows naturally from the source which God has already given to us. It’s from nature to nature.
Because organic foods take more maintenance and care, no wonder they are more expensive than non organic foods.
Have you ever imagined eating something that you planted yourself? Oh gosh….. Believe me, once you start doing this, you will feel a new sense of satisfaction in your life. You gain more confidence in life.
As usual, we won’t listen to all the different excuses : how? I’m not good at , that – I don’t have a big yard there’s no way I can do that – I don’t have time to do that – It’s really difficult - Why bother if you can buy it easily? – I don’t have a green thumb – I don’t have gardening talent – That’s silly. How much money can I save doing that?
Living healthy and fresh starts in our own home. Sometimes I’m so sad to see people who have a huge back yard, but don’t do anything creative with it. They just leave it empty. Every time I pass houses with big back yards, I always speak to myself,
“if I had a back yard that huge, I would have a garden where I could grow anything I wanted. I could eat vegetables and fruits from my own garden planted by myself.”
Last spring after the last frost, starting from my tiny 5×5 deck, I started growing 3 kinds of tomatoes, peppers, hot chilli peppers, okra, and many kinds of herbs. They turned out really well and I have harvested them a few times.
One example: I started growing 2 small seeds of cayenne peppers around May. The 2 tiny little seeds have grown to become 2 big chilli pepper plants. They produce a lot because I keep harvesting them.
I made green and red curry paste and put it in a jar so that I can use it several times. I gave some to our friend. I also use it for cooking from time to time. I can’t believe that have more than enough. I am even thinking of freezing some for this winter.
These are a few tips that I can share about container gardening. I’m not a professional, nor do I know a lot about gardening techniques. I don’t have a gardening degree and planting experience that I can put in my resume.
Believe me, anyone can do this. Even our kids. The only items we need to have are these : 2 tsp of TLC (tender loving care) , 1tbsp of effort and 2 1/2 cup of your willingness, mix them together and Wualllaaaaaa–you will get the green thumb you always dreamt of.
Okay let’s start…
But before starting your container garden:
- Think of and plan what kind of vegetables you want to grow in your deck or back yard.
- Use a reasonable formula. If you have such a tiny deck, never dream of growing bananas or avocados for guacamole on trees.
- Filter the items by how easy they are to grow
- Check the nature and level of difficulties of each plant, including climate, maintenance and care. You can always read at the back of the package before you buy a package of seeds or a small plant.
These are the best, easiest, low maintenance home grown container vegetables you can grow at home.
One time, I bought several packages of vegetable seeds of many varieties. I started seeding them all in a few containers. I forgot that we only have a small deck. Each day they grew bigger and bigger. They took all of our deck space. My husband likes to sit in the wicker chair to get sun sometimes. Because there were so many plants and containers on the decks, he had to walk really carefully, step up from one side to another like Batman to avoid tripping on them. If you see the movie ” jumanji” you’ll know what I mean. He complained about that because he couldn’t sit on our deck anymore. He told me that I just needed a few monkeys, lions and birds, and it would complete become a real jungle.
- Please don’t get overly excited like me.
- You can always buy small plants from the nursery store
- If you want to grow plants from the seeds, try to grow 3-4 seeds in each container
- I like to use small containers with potting mix soil instead of peat moss. When the first baby leaves grow, wait for a few days until all the seeds have sprouted. You can decide which one of them looks the most healthy. Pull out the weak leaves and just leave 2 or 3 healthy strong leaves.
I made a big mistake when I first started my container garden. I used to grow all of my seeds. I put them all in a few small containers. But, that’s wasteful. Honestly we just need a few healthy leaves as a starter. A few seeds is more than enough, unless you want to have a nursery business.
When the time comes to water the baby plants, I like to water them from the bottom. Put the container on a plate full of water. The soil from the container will absorb the water and spread it out from bottom to the top. That’s a good way to avoid interrupting the plants new growth. When you see the soil is moist enough, you can remove the plate.
- For small plants that you buy at the nursery, repot them into bigger pots.
You can buy mix potting soil specially for vegetables that have already been enriched with vitamins. This can feed plants for up to 3 months.
- Allow for space from one pot to another.
Don’t put them close to each other because each plant has a different structure and immunity toward disease and insects.
- A little extra maintenance and care is needed when plants are small. But please not too much.
I love gardening very much. In my country (Indonesia), growing plants is very easy. Just throw the seeds somewhere in your yard or pot and they start growing. The soil is fertile. But here in the US, the soil texture is so different. I had a tough time trying to grow my container garden at first. Most of the time I didn’t know what they needed and wanted. If I watered them regularly, they became yellow. Or If I watered them once every 3 days they became dry. I never gave up hope. I tried and tried and tried. I thought maybe they need a little extra care but that’s a big mistake. All of my plants were really stress out and slowly passed away because I gave them over TLC. If they could talk, maybe they would say “oooh, here she is again!. Stop touching me please!” I failed so many times but I never gave up. We learn from our mistakes and mistakes make perfect. I finally learned that plants need a quality time just like humans. Everything has to be in balance. Not too much and not too little. Medium will do.
- Water the plants regularly but don’t over water them.
When you see that the top soil is dry, it doesn’t mean that deep down is dry. It’s wise to double check because if you over water them, the leaves start getting yellow and they fall down.
- Check if there are bad yellow leaves.
Always cut the bad ones because it can spread.
I name all of my plants. Every time I come out on my deck, I call them by their names. For example: “Hi Juliet! how are you today?” I know it sounds silly, but I like to have fun in small and simple things like that! No need to be too serious about life. Just relax and enjoy it. It’s strange; they seem to grow better and produce more.
- Harvest Time!
Enjoy good eating and save $$$