How to Start a Container Vegetable Garden

How to Start a Container Vegetable Garden

Thursday Life Check: Honestly evaluating how things are going right now—the good, the bad, and the moldy.

Since I’ve converted our family to local food, growing some of that food just makes sense. Unfortunately, I’m a bit of a plant killer. 

Thankfully, I’ve made some farmer friends that inspired me to try again. And with free seeds and the easiest garden containers ever, I’m taking the plunge and trying a garden. 

My parents, amazing gardeners, visited a couple weeks ago and helped me pick a mixture of topsoil, peat moss, and compost for the containers, as well as the best placement.  

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Here are my two 2’x4’ raised beds and three 7 gallon pots. I got them from Lotus Urban Farm and Garden Supply, an amazing place with great advice if you’re local. Otherwise they’re also on Amazon. These Hydrofarm Dirt Pot containers last for years and provide excellent drainage and aeration. They’re going to be great for my petite backyard. 

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These containers filled up nice and quick and I couldn’t wait to plant in them! This next part is my favorite. 

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If you live in Greenville county, did you know we have a seed library?! It’s new this year at the Berea Library! You can select up to ten seed packets per visit to take home and plant! Packets contain 5-10 heirloom seeds, all chosen because they grow well in our area. They have over fifty varieties of food and flower seeds to choose from!

This brilliant idea, developed by the Greenville County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Greenville County Library System in partnership with local farms and garden stores, appeals to me on so many levels. 

Have you ever stared at a seed catalogue and gone a little dizzy? How do I know which of these I can grow and how to grow them? They’re all pretty! I love having the guesswork taken out of the equation for me with purposefully chosen plants and an awesome growing guide made by garden geniuses. I can follow directions! 

Sharing the means to grow your own food for free with everyone along with education in how to garden are real, meaningful steps toward combatting the food deserts of Greenville. The library system also offers coordinating gardening classes to help everyone learn how to succeed with their seeds. Ending hunger seems a little more possible when our community gives the gift of producing your own food.

I’m also thrilled that I get to start out learning to garden without spending a ton of money on expensive plants I may kill. With free seeds of amazing quality, I have no excuses. 

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As soon as I got my seed friends into the soil, I started looking out for them jealously.  I already knew I’d be battling bugs, so I planted Sow True Seed’s Beneficial Insect Atractant Mix. But then I was reminded of my adorable baby yard bunnies. 

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I read that spraying with peppermint essential oil may repel bunnies, so I’m giving it a try. I get all my essential oils from my friend Katie at Iviva. She sources all her oils personally and I trust her and the quality of her oils. I’m not sure if peppermint oil will keep away the bunnies or not, but I’m going to try it! Plus, my garden will smell minty, which seems refreshing.  

What about you? Is this your first year gardening or your 45th? What are your tips and tricks? Do you have any funny and encouraging gardening stories for a nervous gardener? 

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