I shared a few weeks ago that I was preparing to have a container garden again this year, and I wanted to share some common issues/lessons I learned with you before sharing the current journey.
After writing that post, I was in the process of helping my plants transition to the outside and there were some incidences that I thought were going to be fatal for the plants. I became greatly discouraged when this happened, and did not want to continue sharing because I was upset.
But I reflected and realized, wow, how often do farmers have this issue? Something happens and they cannot give up. In fact, gardening not always going the way we want, well, it’s life. OF COURSE, it is not always going to go the way we want. But we can’t give up.
Soo, I calmed down, prayed, did what I could, and left the rest in God’s hands. My plants survived and have adjusted to the outside! I’m very happy to share all is not lost. But before I get to the issues I had, I have to share how this container garden came to be.
(Container Gardening Diary – May 8th, 2020- May 23rd, 2020)
Soaking The Seeds
One tip I had seen a number of people talk about was that they would put seeds in a paper towel, keep it wet, and check on the seeds. After about a week, the seeds that show some sprouting are the stronger seeds, and those for sure should be planted.
This year I decided radishes, green beans, chives, cucumber, lavender, chamomile, tomatoes, and peppers. The tomatoes and peppers came from a kit my grandma got me last year. Also, if I had some extra pots and soil, I was going to plant some flower bulbs, which I was able to do.
I soaked the green beans, cucumbers, and radishes before moving them to the containers. Cucumbers did the best… and I only needed one for my container. So I chose the strongest one with the most sprout.
I actually don’t know how much I really need to soak the seeds beforehand, the ones that didn’t sprout still did fine later.
Peat Moss, Potting Soil & Tools
Last year I used garden soil (yikes) homemade mulch, some coffee grounds, and crushed eggshells to help the soil. This year, I had potting soil, not garden soil (see post and please know the difference for container gardening, you need potting soil). I also got peat moss, this helps retain moisture for your plants so you don’t need to water as often.
I also got a bigger bag of potting soil, and it was a blessing. I had JUST enough for everything. It also has a slow-releasing fertilizer in it. My sister in Christ gave me some dried out chicken poo to use for the soil as well. This works well for fertilizer, but know chicken poo has a LOT of nitrogen. So, some plants need less nitrogen, be careful.
My husband also got me a meter that measures light, pH of the soil, and moisture of soil! SOOO HELPFUL!
I also am keeping a notebook of the plants’ growth and updates on weather, and such.
I began tracking my journey around the beginning of May with plans the plants could grow indoors to get bigger (prevents rodents from eating seeds) until it was warmer outside. Part of the issue that ensued was our days would be hot and nights cold. It’s hard for plants to adjust to drastic changes because it shocks their system. The other issue is because it got so hot outside we eventually had to put on our air conditioner, which I didn’t want to do because the cool temps aren’t helpful and I was pretty sure it would attract bugs.
It did. Fungus gnats which infested my plants last year.
This began the instant transition to outside, and man, it wasn’t easy.
Tomatoes Progression (Eventually moved some seedlings to some containers)
Green Beans’ Progression
My onions and herbs did not take off. But attempting to plant some more bunch onions and see how that goes. Some green from flower bulbs are starting to peak above the surface. One is doing really well!
We might toil with soil, but God can bless the harvest, and He certainly can minister to us through hardship.
More to share later 🙂
Are you gardening this year?