Thursday, May 23, 2013

Year Round Vegetable Gardening in Containers

Hi Suzanne,

Today I harvested one pot of garlic that I planted last November. There are three pots yet to be harvested within the next month. The pots on my patio have had things planted in them all year. Last fall/winter/spring, they were full of garlic, cilantro, parsley and lettuce. Container gardening works great for your veggies especially in the winter. They are so easy to cover up when the temps are freezing, and there are no insects or disease to contend with.

'Transylvania,' the first variety harvested now out to dry
Now as the cool weather crops are being harvested, I am gradually putting in the summer veggies. I have put a tomato in a pot with some garlic, and as the tomato gets bigger, the garlic will be ready to come out. I will then put a little basil in with the tomato plant. I am doing this with two pots.

Tomato and garlic
I had planted three pots with cilantro just because I love it. I am going to let the cilantro self sow in all the pots and I should be able to get another crop when the weather cools down in the fall. I plan on saving a bunch of seeds to share with friends just because cilantro is so easy to grow.

Cilantro going to seed with attractive flowers
I planted 'Minnesota Midget' cantaloupe (small personal size) in a pot that has parsley and cilantro. When the cilantro is done, I will put fencing in the pot for the cantaloupe to climb on. In the pot where I just harvested the garlic I put a squash plant and added a floating row cover to protect against squash bugs and squash vine borers.

Cantaloupe and parsley will share a pot

Yellow summer squash covered up
In addition to container vegetable gardening, I have made a strawberry patch in a flower bed. This fall/winter I had a half dozen collard plants in the flower bed that produced all winter into spring. So far I have picked over 8 lbs of strawberries this year. They will continue to produce all summer, although only sporadically…just enough to throw a few in your smoothie or in a salad. I have covered them with netting to keep critters out.

Strawberries sharing a bed with flowers
So, if you have a flower bed and/or a sunny place to set containers, you can still grow things to eat all year.


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