Gardening Outside the Box

| 5/4/2017 11:50:00 AM

Country MoonEveryone who has ever known me knows that I am a gardener at heart. When we were kids, we not only had our family garden but also a large truck garden where we raised potatoes, corn, and other vegetables for sale along the roadside. It was nothing to be out there from nearly sunup until sunset on the busy days in summer. So you would think that, as an adult, this would be the least of my interests. Instead, it is just the opposite. Each year there is the magic of planting a seed and watching it grow into a plant that gives back sometimes 2000 times itself. Yep — you can take the girl out of the garden but you can’t take the garden out of the girl. It’s in my blood.

Just like past years, I recently heard a couple of people say that they wished they had a garden but they either had no room for one or didn’t know how to start. How sad. Like with anything else, where there is a will, there is a way.

First of all, it doesn’t have to be “in the blood,” so to speak. All you need is a will, and anyone can learn. The thing is to start small. Maybe a couple herbs in pots on the windowsill is all you need to get started. This will work whether you live in a one-room apartment or on a big spread in Texas. As far as learning how, everyone’s new friend, The Internet, can talk you through anything.

Now, for the bigger problem: Many think that they have no space nor the right equipment to have a garden. Wrong again. The term “garden” encompasses much more these days than a plot of ground. True, digging up some ground, working it, and planting vegetables is the most basic way, but as more folks have gravitated to living in the suburbs and apartments, creative ways to garden “outside of the box” have evolved.

The easiest of these is to plant a container garden. All you need are a few pots that can be placed on a patio or deck. You can plant most any crop in pots including tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, beans ... the list is nearly endless. Keeping with the times, plant and seed growers have developed dwarf cherry, blueberry, orange, and other fruit trees and bushes that adapt well to containers, too. These require no permanent ground space and are mostly maintenance-free. They eliminate weeding, and harvesting the produce is much easier since they are off the ground.

container garden on front steps
Photo by Adobe Stock/geografika

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