This year I decided to grow some veggies in containers, rather than directly in the ground. We live in central Texas, and the soil (sticky clay, really) here is very shallow. We don't have to dig very deep before we hit rock. Container planting seems to be working out great, so far!
I have several variety of tomatos growing. They are growing tall and putting on quite a bit of fruit. Soon I will top them out in hopes of encouraging even more fruit.
This is one of two containers of cucumbers (for pickling), coming along nicely. The containers allow me to easily use better soil, and allow me to organize the containers as necessary for the size of the plants. When the plants were small, it was easy to set the containers side by side. As the have plants have grown in size, I have spread them out a bit, providing each plant with plenty of "elbow room", and lots of space for good ventilation.
The containers I'm using are wooden apple baskets I picked up at the local farm supply store for only a few dollars each. Many of them were nest boxes at one point, before I installed the antique side by side nest boxes in the coop for the girls. When compared to containers of similar size at a garden shop, the apple baskets are much more affordable and so far they work just fine for me. They probably won't last more than a couple of seasons, but at least they're made of something that I can compost back into soil.
I have three large zucchini plants, and all of them seem to be doing quite well. I harvested the first zucchini today, and am excited for dinner. I think I'll saute it up with some chicken and mushrooms, and enjoy! Containers of yellow squash, cantelope, and watermelon are putting on nice growth, too.
I have some potted flowers near the veggies, and they're blooming nicely too. I do love the pretty yellow faces of Rudbekia blooms. They add a nice splash of color to the garden, and are doing a nice job of attracting bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.
We have a couple of large sunflowers that volunteered near the chicken yard. One of them is already blooming, and the other will be blooming soon!
The mint has been delicious in my tea, and the leaves are nice and healthy. Now, if I could keep the caterpillars out of the mint, I'd be happier!
While out watering over the weekend, I noticed a couple of black swallowtail butterflies enjoying the sunshine and water on the soil. One of them sat still long enough for me to get a few photos.
I invite you to read more about life on our small farm at Sassy & Sweet: Life on the Farm.
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