Garden in a Box for First-Time Gardeners

Planting fruits and vegetables in containers makes gardening available to everyone.
Allison Barnes

Last summer I decided to start a vegetable garden. Having never gardened before, and not having much space, I figured that my first go would be a challenge. Initially, I asked seasoned experts around the office and at church for information, shortcuts, and tips that I could use. I even searched the Internet to find out other great insider secrets. In doing all this, I discovered the wonderful world of container gardening.

Inside The Box
Growing plants in containers or specially designed structures, such as the EarthBox, often yields an excellent harvest of vegetables. Plus, it is virtually effortless.

Make sure the container you choose is big enough for the types of vegetables you wish to grow. Some containers will need to be elevated to allow proper drainage. However, with the EarthBox, there's no drainage needed, and the plants water themselves as they grow.

Furthermore, container gardening increases the mobility of your plants, so if you don't like your peppers on one side of the deck, just move them to the other side.

The Proof Is In The Produce
Container gardening opens up the world of growing to those who have small amounts of space, as well as to those with physical limitations that may restrict their range of movement.

Last summer, the plants grown in the EarthBox and in the pots did great on the back deck, yielding plenty of peppers and tomatoes for all. This year, when the gardening bug bites again, I think I'll grab some more containers and try growing lettuce along with my tomatoes and peppers. And maybe I'll try carrots, too, and perhaps some beans. You know, some squash might also be nice…

Creative Containers

  • Oversize terra-cotta pots, ceramic pots, and metal tubs work great for tomatoes.
  • Wooden crates or bushel baskets provide sturdy frames for lettuce plants.
  • The EarthBox will grow just about anything, and it has a built-in irrigation system (toll-free 1-877-475-1501 or www.earthbox.com).
  • Hanging baskets make happy homes for cherry tomatoes and herbs.

This article is from the June 2005 issue of Southern Living.