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Kick Start Your Gardens… Inside, Outside and in Pots!

2011 March 3
by Katy

It’s just about that time to start planting gardens!  I tried to grow several plants in pots on my balcony last year, and we planted a few things in the ground behind Chris’ house.  We learned some valuable lessons, and we’re here to share the best ones as people start thinking about gardening this year.

Windowbox garden

A window box garden - photo from "How to grow a strawberry windowbox" by Maria Finn. Link below.

1.  Don’t just plant whenever you get around to it.  Use a gardening guide.  We searched high and low for the best one, and we like the calendars at Almanac.com because they allow you to put in your location and show you everything in one easy chart.  For the central NC readers, here’s our calendar!

2.  Before you try to grow bigger plants (tomatoes, squash, cucumbers) in pots, do some research on the best varieties to use and the best staking techniques to use.  These didn’t work out well for us last year, so this year we’ll be consulting this helpful Ohio State website.

3. Before you buy plants, check out how much fruit they usually produce.  Last year we had 4 jalapeno plants with a couple dozen jalapenos each and only one bell pepper plant with 2 peppers on it.  Different plants (and even different varieties of the same plant) produce different amounts of food for different lengths of time.

In a nutshell, don’t get overzealous and start planting without doing a little planning.  Here are some good links to other blogs/ websites that have good ideas on starting a garden.

5 Inspiring Kitchen Gardens for Small Spaces Roundup by Re-Nest

Top Ten Most Nutritious Vegetables and How to Grow Them in Your Garden by Colleen Vanderlinden on Treehuger

Some hints on what food plants grow well inside vs. on a porch

How To Grow A Strawberry Windowbox by Maria Finn on Re-Nest

Great video on making your own outdoor raised bed garden by Patti Moreno

How To Grow an Indoor Salad Greens Windowbox Garden by Maria Finn on Re-Nest

One place you can buy a “kitchen garden set” with a variety of plants and a guide – less hassle, might be worth a shot for people with a lot of space outdoors

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