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Answering “What is organic container gardening?” could give you the ability to unlock a hidden household project.
If you’ve always wanted your garden but have been lacking space, these unique gardens could be the answer.
There is an assortment of edible fruits and vegetables and non-edible plants that you can grow in these space-saving setups.
What Is Organic Container Gardening?
Container gardening is the unique process of maintaining plants in small, temporary, or permanent containers.
Most of the time, people opt for this gardening method because they don’t have enough space for a standard garden.
For example, for those living in condos with access to a small balcony, container gardening could be the only option.
Another exciting benefit that this task brings to the table is that you can do it relatively anywhere.
Homeowners can opt to have their container garden indoors or outdoors, depending on their plants’ needs.
It can also be a more affordable and less time-consuming method of producing various fruits and veggies.
When it comes to organic container gardening, you’ll be focusing primarily on organic means of soil nourishment.
For example, instead of using pesticides and herbicides, natural, organic compounds are used.
There are plenty of advantages to organic container gardening, including:
- Healthy edible plants
- Zero exposure to herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals
- Gradual organic soil improvement
- Added biodiversity within your garden
Right off the bat, there are a significant number of benefits to container gardening, including:
- Doesn’t require property space
- Inexpensive to start and maintain
- Require very tools
- Containers fit relatively anywhere
- Optimal control of growing conditions
- Easier to protect plants against inclement weather
You’ll also find that it’s one of the more ideal options for people who have owned unsuccessful gardens in the past.
With the straightforward nature of a container garden, relatively anyone, including kids, can create a productive garden.
Let’s explore some of the more prevalent benefits of starting a container garden.
Better Root Temperature
When planting inside containers, it’s easier to manage the temperature of your soil than with in-ground gardens.
You’ll find it’s simpler because you won’t be working against the elements and seasonal changes.
This point is crucial if you want to grow fruits and vegetables that are more susceptible to freezing.
When you have soil in a container, it’s always warm, especially indoors.
It’s one of the better options for planting tropical fruits and vegetables, especially with annual cycles.
However, it’s important to note that plants that love the cold weather could find container gardening less preferable.
As the soil is naturally warmer, the roots will be exposed to higher temperatures than recommended.
Just like in-ground gardens, you must choose your plant species accordingly.
There’s no doubt that one of the most challenging aspects of in-ground gardens is their maintenance.
It’s important to note that even container gardens require maintenance, but surely not as much.
For example, you won’t have to worry about weeds overtaking your garden if you don’t inspect it regularly.
One of the most beautiful parts of a garden is you get to see the gardener’s creativity poke through.
From arranging your plants to the ornamental species you choose, there’s no doubt it’s a creative process.
When you’re working with container gardens and limited space, you have to get creative.
Gardeners need to consider where they want to place their plants, the type of containers they need, and more.
You’ll find your planning will truly be at its peak if you have minimal space, such as a small balcony.
There are hundreds of inventive options to choose from when it comes to creating the perfect container garden.
As with any project involving growing living things, there are concerns to note as well.
Container gardening is simpler than you might have thought, but you should take some careful considerations.
Watering and Drainage
The most significant issue that first-time gardeners experience with their container gardens is watering and drainage.
Since the plants aren’t put into the ground, all excess water will seep through a small amount of soil.
Without drainage, the roots could easily drown, destroying your chances of a thriving, healthy garden.
Also, you’re solely responsible for the water your plants receive.
Unless you live in an area prone to rain, you’ll need to water your plants regularly to keep them alive.
Soil placed in container gardens is known to dry out quickly, so there is adequate maintenance required.
Increased Sun Exposure
Another concern to consider when it comes to your soil drying out is your plants’ exposure to the sun.
Of course, the sun is required for plants to produce nutrients to grow and yield fruits and veggies.
However, too much sun can significantly harm the amount of water kept within the soil.
In these instances, it’s often recommended to find the perfect placement for your containers beforehand.
Alternatively, you can add mulch to the soil, which can help block direct sun rays and maintain soil moisture.
As long as the root systems for your plants are protected, you’ll find that these gardens are user-friendly.
Fungus and Mold
On the other end of the spectrum, overwatering your plants can be easier with container gardens.
It’s important to remember you have a limited amount of soil within each container that you’ll be watering.
With in-ground gardens, on the other hand, water can seep into multiple feet of soil to prevent overwatering.
When you put too much moisture in the soil, it can cause a buildup of mold and fungus.
This issue is particularly prevalent with container gardens, as the soil has a naturally warmer temperature.
If you’re dealing with fungus and mold, you’ll have to replant your veggies to ensure they’re not affected.
What Can You Grow in a Container Garden?
There are multiple types of veggies that you can grow in container gardens with ease.
You’ll find the most popular recommendations are nightshades, like eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes.
That said, you can traditionally work with any vegetable that doesn’t require a lot of space to grow.
- USDA Growing Zone: Annual in all zones
- Sun Exposure: Full
- Soil: Good drainage, deep planting, moist conditions
Tomatoes are a phenomenal option for container gardens because they produce high yields with little effort.
They do prefer larger containers, which is something to consider when planning your garden.
Also, you’ll want to invest in stakes since the plants grow to incredible heights and require support for their heavy produce.
Tomatoes are best grown in warm weather, so container gardening is ideal with its warmer soil temperatures.
With that said, it’s best to put them out in the middle of spring or early summer, when the temperatures have evened out.
The most challenging part of growing tomatoes is if you opt to do so through seedlings.
When preparing the seedlings, they must be hardened off to acclimate to your local weather conditions.
Also, you need to maintain the seedlings by removing seed leaves as they grow.
- USDA Growing Zone: Three to 10B
- Sun Exposure: Full
- Soil: Loamy soil with good drainage
As another fantastic option for your garden, consider growing potatoes in containers.
You’ll find these veggies offer a new realm of flavors to your dishes with their bitter and earthy profiles.
When growing potatoes in container gardens, you’ll need plenty of soil and water as well as a lot of effort and maintenance.
However, they produce an excellent yield of veggies that you’ll surely put to good use.
These plants thrive in containers because the container material is a natural defense against blight.
- USDA Growing Zone: Four through nine
- Sun Exposure: Partial
- Soil: Fertile and moist soil
There’s no doubt that salad greens are something you and your family use consistently.
Growing items like lettuce and kale are significantly simpler than you could imagine in containers.
With container gardening, you’ll be able to prevent weeds and pests more effectively compared to in-ground gardens.
The majority of salad greens can withstand summer but are often recommended as a spring plant.
With a container setup, you can easily extend your growing season by moving your plants to shaded areas.
Also, these varieties don’t require as much sunlight as other plants, making them highly versatile.
- USDA Growing Zone: Four through 12
- Sun Exposure: Full or partial
- Soil: Fertilized, moist soil with good drainage
As another favorite for garden salads, cucumbers are a high-yield, fast-growing veggie for container gardens.
They’re fantastic for kids because they can track the progress of their plants weekly.
The most notable consideration for cucumbers is that they require a lot of water, making them best for plastic containers.
Cucumbers are known to love hotter temperatures, making them ideal for container gardening.
You also have versatility when choosing the type, such as bush or vining, depending on your space.
Ensure that you have plenty of stakes and/or trellis to accommodate the vine length if you opt for vining ones.
By answering, “What is organic container gardening?” you can finally begin your dream of creating your compact garden.
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The term “bog” itself can often conjure images of dank, dark, and even smelly land areas.
But in reality, the term is used to describe a type of wetland, and bog gardens are actually stunning and much sought-after.
Many unusual species of plants thrive in bog gardens, and recreating this unique natural habitat allows you to grow them at home.
Let’s explain how to create a bog garden in a container in just six easy steps.
We’ll also discuss how to plant and care for them, so stay tuned.
How To Create a Bog Garden in a Container
Let’s take a quick look at what a bog is and how they form within nature.
When you have a better understanding of what a bog is, you may find it easier to establish and maintain this habitat for yourself at home.
What Is a Bog Garden?
A bog is a freshwater wetland usually formed throughout hundreds or thousands of years from decaying plant matter.
These decomposing plants become waterlogged and form thick layers of soft, spongy peat that is acidic, infertile, and low in oxygen and nutrients.
The saturated nature of the bog substrate means that it also doesn’t receive nutrients from runoff or adjoining land and the only water it gets is from the rain.
As you can imagine, many plants can’t survive in these circumstances.
That said, a large and diverse group of plants evolved to thrive in these harsh and unique conditions.
Bog Garden Plants
Species that thrive in bogs can withstand “wet feet”, acidic soil, and low nitrogen, typically receiving no nutrients from the soil.
Some of the plants that adapted over the years include some evergreen trees and shrubs, ferns, mosses, liverworts, water lilies, and orchids.
Cranberries, blueberries, and carnivorous species, including plants such as sundews, venus fly traps, and pitchers, can also survive in such conditions.
Carnivorous plants feature unique botanical structures that allow them to survive by trapping their food and nutrients.
Other species, such as the orchids and berries, survive via symbiotic relationships with mycorrhizal fungi.
These fungi colonize the root systems of the plants and provide them with nutrients.
Can You Make a Bog Garden in a Container?
If you have limited space at home, then you can create a container bog garden.
Creating a container bog garden is a great idea for people who don’t want to do any excavating or landscaping.
It’s also perfect for those who want an indoor bog garden.
How Do You Make a Simple Bog Garden in a Container?
Luckily, it won’t take you thousands of years to create a container bog garden at home, as recreating this habitat is quick and easy.
The most important factor to remember when creating a bog garden is that it will need at least five hours of full sunlight per day.
Below are the recommended steps you need to take to succeed in making simple bog gardens.
Step #1: Choose a Container
Your bog garden container should ideally be a minimum of eight to 12 inches deep and eight inches in diameter or larger.
The larger your container is, the less quickly it will dry out. Any pot or container that holds water will suffice.
You could use a plant pot, rigid pond liner, or even a kiddie paddling pool, depending on how big you want your bog garden to be.
Step #2: Line the Bottom
Line your container up to a third of its depth with coarse builder’s sand, pea gravel, or crushed lava rock.
They can provide water space for your plants.
Step #3: Add Bog Soil
Next up, add a minimum of six to eight inches of bog soil or bog potting mix (see how to make this below).
Note: If your container is large enough, you may wish to consider adding a small planter with holes to the middle of the container before adding your bog soil.
Place the planter in the middle of your container, on top of your substrate liner, and then pack the bog soil all around it.
This gives you a safe place to water your bog garden without disturbing any of the plants.
It also makes it easier to see if your bog garden needs watering, as the planter should always have water in it.
Step #4: Hydrate and Wait for One Week
Saturate your container with water, place it in a sunny spot, and wait for a week.
During this week, the peat will fully absorb the water and the pH balance of your bog has time to balance itself.
Step #5: Ready to Plant
Now your bog is ready to plant with your chosen plants.
Once you’ve selected your plants, arranging them will make a massive difference to the overall presentation of your bog.
If your bog garden will mainly be viewed from one side, place the taller plants and flowers towards the back.
If you will use your DIY bog container garden as a centerpiece, consider planting the taller species in the center and terrace them outwards with shorter plants.
Step #6: Add Live Moss
Once you’ve planted your chosen plants, you must surround them with live moss.
Live moss will help maintain a healthy and stable biotic environment for your plants.
It will also help prevent them from drying out too quickly.
It also looks great and helps camouflage the edges of your container.
Your Boggy Questions, Answered
If you’re reading this step-by-step guide, then it’s safe to assume that you’re a newbie to the bog gardening world.
To help make your life easier, we’ve answered some of the more frequently asked questions we often receive about bog gardening.
How Do You Make Bog Soil?
You can make bog soil by mixing one part builder’s sand with two to three parts of peat moss.
If possible, we also recommend that you add a couple of handfuls of long-fibered sphagnum moss.
Does a Bog Garden Need Drainage?
Unlike other habitats and gardens, bogs are waterlogged areas.
The bottom of a bog garden should be completely watertight, so when creating a bog garden in a container, the container you use shouldn’t have any holes in it.
Where Can I Source Live Moss From?
You can collect live moss from wet woods for free, but make sure the woods aren’t on public parkland.
You can also buy live moss commercially from some garden centers.
How Do I Care for My Bog Garden?
Caring for your bog garden is easy since all they need to thrive is plenty of sunlight and water.
Place your container in a bright, sunny area where it can receive at least five or six hours of direct sunlight per day.
Check it daily to ensure it has enough water and pick out any weeds that become visible.
If your tap water has a pH lower than eight, you can water your bog garden with tap water.
In most cases, rainwater or distilled water is better.
Never let the substrate dry out and fertilize or feed your bog garden.
Common fertilizer ingredients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, are toxic to many bog plants.
How Do You Choose Bog Garden Plants?
When selecting your bog garden plants, especially carnivorous species, cold-hardiness should be your biggest concern.
You can check which zone of the USA you live in by visiting the United States Department of Agriculture’s website.
If you live in zones seven to 10, you can grow most American pitcher plants, venus fly traps, and most temperate butterworts and sundews.
If you live in zone six, try to focus on plants that are native to Carolina and further north.
Trumpet pitcher plants, sweet pitcher plants, and purple pitcher plants will do well here.
If you live in zone five or colder, you’ll need especially cold-tolerant plants, such as the round-leaf sundew or common butterwort.
There is also a northern subspecies of the purple pitcher plant that will grow in these regions.
Orchids will also add seasonal interest, with grass pink blooming in spring to early summer.
Nodding ladies’ tresses cultivar “Chadds Ford” will follow nicely by blooming in the late summer.
Always source your orchids and carnivorous plants from reputable nurseries and dealers.
Poaching wild plants like these can threaten the existence of these fascinating plants in their natural environments.
Beautiful Bog Gardens
Now you know how to create your own DIY bog container gardens, the next step is choosing what unique and wonderful plants to grow in them.
You can even create these fascinating habitats in miniature form and have an indoor bog garden in a glass jar.
They make interesting centerpieces that will catch lots of houseflies and are great conversation starters.
However, bog plants need a lot of light, so be prepared to keep them in a sunny location outdoors for most of the year.
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People with limited space in their gardens or outdoors are often under the impression that they can’t grow their own food.
However, growing fruits and veggies in containers is easy when you know how to do so.
Container gardens will also help you capitalize on the space you have.
Container gardening also allows people with no gardens to enjoy fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs all year round.
Today we’ll look at how to grow cucumbers in a container garden effectively.
We’ll tell you what kind of containers to use, how and when to plant them, and how to care for them to help ensure a bountiful crop every season.
How To Grow Cucumbers in a Container Garden: The Important Facts
For many people, cucumbers are an essential summertime vegetable since they can add crispiness and freshness to many dishes.
Technically speaking, though, cucumber is actually a fruit, along with tomatoes and squash.
It has a hard rind and no internal divisions, which scientifically classifies it as a type of pepe berry, but most of us still regard it as a vegetable.
Can You Grow Cucumbers in a Pot?
Growing cucumber in pots is easy, and they will grow extremely well as long as they have plenty of sunlight and moisture.
In fact, once you start growing them, you may be surprised at just how productive a cucumber plant is, even in a container.
When you start growing cucumbers in containers, you’ll have access to fresh cucumbers almost daily, so we hope you like them a lot.
Most cucumber plants grow on vines, so the tendrils tend to get tangled when growing in pots, but they still produce a great crop.
The Benefits of Growing Cucumbers in Pots
Many people who want to learn how to grow cucumbers in containers have limited space.
But growing cucumbers in this manner also come with many other benefits.
Not only can you plant them earlier, but you’ll also encounter fewer problems from pests and soil-borne fungal diseases.
How Deep Should a Container Be for Cucumbers?
Ideally speaking, the container you use should be at least eight inches deep and around 12 inches wide.
It should hold at least between five and seven gallons of the potting mix so that it’s easier to keep it consistently wet.
The more soil you have, the slower it will dry out and the better root system it can develop, producing stronger yields.
Experts estimate that just two extra inches in depth could double your cucumber harvest.
Also, the bigger the pot is, the less likely it will be to tip over, which is handy when your plant starts to get bigger.
Cucumbers like a lot of water, but they also need good drainage, so make sure the container you choose has several drainage holes.
Large plastic and ceramic planters are popular choices for growing cucumbers, but they will also grow in wood, fabric, and metal.
You could even upcycle an old five-gallon bucket; just remember to drill some drainage holes in it before you fill it up with soil.
How Do You Grow Cucumbers in a Planter Box: The Steps
Once you have your container picked out, most people can start growing cucumbers in containers as early as the beginning of May.
This is a little earlier than you would normally plant them in the ground, as the soil won’t be cold enough.
Cucumbers are heat-loving plants, so if you have a cold snap after planting, move them indoors or into a greenhouse if possible.
Cucumber plants will thrive in temperatures between 65 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and you should shield them from the wind.
Step #1: Install Your Support Structure
Once you’ve decided where to place your cucumbers so that they get enough sunlight and warmth, you should install some support structures.
For bush cucumbers, you can make a bamboo tripod that will sit in the pot or install some wire mesh caging around the pot.
For vine cucumbers, it’s best to put some trellis up behind the pot for the cucumbers to grow up.
You want to do this before you plant your cucumbers so that you don’t disturb their germination or growing period.
Step #2: Fill Your Container With Potting Mix
Fill your container with high-quality potting mix, and don’t press it down since you want the soil to be fluffy and loose.
Also, don’t use soil from your garden since it will be too dense and slow to drain, not to mention that it may contain pests and diseases.
What Soil Should You Use?
Cucumber plants are fairly heavy eaters, so we recommend that you plant them in a 50/50 mix of high-quality potting soil and compost.
Or, if you have access to it, you could use equal parts of potting soil, compost, perlite, and peat moss.
Step #3: Sow Your Seeds and Water
Sow your seeds by following the instructions on the packet.
Different varieties of cucumbers may have different needs, depending on the expected size of the plant and root system.
Usually, cucumbers are sown somewhere between six and 12 inches apart, and you need to press the seeds about an inch down into the soil.
We recommend that you plant several seeds in each space that you want a plant, as not every seed will germinate.
Now you have to sit back and wait for the seeds to grow into seedlings.
Should You Use Seeds or Transplants?
The roots of cucumber plants are quite delicate and don’t like to be moved about too much.
For this reason, most people choose to sow cucumber plants straight from seed.
If you want to start your seeds indoors to get them going a little earlier, try to disturb the rootball as little as possible when transplanting them outside.
Step #4: Weed Out Seedlings and Mulch
Once the seedlings have two sets of leaves, then you can gently cut out the smaller ones, leaving just one plant in each space.
If you’re asking “Can you grow cucumbers in a pot?”, you may just want one cucumber plant per pot.
But if you have a larger planter, you will definitely grow two, three, or even more plants.
Don’t be tempted to pull out the extra seedlings since doing so can damage the root structures of the seedlings you want to keep.
Mulch the top of the soil to help retain moisture.
Step #5: Water Regularly
You need to water your cucumber plants regularly as they grow so that the soil and roots stay moist.
Step #6: Train Your Vines
When your cucumber plants start to get big enough, wind their vines around the support.
It will encourage them to climb upwards instead of crawling sideways.
If the plants need help staying upright, you can use clean, soft cloth or plant ties to secure them to the support structure.
Step #7: Increase Mulch and Fertilize
As your plants get bigger, you can increase the mulch on the top of the soil to help the plants retain even more moisture.
Fertilize your plants every two to three weeks by adding a diluted liquid fertilizer to the root areas of your plants.
Be careful not to over-fertilize, though, since this will cause the plants to produce fewer fruits.
What Type of Cucumbers Should You Grow?
Cucumbers either grow on a bush or a vine.
People growing in containers usually favor the bush type of cucumber, but even bush cucumbers may need extra support as they get bigger.
If you choose a vine-style cucumber, just make sure you install a trellis and train your cucumbers to grow upward.
When you buy your seeds or starters, you’ll also have to choose between slicing cucumbers and pickling cucumbers.
Slicing cucumbers are larger, typically growing to be between six and nine inches in length.
The waxy, tough skin is uniformly dark green and can sometimes be bitter, although the bitterness can often be removed by peeling or deseeding them.
Popular slicing varieties include lemon cucumber, diva hybrid, and straight-eight.
Pickling cucumbers are smaller and shorter, which is why they’re ideal for pickling in jars.
They usually have a uniform thickness, but their color can vary from dark green on one end to light green or yellow on the blossom end.
Their skin is also thinner, and this variety sometimes has bumps on it.
Popular pickling varieties include gherkins (cornichons), bush pickles, and Wisconsin SMR.
Do Cucumbers Grow Well in Pots?
Now you know how to grow cucumbers in a container garden, it’s just a case of selecting which type you want to grow.
Growing cucumbers in pots will save you money and offer you immediate access to the freshest cukes in town without having to leave the house.
When your friends see them and learn how easy they are to grow, they’ll probably want to know how to grow cucumbers in containers too.
Don’t forget that the two key ingredients to a happy cucumber plant are sunlight and moisture.
Keep them in a sunny area and water them regularly, and they’ll keep you fed.
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