Uncomplicated Container Gardening Prep

I love cooking with fresh herbs, but they can be so expensive to buy!  So, I decided to start my own year-round herb garden this spring.  I started my basil seedlings inside in February, because I wanted to get a head start.  I want to be able to move my herb garden to warmer locations in winter, so I’m using light, large resin containers that I’ll be putting on casters for easy transportation.  Here’s a pic:

Container for Container Gardening

You need to make sure you allow for drainage when container gardening, so make sure you put at least one hole in the bottom of your outdoor planters.  I used this tool I found in the boyfriend’s toolbox (not sure what it is – leave a note in the comments if you know what it’s for!). 

Tool

I made  nice size hole, and then filled in the bottom of the containter with rocks from my garden for additional drainage help.  (With a container this size, I probably should have put in 3 holes, but I was feeling lazy that day, so hopefully the rocks will compensate.  I’ll let you know how it goes!)

Finished drain

Finished drainage hole

Rocks for drainage

Rock layer for additional drainage

Once you have all that out of the way, get your strong significant other to put the heavy potting soil into the container (I used 2 cubic feet of soil in these planters).  Be sure you’ve purchased the right soil for containers – I bought the wrong stuff the first time!

Add Soil

Once the soil is mostly in, position your seedlings where you’d like them,

Place your seedlings

dig little holes to put them in,

Dig holes for planting

and plant them!

Planted

Notice how my seedlings seem a little lanky (tall, floppy, and skinny)?  That’s not how you want them to be.  I made the mistake of keeping my seedlings too far from their light source indoors.  I was lucky they survived!  Once you’ve planted these babies, gently water them thoroughly.  You really want to keep an eye on watering when using containers, as they dry out faster than tradiational gardens. 

Gentle Watering

My little basil seedlings took off, and were thriving.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a picture of them for you.  Why?  My cats discovered the basil, and over the course of two days, ate it all.  This is what I found when I went to take the photo:

What the Cats Left

So, it’s back to square one!

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ien in the Kootenays on June 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Mine thrived in the greenhouse, and then were demolished by slugs. They slithered up the walls to get to them.

    Reply

    • Oh no! That’s not good. I am lucky in that we don’t have too many slugs here. At my old place, though, we did have them, so I used an organic snail/slug killer called “Slug Magic” that I got at an Orchard Supply Hardware store. I think it had a pink and white label. It worked well, and kept the critters off of my strawberries (which had previously been infested!).

      Reply

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