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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Gardening for small spaces

Here we are, just about in full garden mode in Illinois. Even way down south, it's still cold over night but that shouldn't stop anyone from at least getting ready for planting this season.

The tubs in the pictures are cattle mineral tubs. In this area, about every cattle pasture has at least a dozen of these laying around in it. Ask any farmer around here and they sure will let you haul those tubs off for them. I'm guessing they are around a 20 gallon tub size. I punch some holes around the bottoms for drainage and fill them up with soil. This soil is a combination of the lousy clay dirt here with creek sand, bunny berries and 4 or 5 year old composted manures from the livestock all mixed together. If you can't get composted manures near you, a good quality potting soil will work just as well. Don't forget to feed the plants tho, potting soil has a limited amount of nutrient in it. There's plenty of other options in case you don't have a cattle pasture near you. Any tub you can put holes in for drainage will do. Just fill them up with soil!

The empty tub will get beefsteak tomatoes (thanks Gen!) in it when the over night temperatures come up above 55. The other is some strawberry plants from a neighbors garden. They still look a little root shocked in the picture but the rain we had yesterday perked them right up and one is even flowering today.

Just about anything you would think of planting can and will grow in a tub like this. Even if you can't have an in ground garden where you live, you can still grow a large amount of food in tubs. Another up side to container gardening like this is, way less weeding!

As the season continues, I will share more pictures of the garden in containers....


Anonymous said...

Love the container concept. We're doing tomatoes in 5 gal. buckets. Sick of all the weeds, so hopefully this will work out better and will get a better harvest.

mmpaints said...

Hi Shelly! I think you'll love the container growing. In those 20 gallon tubs, i can easily get 8 plants and tons of tomatoes.

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

I'm trying spinach, heirloom tomatoes, and an heirloom lemon cuke in buckets this year. I hope they do well. One year I did potatoes and they turned out quite well! No slugs!!!
BTW, did I goof up? I meant to send you Mortgage Lifter tomatoes.....did I send beefsteak on accident? Oops!!

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